Ugandan foreign minister criticizes international community’s failure in resolving Gaza crisis

‘I would like to suggest that this failure on part of world is very disappointing,’ Jeje Odongo tells Anadolu

Ugandan Foreign Minister Jeje Odongo expressed deep disappointment over the international community’s failure in resolving the Gaza crisis.

Speaking to Anadolu at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, Odongo expressed his sorrow over “the slaughter, destruction and murder going on” in the besieged enclave. “It is very unfortunate that the world, up to now, has not been able to bring to bear its position, its ideas on the situation in Gaza.”

“I would like to suggest that this failure on the part of the world is very disappointing,” said Odongo, underscoring the importance of “working together” to find a solution to the situation crisis in Gaza.

Expressing concern over the situation in the Gaza Strip, the minister said: “It is sad that human beings are not being treated as human beings. We believe that the world should be able to get the people of Gaza a home of their own. And we believe through doing that we will be able to establish an opportunity for the people of Gaza, the Palestinians and the Israelis to be able to live side by side, each in their home.”

Israel has launched a deadly offensive on the Gaza Strip following a cross-border incursion by the Palestinian group Hamas on Oct. 7, 2023. The ensuing Israeli bombardment has killed 30,534 people and injured 71,920 others with mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

Increased cooperation between Türkiye, Uganda

Touching on the growing cooperation between Türkiye and Uganda, Odongo said: “First of all, Uganda and Turkey have had very important contacts and connections.”

“Our relations with Turkey … they are growing in terms of political consultation, as well as in terms of business together,” he added.

Describing the significance of Türkiye in the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) established to tackle security challenges in Somalia, Odongo said: “When we decided that the important part of the conclusion of that would be to enable the Somalis to develop a capacity to look after their own security. Turkey was the first country to join that effort. And as we speak, we are working together with Turkey, in helping the Somalis to develop capacity to look after their interests.”

Referring to bilateral agreements and evolving diplomatic relations between the two countries, Odongo said: “More and more government officials of Uganda are now coming and meeting their counterparts here in Turkey, in trying to agree on how we can work together in terms of political consultation, in terms of infrastructure development, in terms of economic growth, and in terms of looking forward, how we can be able to assist, specifically using the capacity of Turkey, to assist Uganda and the rest of Africa come out of the challenge of infrastructure and development generally.”

He emphasized the significance of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in sharing the perspective of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) with the rest of the world, saying: “I come from Africa, and being here in Antalya is an opportunity first and foremost for us in Africa to be part and parcel of a discussion on the international agenda.”

The Antalya Diplomacy Forum took place on March 1-3, under the auspices of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and on the initiative of the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

In its third edition, the forum gathered heads of state and governments, ministers, diplomats, business leaders, academics, think-tankers, and youth and media representatives for an all-encompassing debate.


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