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OPENING REMARKS BY H.E. YOWERI KAGUTA MUSEVENI ON UGANDA SOLIDARITY SUMMIT ON REFUGEES

Monday, 26th June 2017
H.E. President Museveni Addresses the Summit

I greet you and welcome you to Uganda. We are happy that you decided to hold this big Conference on Refugees here in Uganda.
 
We the indigenous people of the Great Lakes, have been dealing with refugees (empuungyi, abashuhuukyi, etc.), for millennia. Our concept of refugees was dynamic, not static like the concept we hear about today. 

When there was a bad ruler (king or chief), portions of the population could kumwimuura (withdraw allegiance from a ruler) and they would okwehongyera (pledge allegiance to a new ruler). Thereafter, they would become citizens of the new area. 

Sometimes, there would be civil wars or wars of succession. The losing party would flee to another kingdom where they would be secure. To give example, in one of our kingdoms, Buganda, there was a succession war between two princes: Semakokiro and Jjunju, in the year, 1797. 

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