Despite past disagreements with the Libyan leader over the pace of African integration and the awkward fact that Qaddafi provided support for Uganda’s murderous former leader, Idi Amin, Ugandan President Yoweri Musevini is highly critical of the Western intervention in Libya in an article printed by Foreign Policy magazine. While Musevini acknowledges some of the colonel’s less than admirable qualities (support for terrorism, nationalism, declaring himself ‘king of kings’) he also says the Libyan leader has done much for his country.
Musevini says an extraordinary meeting of AU leaders, in addition to mediation by the African body between Qaddafi and the leaders of those who oppose him, are the best route forward. Here are some excerpts:
“I have never taken the time to investigate socio-economic conditions within Libya. When I was last there, I could see good roads, even from the air. From the TV pictures, you can even see the rebels zooming up and down in pick-up trucks on very good roads accompanied by Western journalists. Who built these good roads? Who built the oil refineries in Brega and those other places where the fighting has been taking place recently? Were these facilities built during the time of the king and his American and British allies, or were they built by Qaddafi?”
“We must distinguish between demonstrations and insurrections. Peaceful demonstrations should not be fired upon with live bullets. Of course, even peaceful demonstrations should coordinate with the police to ensure that they do not interfere with the rights of other citizens. However, when rioters are attacking police stations and army barracks with the aim of taking power, then they are no longer demonstrators; they are insurrectionists.”
“I am totally allergic to foreign, political, and military involvement in sovereign countries, especially the African countries. If foreign intervention is good, then, African countries should be the most prosperous countries in the world.”