Museveni attacks Gaddafi over Libyan crisis

By Timothy Nsubuga

22nd March 2011

I warned him, Museveni seems to be saying

President Yoweri Museveni has broken his loud silence over the political crisis that has engulfed Libya with a scathing attack on both Gaddafi and the Western allies trying to oust Gaddafi.

In a 17 page reaction to the Libyan crisis that Uganda Correspondent has seen, Museveni faults Gaddafi in five key areas.  First of all, he rapped Gaddafi for supporting former Ugandan President Idi Amin [RIP] for religious reasons at the time when he [Museveni] was fighting alongside the Tanzanian army to overthrow Idi Amin.

“…Col. Muammar Gaddafi, without getting enough information about Uganda, jumped in to support Idi Amin.  This was because Amin was a ‘Moslem’ and Uganda was a ‘Moslem country’ where Moslems were being ‘oppressed’ by Christians.  Amin killed a lot of people extra-judiciary and Gaddafi was identified with these mistakes”, Museveni ruled.

The second issue that Museveni attacked Gaddafi on was the Libyan leader’s push for an African continental government; aka the United States of Africa.  On this, Museveni attributed Gaddafi’s mistake to the lack of politeness among African Arabs and said:

“…The second big mistake by Gaddafi was his position vis-à-vis the African Union (AU) Continental Government “now”.  Since 1999, he has been pushing this position.  Black people are always polite.  They, normally, do not want to offend other people.  This is called: ‘obufura’ in Runyankore, mwolo in Luo – handling, especially strangers, with care and respect.  It seems some of the non-African cultures do not have ‘obufura’.

Museveni also thought Gaddafi was treating other African Heads of State like children.  “…You can witness a person talking to a mature person as if he/she is talking to a kindergarten child.  “You should do this; you should do that; etc.”  We tried to politely point out to Col. Gaddafi that this was difficult in the short and medium term…he would ‘overrule’ a decision taken by all other African Heads of State.  Some of us were forced to come out and oppose his wrong position and, working with others, we repeatedly defeated his illogical position”, Museveni said.

According to Museveni, Gaddafi’s third big mistake was his tendency to “…interfere in the internal affairs of many African countries using the little money Libya has compared to those countries.  One blatant example was his involvement with cultural leaders of Black Africa – kings, chiefs, etc.  Since the political leaders of Africa had refused to back his project of an African Government, Gaddafi, incredibly, thought that he could by-pass them and work with these kings to implement his wishes”.

On that, Museveni said he had warned Gaddafi that action would be taken against any Ugandan king who involved himself in politics because it was against Uganda’s Constitution for them to do so.  Museveni’s revelation on this issue almost certainly confirms that when he raised the alarm some time back that some cultural leaders in Uganda were being backed and or misled by a foreign State, he must have meant Gaddafi’s Libya.

Museveni’s forth big quarrel with his erstwhile ally Gaddafi, and indeed most Arab leaders, was their stance with the respect to the plight of Black African population in Sudan.  “…Many of the Arab leaders either supported or ignored the suffering of the Black people in that country.  This unfairness always created tension and friction between us and the Arabs, including Gaddafi to some extent”, Museveni revealed.

Finally, Museveni also accused Gaddafi and some Arab leaders of failing to distance themselves from acts of terrorism.  “…Sometimes Gaddafi and other Middle Eastern radicals do not distance themselves sufficiently from terrorism even when they are fighting for a just cause…the Middle Eastern radicals, quite different from the revolutionaries of Black Africa, seem to say that any means is acceptable as long as you are fighting the enemy.  That is why they hijack planes, use assassinations, plant bombs in bars, etc.  Why bomb bars”, Museveni wondered.

While giving the embattled Libyan Gaddafi some credit for maintaining his country’s independence from external influence, Museveni, typically, turned his guns on the West and said:

“…I am not able to understand the position of Western countries which appear to resent independent-minded leaders and seem to prefer puppets.  Puppets are not good for any country.  Most of the countries that have transitioned from Third World to First World status since 1945 have had independent-minded leaders…Muammar Gaddafi, whatever his faults, is a true nationalist.  I prefer nationalists to puppets of foreign interests”.

Museveni also paid tribute to Gaddafi for standing up against the West in the “oil price war” of the late 1960s and early 1970s.  He said Gaddafi “…launched a campaign to withhold Arab oil unless the West paid more for it”. Read Museveni’s reaction to the Libyan crisis in our “National” news section.  END.  Please log into every Monday to read our top stories and anytime mid-week for our news updates.

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