By Henry Mukasa PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has called for a joint East African defence system to protect the regions interests against new forces of colonialism. Delivering a keynote address at the first East Africa Community (EAC) Peace and Security Conference yesterday, Museveni asked Kenya and Tanzania whether they were guarding their legitimate 200-miles territory into the sea. Referring to the situation in Somalia, he said terrorism and piracy made the issue of defence in East Africa critical. What do we do with Somalia? Who are the forces in Somalia and what do they want? They are there, killing people. He explained that Uganda had deployed its troops in Somalia because of a possible spill-over of the insecurity to the rest of the region. The highlights of the opening ceremony included the burning of 3,500 illicit arms, both AK47 guns and SMGs, in a colourful event at the shores of Lake Victoria. In his address, Museveni said the new threats to the region were caused by foreign influence. Defence is not only about small groups like the Interahamwe, Kony, Pokot cattle rustlers, he noted. These are not the real dangers to Africa. Kony was being sent by somebody we know. Our greatest threats to Africa are from outside, those threats that led to colonisation. He cited the Interahamwe in Rwanda and the negative forces in the DR Congo as colonial residues he vowed would be defeated. The President also took a swipe at the media, saying if misused, it can cause conflicts. The media must be assisted. In our political movement, we have four aims: democracy, social, economic transformation of Africa, national unity and nationalism and pan-Africanism. If the media are against these and instead preach something else, how do we relate with them? He advised those in the media opposed to the NRM principles to keep quiet and talk about football. We cannot allow you (to preach the contrary) because we are on a historical mission. You should not obstruct this minimum programme. Rwandas President Paul Kagame, in a speech read by his prime minister, said good governance and service delivery provided a foundation for stability and development. Kagame, who chairs the EAC summit, cited corruption, election malpractices, human rights violations, bad governance and the proliferation of small arms as the regions big challenges. Other problems, he said, were refugees, cattle rustling, climate change, unemployment, money laundering and food insecurity. The Secretary General of the EAC, Jume Mwapachu, said regional integration and development hinges on peace and security. Recent events in Kenya after the 2007 general elections and the fracas in Kampala are fresh in our minds. They exemplify how our economies could be destablised with serious consequences on economic growth and jobs, he observed.