Uganda President Feared Assassination By Libya's Qadhafi--Wikileaked Memo Says

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[Global: Africa]
Uganda's president Yoweri K. Museveni, once a strong friend of Libyan leader Muammar Al-Qadhafi, expressed fears that the Libyan ruler would shoot his plane from the sky as he traveled over international airspace.

The Ugandan dictator's fears were expressed to then U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Jendayi Frazer, as revealed in one of the several thousand memos leaked to news media by Wikileaks.

"President Museveni said Libyan President Qadhafi 'is a problem' for the continent and is pushing for the creation of a 'United States of Africa' to be governed by one president," according to the classified U.S. memo, which was published in The Guardian newspaper in the U.K. today.

"Museveni thought Qadhafi's plan is neither feasible nor desirable, given cultural and linguistic differences across the continent. Rather than the development of a unitary African state, Museveni said he is pushing Qadhafi and other African leaders to develop regional political federations and markets that support common objectives."

The memo went on to say: "Museveni noted that tensions with Qadhafi are growing and as a result, and he worries that Qadhafi will attack his plane while flying over international airspace. Museveni requested that the USG and GOU coordinate to provide additional air radar information when he flies over international waters."

The references are to the U.S. and Ugandan governments.

The memo documented the conversation between Frazer and Museveni, when the Ugandan was attending his son Muhozi's graduation from the Military Academy at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, on June 13, 2008

The Ugandan also expressed his frustration with DR Congo's president Joseph Kabila, whom he said " despite numerous diplomatic agreements and regional meetings" was not serious --or not capable of-- about militarily confronting the Lord's Resistance Army, which was then encamped in Congo's Garamba region. He said Kabila also likely would not accept technical and logistical involvement by Uganda's army with Congo's to jointly attack the LRA; the Ugandan said he would welcome a joint operation between Uganda's and Congo's army.

When Frazer suggested Uganda offer technical advisors to Congo's army and even embed two Ugandan soldiers in some Congolese units, the memo reads: "Museveni did not believe Kabila would accept technical or logistical assistance from the UPDF or other regional militaries. The Government of Uganda (GOU) offered the DRC a UPDF C-130 aircraft for the proposed FARDC operation but Kabila rejected it, Museveni said. Museveni did not believe technical advisors would be helpful because the FARDC needed combat personnel, not technical support."

Nevertheless, in December 2008, six months after Museveni's conversation with Frazer, the UPDF, with U.S. logistical support, launched a disastraous and failed attack against the LRA's camps in Congo. It resulted in the deaths of several hundreds of Congolese civilians. LRA are now believed to be in the Central African Republic.

The Ugandan president, in office since 1986, also spoke disparagingly about another long-time ruler, Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, to Frazer, according to the memo. When Museveni spoke with Frazer Zimbabwe had gone through the first round of voting for the presidency, which round was won by Morgan Tsvangirai.

He told Frazer that in a phone conversation, Mugabe told him that he would not accept election observers for the second round of votes from countries that were "hostile" to Zimbabwe. He told Frazer that Mugabe told him he would win the second round of voting; Tsvangirai later pulled out with reports of increased violence in the country.

Museveni clearly serves as the U.S.'s ears on the ground in Africa --there have been rumors for years about his close ties to U.S. intelligence services-- and offered his assessment of Mugabe to Frazer.

"Museveni thought Zimbabwe's faltering economy and Mugabe's poor understanding of the private sector were at the root of Zimbabwe's political problems," the memo states. "He said a discussion of the economy would provide an entry point to tell Mugabe that he has failed and is embarrassing liberation leaders. He noted that Mugabe is unwilling to take calls from most African leaders saying they are not his age-mates."

Editor's Note--The Libyan leaders name has been spelt variously in numerous articles, including:
Qahddafi and Gaddafi

For the complete memo please see TheGuardian  

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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