Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has come under criticism for calling
“…The state is different from
“There are many countries that have no State. They are there but they have no organised authority that runs them, Somalia is one of them. There are others but I will not mention them for diplomatic reasons,” Museveni said at an annual judges’ conference on Monday in the Ugandan capital, Kampala.
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Uganda has, over the years, been helping Somalia in its peace efforts, deploying thousands of troops to bolster military operations of the African Union Mission for Somalia (Amisom) against the rising al-Shabaab insurgents.
Uganda, with more than 6,000 troops in Somalia, is one of the largest contributors to the AU-led mission. The operation has, in recent years, been having challenges in terms of funding, non-payment and declining morale of the combat soldiers and defections to al-Shabaab of Somali troops, already too weak to hold liberated territories, reports the Monitor.
Despite his military assistance to the situation in Somalia, his comments have not gone down well with many people, particularly Somalis, who have been quick to point out Museveni’s own inefficiencies in a country he has led for decades and has refused to step down.
What is even more central to the Somalis is the tremendous role their country played in saving Uganda and Tanzania from going to war in 1972.
Since 1991 after rebels overthrew the then Somali President Siad Barre, Somalia has been experiencing serious problems of political instability, economic collapse, and terrorism threats by al-Shabaab.
But before these unfortunate events, Somalia was a peaceful and stable country to the extent that it saved Uganda under Idi Amin from a deadly threat from Tanzania in 1972.
A year before, Amin had seized power after overthrowing President Milton Obote, and would later adopt a dictatorial style of leadership that made him be seen by many as a monster.
Several key figures who lost out during the coup found sanctuary in Tanzania then under President Mwalimu Julius Nyerere.
On September 17, 1972, these Ugandan exiles living in Tanzania attempted to take back Uganda in a deadly mission. The raid was halted after Amin deployed his air force to bomb those towns.
Many of the exiles were captured and slaughtered within 72 hours, but Uganda was still at risk of losing it all had it not been for the peace deal brokered by Somalia’s Barre.
By October 19, Tanzania and Uganda had agreed to end hostilities and to pull all forces back from their common border. This pledge was made possible in a Somali-mediated peace agreement signed in Mogadishu and made public in Tanzania’s Dar es Salaam and Uganda’s Kampala on October 7, 1972.
For his role in delaying what could have been a costly war on the continent in 1972, Amin named a road in Kampala after Barre; the road was renamed Siad Barre Avenue, a name it carries to date.
Since then, Somali President Mohammed Abdullahi has been meeting his Ugandan counterpart, Museveni, for a series of issues related to the Horn of Africa region.
The comments from Museveni have, therefore, been thought to be distasteful, considering he singled out Somalia without naming others.
Here are some of the reactions:
These words reflect that president @Kagutamuseveni is unprofessional, undiplomatic and even know nothing about politics.
— Mohamed Aidarus Ⓜ️ محمد عيدروس (@MohamedAidarus1) January 28, 2019
Nothing new here museveni thought because of his troops in somalia he can say what ever he want to say but now its in somalia goverment side to do an action against those words
— mohamed dahir (@deeqdaahir) January 28, 2019
They slept again and happens only in uganda and few other places
If museveni not been the one whodelivering the speechhe would sleep 2?
3 decades of failures due to sleep??♂️
Wake up first mr sleep pic.twitter.com/SF6rVb0vTw
— Cabdalla C Jaamac (@CABDALJ) January 28, 2019
U know the problem of alcohol addicted African leaders, they simply throw words like they are in the club.
RIP for African Diplomacy
— Abdinur Gees (@AbdinurGees) January 28, 2019
This is what happens when your president is 100 years old . How about retiring
— Ayan Guled (@glued_ayan) January 28, 2019
Museveni you absolutely a piece of shiit. only an insecure, insignificant uneducated fool mocks others to prop himself up. Museveni must go. Uganda people are suffering over 32 years with under your leadership and now your interfering other countries. Shame on you. Resign now
— Suldaan Ahmed (@MrSuldaan) January 28, 2019
Mr Museveni don’t forget we were strongest military in Africa your speech makes us encourage and we will come back stronger shame on you old man!
— mohamed deeq (@MohamedMohamudN) January 28, 2019
Its total self-disrespecting to discriminately name SOMALIA arguing not to mention others for diplomatic reasons. Sir, remember you ignore the past and future.
— Salaam Salaat (@SalaamSalaat) January 29, 2019
So he will mention Somalia in public and not others that is more disrespectful than him saying there is no authority
— InformedSomali (@InformedSomali) January 28, 2019
But also u, go and rest cz u feel your entitled to Uganda and dats wat puzzles.
— kigozi acram (@AcramKigozi) January 28, 2019
How long he has been in office and since when Uganda system became role model. It’s clear that if we keep holding our country back even silviker will have his word on our status quo.
— Mohamed Osman Ali (@gabayre) January 28, 2019
— Abdirahman Shalle (@AbdirahmanShal5) January 28, 2019