News Roundup: Tabyebwa asks foreign governments to respect Uganda’s sovereignty; Soccer body launches anti-match fixing drive; Rwanda positions to become world sports hub; South Sudan presidency denies standoff with VP

Tayebwa asked foreign countries to back off

The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Thomas Tayebwa, has warned the international community against meddling in the internal affairs of sovereign states, saying each country is entitled to manage its own affairs. Tayebwa made the remarks in Manama, Bahrain where he is attending the 146th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). According to Taybewa, political tolerance should not interfere with the values and norms of other sovereign states. The Deputy Speaker said Uganda is open to working with non-intrusive states around the world and committed on behalf of Uganda’s Parliament that the institution would make laws that promote tolerance, coexistence and mitigation of climate change. He also highlighted Uganda’s role in regional peacekeeping and said that the country has played a big role to pacify the region.

Fufa launches anti-match fixing drive

The Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) on Monday launched an anti-match fixing campaign aimed at curbing this corruption. According to FUFA President Moses Magogo, there is opportunity for Uganda to read from the same page as FIFA who are at the fore front of this battle. “Football today is facing a problem of match manipulation just like the wider society is faced with challenges like hunger, terrorism and money laundering. Match fixing kills the game because the beauty of football is in uncertainty. If you kill this element and results are predetermined then the game will not survive.”

The President also stated it is the Federation’s duty to fight match fixing and announced measures that have been put in place. Magogo revealed that for the next month, FUFA will give amnesty to anyone who has been involved in match fixing and can come out to denounce the vice. 

Rwanda positions self as world sports hub

Rwanda is banking on growing its tourism by positioning itself as Africa’s sports hub hosting major competitions. The country eyes raising $800 million in sports tourism by next year, the East African reports. The country invested Rwf160 million (about $160,000) in 2021 to upgrade Amahoro stadium, increasing its seating capacity from 25,000 to 45,000. The country, in partnership with world governing football association, Fifa, also pumped more than $350,000 in the renovation of Nyamirambo Stadium, now renamed after the late legendary Brazilian footballer Pele. The stadium’s capacity was increased to 15,000 in the revamp. FIFA is also slated to expand its schools’ programme in Rwanda, which is hosting the annual congress, with a $100 million investment in the Football for Schools kitty targeting more than 4,000 learning institutions in the country in the next four years. 

Rwanda is currently hosting the 73rd Fifa Congress which kicked off on March 13 and will go on until 17th in Kigali, bringing together about 2,000 delegates from 211-member associations and other football stakeholders. The event will focus on a range of issues facing football, including governance, ethics, and the development of the sport at all levels. The current Fifa president, Gianni Infantino, is also expected to seek re-election in the congress.

The country is positioning its sports tourism for the world, having hosted the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tours for both men and women in July 2021 and the Basketball Africa League in May of the same year. Rwanda was also the third African country to host the Ironman 70.3 Triathlon, attracting nearly 2,000 athletes from 20 countries. Kigali has also won the bid to host the 2025 World Road Cycling Championships, the first time it will be held on the African continent.

The country’s partnership with Arsenal and Paris Saint Germain in the Visit Rwanda campaign generated $445 million in tourism revenues, with over one million visitors in 2022, according to government figures.

South Sudan, Ethiopia to strengthen bilateral relations

South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit has met with the Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali who came to Juba on a one day working visit. 

The two leaders held a meeting on bilateral matters with regional dimension as well as progress of the Peace Agreement. 

The Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Deng Dau Malek noted the meeting focused on bilateral relations, regional dimensions and the progress of the Peace Agreement.  Hon. Deng also added that the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Dr Abiy Ahmed Ali held a side-line meeting with the First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny to deliberate on challenges hindering the implementation of the Peace Agreement.

SSD presidency denies deadlock with VP Machar

Meanwhile the South Sudan Presidential Press Unit has issued a statement denying claims that President Kiir and his First Vice President Riek Machara held talks that ended in a deadlock. 

The two leaders last Friday met to discuss the status of the implementation of the Revitalized Peace Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan, R-ARCSS. 

The Minister of Presidential Affairs, Dr. Barnaba  Marial Benjamin said the two principals  discussed the status of the Revitalized Peace Agreement in regards to the recent swapping of the  ministries.

Dr. Marial also mentioned that the leaders had frank deliberations in a friendly atmosphere that reflected the spirit of reconciliation, prosperity and commitment to the peace agreement. 

Last week, the government swapped two ministries, the Ministry of Defence to SPLM party and the Ministry of Interior to SPLM-IO through a Presidential decree. 

The statement from the PPU stated that while the two leaders did not  come to an agreement in the meeting, there was consensus among the parties to meet at a later date, which according to  the President’s Press Secretary Lily Adhieu Martin Manyiel, was a positive commitment to resolve the issues at hand in the spirit of cooperation. “Therefore, any attempt to portray this as an impasse threaten to jeopardize the spirit of the meeting,” Ms Manyiel’s statement reads in part. She called on the media to report professionally in order to avoid sensationalizing issues of national importance. “In recognition of this, the Presidential Press Unit urges the media professionals particularly, media staff in the Office of the First Vice President to be mindful of their responsibilities towards peace and stability in our country,” she ends, noting that President Kiir is committed to the full implementation of the Agreement in letter and spirit.

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