East Africa: Museveni Calls Signing of Pipeline Deal 'Third Victory' for Tanzania and Uganda

Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, right, gestures during a meeting with Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan that preceded the signing of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) Tripartite Project Agreement at State House Entebbe on April 11, 2021.

President Yoweri Museveni has called the April 11, signing of the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline between Tanzania and Uganda as third victory for the two countries saying the choice of the date was a sentimental one.

This was President Samia Suluhu Hassan's first trip outside Tanzania as head of State since she took oath of office on March 19, following the death of he predecessor Dr John Magufuli.

"42 years ago, this same day is when the Tanzanian troops of the 20th Division under General David Msuguri, captured Kampala and enabled a Ugandan army officer David Oyite Ojok to announce the fall of Idi Amin on Radio Uganda," said President Museveni

He added: At that very moment with my rapidly growing Fronasa troops operating with another TPDF task force division under Major General Cyrus Mayunga, I was on the Mbarara front. Today, therefore, is a triple victory for Tanzania and Uganda... . Ushindi wa Mara tatu... ...

Speaking at State House Entebbe, Mr Museveni said the two countries have in the past posted military and political victories and now with the oil pipeline deal it is an economic victory.

According to the Ugandan President, when the Tanzanian route became viable a new consideration crossed his mind - the historical contribution of Tanzania in the liberation of Uganda in both 1978-79 and 1985-86.

"On these two occasions Mwalimu Nyerere played a very important role, In the 1978-79, TPDF played a major role in removing Idi Amin from power. In 1985-86, Mwalimu Nyerere gave us 5000 riffles at the right time just before the assault on Kampala starting on the 17th of January 1986," he said.

On Kenya's role he said the two countries are brotherly, just like Tanzania, however, historically there is this unique role of Tanzania that makes him feel indebted.

" I am, therefore, most satisfied that the project will make a modest contribution to the development of Tanzania. It cannot compensate for the huge sacrifice that Tanzania made for the defeat of Idi Amin, and the liberation of the whole of Southern Africa (Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Angola, Namibia and South Africa. It is just a modest contribution, "he said.

He added: Moreover this pipeline project might be core of bigger developments if brothers in Congo and South Sudan choose to use it for their oil, at the maximum it can carry 230,000 barrels per day.

Uganda's head of State also said that apart from oil the same corridor can be used can take a return pipeline supplying Tanzanian and Mozambican gas to Uganda and the great lakes region.

The gas according to him will be used to smelt the huge reserves of Iron ore that they have in Uganda.

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