23 March 2011

Uganda: Opposition Attack Museveni on Libya

Video 1: Libya's rebels under fire Outgunned by troops loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, opposition forces are finding it impossible to advance on the road ... ( Resource: Gaddafi Opponents Under Fire )

Kampala — Opposition parties have dismissed President Museveni's latest position on the Libyan crisis as hypocritical and contradictory.

"He (Museveni) does the exact opposite of what he says - and that is the danger of him," said Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) spokesperson Wafula Oguttu.

President Museveni has had a long association with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and similarities have been drawn between the two men's decade-long rules. On Monday, he penned a missive on the Libyan crisis in which he attacked Western powers for backing a no-fly zone instituted by the United Nations (UN) Security Council, reasoning that this was an act of "double standards".

Libyan government forces have continued to battle rebel forces, in defiance of the UN Security Council resolution in 1973. The resolution prevented the African Union (AU) High Level Ad-hoc Committee - which includes President Museveni - from arriving in Libya over the weekend as planned.

Mr Museveni also criticised Col. Gaddafi for his links to terrorism and "tendency to interfere in the internal affairs of many African countries" among others but at the same time, lauded him for being a secular and economically driven leader who has stood up to the West in the past.

Mr Mathias Nsubuga, the Secretary General of the Democratic Party (DP), said the attack against the West is a pre-emptive measure by Mr Museveni to try and safeguard against this type of action being taken against him in the future. "I think he is worried, that's the only word I can use," he said. "He knows the winds of change have come. "Mr Nsubuga said the claims in the statement were a desperate attempt by Mr Museveni to distance himself from Col Gaddafi, while trying to maintain their known friendship. "He is contradicting himself," Mr Nsubuga said.

Robert Kanusu, press secretary for Uganda People's Congress (UPC) called the President's condemnation of firing on peaceful demonstrators "a complete mockery."

Last month, protests in Kampala and Jinja against the claimed rigged results of Uganda's presidential and parliamentary elections led to clashes between civilians and state security forces. Mr Kanusu says Mr Museveni was behind the attacks on peaceful demonstrators, and charged him as "the very man who doesn't believe in democracy."

Chief of Protocol for foreign affairs, Ms Vasta Rwankote, said Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa returned to Uganda today and is preparing for the next meeting on the crisis. The AU has said the meeting will take place in Addis Ababa on March 25 - alongside the UN, Arab League, Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and European Union (EU).

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