President Museveni, currently on a visit to Russia, has criticised the arrogance of western countries and their “imperial” aggression in Africa, calling it a “big mistake”.
Singling out the violent ouster and subsequent killing last year of former Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi, Mr Museveni questioned why the West ignored African Union proposal then of a negotiated settlement.
“Is it on the account of increased power; is it out of panic on account of the gradual loss of global leadership or is it on account of determination to access new resources in order to postpone the gradual receding in terms of global leadership?” he asked.
Mr Museveni, according to details contained in a statement sent by Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Lindah Nabusayi, observed that advances in technology and possession of high-grade military arsenal such as laser and satellite-guided precision bombs, stealth bombers and cruise-missiles had renewed arrogance in “some quarters in the Western world”.
He made the remarks during a public lecture in Moscow on Monday on “The situation in the Modern World and Africa” at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, a diplomatic school of Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Whatever is pushing those actors [in the West]; they are making a big mistake. Cooperating with Africa is the wise thing to do,” Mr Museveni added.
The President, a close military ally of, especially the United States, did not mention any of the aggressor countries by name, even as he went out of his way to entice Russian leaders to reset relations with Africa to the “cold-war” era.
France and the United Kingdom, after securing a UN Security Council authorisation on “no-fly” zone over Libya last year, led the military assault on Gaddafi’s forces, immobilising his military’s ability to employ missiles and bombs to tackle the National Transitional Council rebels.
Washington, in President Barack Obama’s word, led from behind in the conflict that toppled Gaddafi and resulted in his eventual gruesome killing by the rebels after he was caught hiding in a drainage tunnel during a botched escape bid.
President Museveni, who himself had a love-hate relationship with Gaddafi, crisscrossed Africa and worked up the telephone with Western capitals, as the war intensified, hoping to secure a halt to the bombing raids so that Gaddafi would remain in power and participate in talks about Libya’s future as espoused under an AU roadmap. He also penned a lengthy newspaper article in which he criticised the West’s unilateral intervention in Africa, but was ignored.
At the Moscow lecture, Mr Museveni condemned “hegemonism and imperialist practices”, insisting the pace and effects of changes in Libya would have been less disruptive had the West listened to the AU. “Incompetent and bombastic” Gaddafi and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, he noted, had given way for Western arrogance and boldness because the slain leaders failed to organise a “structured people’s war and maintain cohesion of the aggressed people.”