Thursday, January 3, 2008

Uganda opposition demands Museveni withdraw Kibaki congratulations

Uganda's opposition has demanded that President Museveni withdraw his congratulatory message to Kenya's Commander-in-Thief, Mwai Kibaki, or risk looking like an interested party in Kenya's turmoil. There have been unconfirmed reports that Uganda GSU officers have been deployed to opposition strongholds of Kisumu and Eldoret to quell the violence ostensibly after Kenyan GSU declined a shoot-to-kill order. The US was amongst the first to congratulate Kibaki, but the US State Department has since withdrawn it's congratulatory message through the US Embassy in Nairobi after it became apparent that Kibaki was involved in massive rigging and the EU dismissed the presidential elections as lacking credibility and called for the formation of an independent audit. The Union also rated the just concluded General Election as falling below international and regional standards. One State Department official was quoted as saying "We ain't congratulatin' nobody."

Reagan Okumu, Secretary for Regional and International Relations for Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) made these remarks in Kampala as reports surfaced in the daily papers that in his capacity as the chairman of the East African Community (EAC), President Yoweri Museveni has been talking with his Kenyan counterpart, Mwai Kibaki, as well as opposition leader Raila Odinga to try and resolve the crisis in Kenya. A statement from senior presidential adviser John Nagenda said Museveni had been in touch with Kibaki to “congratulate him on his re-election as president”. Museveni also inquired if there was “anything the EAC could do about the outbreak of violence in Kenya following the rejection of the results of one of the candidates.” Museveni’s efforts, jointly carried out with Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete, have not yet borne fruit but they are continuing, Nagenda added. Okumu said that AU, not Museveni, is more qualified to mediate the Kenyan crisis.

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