By Richard Drasimaku
President Yoweri Museveni has assured the people of West Nile that they will remain part of Uganda and no one will again alter the country’s borders to place the region in another country.
Museveni was speaking at the launch of the celebrations to mark 100 years since West Nile became part of Uganda. This was at Arua Hill Boma grounds Monday.
Susan Onyiru, the chairperson of the West Nile centenary celebrations organising committee, said the anniversary will be marked annually on a rotational basis across the eight districts of West Nile.
Dancers entertain guests during the celebrations.
Taban Yasin, the Yumbe LC5 chairperson, had earlier told the President that South Sudan authorities were claiming areas in the district and blocking Ugandans in those areas from registering for the national identity cards.
Museveni urged West Nile leaders not to worry about border conflicts with the neighbouring countries, saying the matter would be solved by the surveyors and at the right time.
The President praised the unification of West Nile with the rest of Uganda, emphasising that it was a matter of luck that brought in hardworking people.
During the celebrations, President Museveni launched Vision Group's Arua One FM and Urban Tv signal
“The West Nile people are hardworking, have fertile land and rich languages. We are very lucky to have West Nile as part of Uganda,” Museveni said.
A big delegation of leaders from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo attended the launch of the celebrations.
Abdel Alingi Mukuba, the Aru territory executive administrator – who led the Congolese delegation, relayed his country’s happiness in taking take part in the joyous commemoration of West Nile’s 100 years as part of Uganda.
“We are not just neighbours, but also friends. It is 100 years since we lost West Nile, but it is irrelevant to talk about it now. We want to be together with you on this day of joy,” he said.
West Nile became part of Uganda in 1914 as a result of events outside Africa that had far-reaching implications for the region, according to Gen. Moses Ali, the Second
Henry Luke Orombi, the former Archbishop of Church of Uganda, is one of the key national figures to have come from West Nile.
Speaking during yesterday’s celebrations, Arua district chairman Sam Wadri Nyakua asked President Museveni to stand in 2016, saying the country still needs him.
Nyakua said the people of West Nile were ready to support the President.
He also requested President Museveni to grant West Nile full regional status and asked that the region gets its own minister such as is the case with Karamoja and other regions.
because they were united,” he said.