President Yoweri Museveni who in London for the UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020, has decried the failure by African countries to intervene and defend Libya from the attack by western countries
Speaking to BBC Newsday’s Alan Kasujja, Mr. Museveni expressed some strong opinions how western involvement had changed the political landscape of Africa over the years, particularly the overthrow [and later killing of] of once Africa’s strongman and Libya’s long serving leader, Col Muammar Gadhafi.
The NATO led attack [a coalition of up to 19 nations], Museveni said, could have been stopped even militarily if necessary by the Africans if it wasn’t for lack of coordination.
“Africa should not have allowed the western countries to attack Libya; we should have intervened,” Mr. Museveni said in an interview aired on BBC Newsday
“We tried diplomatically buy we should have tried even militarily. Africans could have intervened and taught those people a lesson. Libya (was) an African country being attacked by foreign powers; we should have intervened. We could have stopped them. That was a failure.”
Terming the western invaders as “stupid” Museveni said launching strikes on Libya and killing its leader was not the right way to solve the civil strife in the oil rich nation.”
It involved largely air strikes on Libya’s military assets, an arms embargo, a no-fly-zone and severe economic sanctions.
Museveni, in the interview, said one of the reasons the Africans were unable to intervene was because this was asurprise attack.
“We didn’t believe it could happen; even me I couldn’t believe that anybody could be so stupid to attack an African country in that way.We had no time and we were scattered here and there, but the potential is there. If we want to chase the invaders we can chase them.” He said.
He went on: The Africans orchestrated the fight against the Portuguese in Mozambique, the Boers who were backed by all kinds of western powers; and by 1974, within 10 years, the Portuguese empire had collapsed. Africa can fight
Asked what he would have done had he been consulted to resolve the Libyan crisis, Museveni said he would have handled it diplomatically. He also said his views on Libya crisis are well documented.
“I fought Muamar Gadhafi two times, in 1972 and in 1979 because he was supporting Amin. He had his own issues, but the way it was handled (in 2011) is not the way to handle it. When he intervened in Chad, some people opposed him. When he intervened in Uganda we defeated him; then we dialogued. Actually we had become very good friends with Gadhafi. From the fighting we became very good friends.”
Listen to full interview here : Museveni believes African countries have failed to protect Libya