Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni pushed for ‘big stick’ treatment of Eritrea on Somalia.

Halkaan ka akhri

Uganda pushed for tougher UN sanctions against Eritrea and its leader, President Isaias Afewerki, for supplying weapons to Somalia in 2007.

In the leaked US diplomatic cables, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni also criticised former Transitional Federal Government President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed for non-inclusivity and slow pace of building a national army.

Eritrea’s actions combined with the behaviour of President Yusuf were seen as contributing to the insecurity in war-torn Somalia.

In the leaked cable dated September 2007, President Museveni was quoted in a dispatch from the US embassy in Kampala pushing for tough action against Eritrea and pressure on TFG leader Yusuf to be more inclusive and announce a timeline for the transition to democracy.

“Museveni said President Isaias was preoccupied with trying to unseat (Ethiopian Prime Minister) Meles (Zenawi).

“That was all Isaias talked about, yet Museveni observed that Meles did not appear to be in any less control of Ethiopia despite Isaias, actions,” Ambassador Steven Browning wrote.

The cable arose out of a meeting between the president and former US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer on September 5 in Kampala.

Somalia has been at war with itself since dictator Siad Barre was overthrown in early 1990s.

Uganda takes keen interest in Somalia and currently, together with Burundi, it contributes troops to the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) as peacekeepers.

Restore security

President Museveni believed that Eritrea’s actions in Somalia undermined regional and international efforts to restore security.

President Museveni thus proposed to Ms Frazer that President Afewerki “needed to be talked to by the members of the UN Security Council who carry a big stick.”

Source: Daily Nation

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