Thursday, May 12, 2011

Africa's Presidents Attend Museveni Inauguration

Several dignitaries are already in Uganda ready for the swearing in of president Yoweri Museveni for his fourth term in office. Some of whom are Nigeria’s president Jonathan Goodluck, Gambian President Yahya Jammeh and former Kenya’s Daniel arap Moi. 

President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo is also present at the ceremony. Now this is being noted as a significant figure looking at the strained relations between the two countries in the past.  Kizza Besigye, Uganda’s opposition leader landed in Uganda in an airport that had a heavy anti-riot police presence. Many have also started running battles with the police who are chasing them off the roadsides asking them to return home. 

The Daily monitor reports that there’s a huge crowd of people waiting to receive the FDC leader who has been receiving treatment in Nairobi for multiple injuries inflicted upon him by police and soldiers who attacked him on April 28 during the walk-to-work protests against high fuel prices and the rising cost of living. Besigye met with key opposition officials at the airport but was not allowed by the police to address a press conference at the airport.
Meanwhile, The Sudanese president Omar Hassan Al-Bashir has delegated one of his advisers to attend the swearing-in of his Ugandan counterpart into a new term. Bashir had been invited to attend the ceremony this week. The Sudanese leader is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of genocide and war crimes he allegedly masterminded in Darfur. 

As a member of the ICC, Uganda has a legal obligation to apprehend Bashir and turn him over to the court once he visits. Ugandan officials gave conflicting statements on whether Bashir confirmed attendance but stressed that he was invited as a matter of protocol. In the past Kampala would hand out invitations to Bashir while at the same time affirming their commitment to the ICC causing Bashir to stay away.

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