Search Site: OnlineNigeria

Close






African Heads of state knocked over in Libyan, Ugandan presidential guards fracas

Posted by By Sun News Publishing on 2008/03/24 | Views: 842 |

African Heads of state knocked over in Libyan, Ugandan presidential guards fracas


A ceremony attended by the heads of state from 11 African nations on Wednesday in Uganda turned to a source of embarrassment to the continent as several of the leaders were knocked over after a fight between Ugandan and Libyan presidential guards sparked chaos.

A ceremony attended by the heads of state from 11 African nations on Wednesday in Uganda turned to a source of embarrassment to the continent as several of the leaders were knocked over after a fight between Ugandan and Libyan presidential guards sparked chaos.

The fight prompted a crisis meeting by Ugandan security authorities, after which invited diplomats from mainly the European missions in Uganda expressed dismay. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni briefly lost his balance when a hefty Libyan guard pushed him to a wall. Another Libyan guard pushed Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who also lost his balance but was caught by his own guards. The vice president of Tanzania was knocked over by fighting guards as he was taking his shoes off to enter the mosque. No leaders were hurt in the melee.

Several of the guards to the visiting heads of state from Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Mali, Somalia, Sudan and Djibouti sustained serious injuries in the fight, which included punches, kicks and the drawing of guns. Several journalists also were caught up in the fracas and suffered injuries or lost their grips on cameras and recorders.

The incident occurred at the opening of a massive Gadhafi National Mosque in Kampala, a structure begun by the late Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in 1972 and completed with financing from Libya, according to African media reports. Minutes after Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and his host, Museveni, jointly unveiled a plaque to mark the event, the Libyan guards pushed away the guards of other delegations at the mosque's entrance.

The Ugandan guards who had traded hostilities with the predominantly-Arab Libyan guards at every joint event since Gadhafi's arrival in the country Sunday reacted with fury and fought back.

Some leaders notably those from Somalia, Burundi and Djibouti were visibly uneasy as guns were drawn on all sides. By the time the fight was over more than six minutes later, about a dozen presidential guards were left bleeding from compound fractures and the Libyan and Ugandan protocol officials traded bitter accusations of disrespect and racism. "What are your people up to? Do you want to kill our leader?" a Libyan protocol official said to his Ugandan counterpart.

The Ugandan official, who declined to be named, shouted back, "Why do think you're superior? What makes you think Uganda has any ill intention against Gadhafi?" The Ugandan official said Museveni's guards were simply doing their job as security for the host country and had a right to respond when the Libyan guards pushed them back.

Capt. Edison Kwesiga, the spokesman of the Ugandan Presidential Guard Brigade, confirmed their hostile relationship with the Libyans. "It is our responsibility to ensure the safety of any visiting head of state. We have to do our job using any means. But our Libyan brothers always want us to fail. True, it's not the first time they come and act as you see," Kwesiga said.

"It's disgrace. It shows there is something wrong yet unknown between the two parties," said the head of one European mission in Kampala, who declined to be named. The police chief, Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura, and the head of the army, Gen. Aronda Nyakairima, declined to comment on the fight.

Read Full Story Here.... :
Leave Comment Here :



Add Comment

* Required information
1000
Captcha Image

Comments (0)

No comments yet. Be the first!