Uganda will not allow itself to be used by FETO as base to undermine Turkiye: Minister

Uganda will not allow itself to be used by FETO as base to undermine Turkiye: Minister

Any Turkish citizen involved in subversive activities will be deported from Uganda, says Foreign Minister Henry Oryem Okello

By Hamza Kyeyune

KAMPALA, Uganda (AA) - Uganda’s state minister for foreign affairs has recently shed light on his country’s stance toward the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its efforts to assist Turkiye in eradicating the terror group from the region.

Henry Oryem Okello’s remarks were part of an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency that also covered the Uganda-Turkiye Investment, Trade, Industry, and Tourism Summit 2022, diplomatic relations between Uganda and Turkiye, and Turkiye’s role as a mediator in the Russia-Ukraine war.

Regarding FETO, Oryem Okello said Turkish Deputy Trade Minister Riza Tuna Turagay raised the matter with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

“Those FETO fugitives who fled Turkiye to Uganda after the 2016 defeated coup have since been relocated. We know their assets and we are in discussions with the Turkish government on the transfer of these assets. We cannot support FETO. We condemn them and cannot allow them to use Uganda as their base to undermine Turkiye,” he said.

Oryem Okello said Uganda and Turkiye have excellent unshakable bilateral relations and warned that any Turkish citizen involved in subversive activities will be deported from Uganda.

On the Uganda-Turkiye Industrial Park and Trade Centre established for the Turkish business community in Nakasongola, central Uganda, during the recently concluded Uganda-Turkiye Investment, Trade, Industry and Tourism Summit 2022, he said Turkish investors in the country have shown a lot of seriousness.

“There is stiff competition in the entire region, in our neighborhood. They also want investors. Therefore, we thought we should give them incentives. They have shown a lot of interest and seriousness in our country, and they bring a lot of money, give a lot of jobs to our people. These are benefits that we must not lose. Fair competition among businesses is vital to economic development and this is playing an important role in our region, promoting growth, efficiency and poverty alleviation. These investors will also have access to the new East African Community (EAC) market hosting 266 million people and a GDP of $243 billion,” he said.

He added that although the business marriage is skewed in Turkiye’s favor, Uganda is working hard to balance the trade. Although the trade volume between Uganda and Turkiye has increased to $71 million, Turkiye's total foreign trade volume stands at $496 billion, creating an imbalance between the two trading partners.

The minister also disclosed that Uganda is hosting 35 Afghan refugees that arrived in the country following the Taliban’s takeover in August last year.

“We granted them temporary asylum at the request of the US government. We don’t know when they will be relocated. We are not constrained by their stay. The US takes care of all their expenses,” he said.

Oryem Okellos said Uganda abstained from voting in the United Nations General Assembly emergency session condemning Russia's war in Ukraine because the country needed to understand the source and dynamics of the conflict.

He hailed Turkiye’s mediation role as a diplomatic breakthrough.

“Turkiye’s mediation role is a diplomatic achievement that we strongly support and hope it can defuse tensions and resolve other issues. Given its previous mediation role in Africa, Turkiye is a reliable mediator, and its role is promising,” he added.

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