By Our Reporters
Fresh details have emerged why President Yoweri Museveni authored a 3,972 statement stinging United States (US) on the Libya attacks.
Museveni, who is highly respected in matters of geo-politics, had before and after publishing his opinionated article met his security chiefs, who in turn came up with similar reports specifically briefing him on the likely consequences of US attacks intended to oust Col. Muammar Gaddafi.
A highly placed security source intimated to us that US foreign policy towards Uganda may tilt considering that most of the factors underlying their military are ripe in Uganda.
Security reports indicate that it was not by accident but by design for Rwanda President Paul Kagame to differ with Museveni over the crisis in Libya.
Museveni wants a peaceful approach to avert the crisis especially United States attacks but Kagame is in full support of the current military option.
With the influence of his senior advisor, former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, Kagame is being groomed as the only kingmaker of the region which is largely assumed to be held by Museveni.
Indeed, it is reported that when Kagame’s advisors heard Museveni had bashed Americans over the attack, they organised a press interview with an international media.
Further reports show that the advisors wanted Kagame and Museveni interviewed at the same time in order to amplify the clash.
However, State House Press Secretary Tamale Mirundi is reported to have denied BBC an opportunity to interview his boss advising them to read his article which was published in the papers.
So from the look of things, Kagame’s European advisors are creating suspicion among security chiefs that they may lobby for the ousting of Museveni in order to have their man as the real political kingmaker in the Great Lakes region.
Although United States has laboured to explain that their attack against Gaddafi is not intended to ‘steal Libyan oil’, it is a highly held speculation that the attackers are targeting the black gold.
For Museveni, Western powers interested in Uganda’s oil are uncomfortable with the oil agreement he had with them.
To some extent, they feel they were cheated in regard to sharing ratios. Indeed around 2008, Museveni was in London and he refused to give more shares to the oil exploration companies.
The report shows concern that the Western powers are unhappy with Museveni’s determination to have oil refineries built in Uganda.
The Western powers wanted the oil refined in one of their countries so that they can reduce on the value addition which Uganda would have in case it refines it.
More to that, Museveni rubbed Washington the wrong way by visiting Tehran and cutting an oil deal with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Iran President) to have Iran build Uganda’s oil refinery.
After the three-day visit in May 2009, President Museveni flew back with yet-to-materialise Iranian promises to fund construction of oil-processing facilities and train Ugandan oil scholars at its University of Petroleum Studies and other institutions.
Ahmadinejad also reciprocated when he came to Kampala last year and cemented the ties.“We remain concerned about the implications of Iran’s promised investment in the oil sector and for Uganda’s foreign policy decision-making,” Ms Kathleen Fitz Gibbon, the former Political/Economic chief at the US Mission in Kampala, wrote, according to the recently leaked Wikileaks cables.
The Iranian offers appeared healthy, or even irresistible for Uganda, which has struck oil wells with an estimated 2 billion barrels, but is struggling to extract the gas amid technological and resource hamstrings.
Analysts say if Uganda proceeds with Iran oil deal, the Western powers may try to distabilise it in order to stall the process of oil extraction.
Infact, Western leaders read Museveni’s letter and scribbled down some notes. The fact is there is a serious struggle for oil going on all over the world and the feeling is that Libya is just the beginning of the process in Africa.
A political analyst says whoever presides over a country with oil should get worried, and Museveni’s statement was a true reflection of that.
Everyone wants a piece of Libya’s oil such that those who are not participating in the ‘no-fly’ zone are likely to lose out, and they are very bitter about this loss.
For example, Russia’s failure to participate means that they are not going be part of the Libyan cake. France, Britain and USA are already working out a national programme with the rebel government in Benghazi.
Actually, Hillary Clinton pointed out at her press conference in Paris last week that USA is in touch with one of the rebel leaders on an hourly basis. The French President has got another reason to smile about his involvement in Libya – his ratings at home have improved considering that he has been having a lot of problems.
In Britain, both the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition are in agreement on this and are supporting each other.
Security reports reveal that US President Barrack Obama wants to leave a legacy as far as ousting long serving presidents in Africa and in Arab states is concerned.
Indeed, during his first visit to Ghana some years back, he revealed that the time is up for long serving Presidents.
Reports add that with the ousting of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Ben. Ali of Tunisia, Obama will utilise that in his re-election campaigns to bolster support.
Obama wishes that Gaddafi is ousted before his re-election so as to increase the list of anti-American ‘dictators’ he would have ousted in his first four year term.
The other concern is the high corruption rate. The Superpowers may want to target Museveni over this.
Since the authoring of the CHOGM scandal report, European Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to Uganda, met Museveni and showed their displeasure over the high rates of corruption especially among the ministers.
The same Europeans, the report says, are closely watching how Museveni will constitute his next cabinet. They are concerned that Museveni may bring back scandal ridden ministers. This will give the International community an excuse.
UGANDA READY FOR GADDAFI
Meanwhile the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is welcome to live in the East African nation of Uganda, the President’s spokesman told The Associated Press on Wednesday, in what appears to be the first country to offer him refuge.
Intense diplomatic effort is under way to find a country where Gaddafi can go, as an international military effort against his forces continues.The spokesman for the President, Joseph Tamale Mirundi, told the AP that Gaddafi would be welcome in Uganda.
He said Uganda’s policy is to accept asylum seekers, especially because so many Ugandans fled the country during the longtime rule of dictator Idi Amin.“So we have soft spots for asylum seekers.
Gaddafi would be allowed to live here if he chooses to do so,” Mirundi said.Another possible reason Uganda might accept Gaddafi is that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is, like Gaddafi, among the old guard of African leaders.
Museveni has been in power for 25 years, though he won re-election in February amid signs that many Ugandans still genuinely support him.
Gaddafi has been in power for more than 40 years.Museveni had planned to travel to Libya in mid-March, but sent his foreign minister Sam Kutesa instead.
Days later, Museveni issued a nine-page statement denouncing the U.S. and European military action for interfering in what he said was an internal matter.
He also praised Gaddafi, though he urged the Libyan leader to negotiate with the rebels. “Whatever his faults, he is a true nationalist,” Museveni said of Gaddafi. “I prefer nationalists to puppets of foreign interests.”One complicating factor to Gaddafi’s living in Uganda may be the International Criminal Court, whose chief prosecutor has said he will decide by May whether to seek an indictment against him. Uganda is a signatory to the statute that created the court.
Muslims in Uganda may welcome Gaddafi as well. Muslim leader Hamuza Kaduga noted that Gaddafi paid for a large modern mosque in Old Kampala and has supported other projects.
Uganda currently hosts more than 20,000 refugees from Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea and Rwanda.