Ban Ki Moon Did Not Ask Museveni To Intervene In Burundi -- UN Says

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Gen. Museveni -- spinning a tall tale about what Ban Ki Moon told him?

The United Nations has refuted a story in a Ugandan newspaper that claimed U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon "asked" Uganda's dictator Gen. Yoweri Museveni to "intervene" in politically-troubled Burundi.

The article appears in today's The Daily Monitor, a Ugandan national newspaper, under the headline "UN asks Museveni to intervene in Burundi," it attributes the information to a Ugandan "State House statement" and reports that "United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has asked President Museveni to intervene and help avert a degeneration of the political crisis in Burundi sparked off by its leader Pierre Nkurunziza’s move to extend his stay in power."

Asked what kind of request the Secretary General had made of Gen. Museveni, since only the U.N. Security Council can authorize military intervention, Ban ki Moon spokesperson, Farhan Haq, made it clear no such appeal was made to the Ugandan ruler.

"Our efforts on Burundi involve getting the parties to engage in dialogue with each other and have nothing to do with military intervention. Our envoy Said Djinnit is in Burundi to hold talks among the parties," Farhan Haq said.

Asked whether Gen. Museveni had made up the purported request from the Secretary General, Farhan Haq said: "We don't have any comment on what the Ugandan authorities said and we did not put out a readout of the meeting."

Gen. Museveni himself has ruled Uganda for 29 years --19 years more than Nkurunziza has been in office-- since he seized power in 1986. At the time he condemned African rulers for overstaying in office.

In 2005 he arm-twisted Uganda's Parliament and paid some members to abolish term limits from Uganda's constitution, which all of Uganda's major opposition parties have pledged to restore.

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