Uganda’s long serving leader President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni must be a very happy man after a US envoy said the Joe Biden administration still needed him to reign over the impoverished East African nation.
Such praises of Museveni, who will soon turn 78, are what some of his critics like Dr Kizza Besigye of People’s Front for Transition (Red Card Front), and Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine of the National Unity Platform (NUP), may find frustrating.
Museveni has been president since 1986 when he ascended to the country’s top office after a five-year bush war that left hundreds of thousands of Ugandans dead. His critics do not only accuse him of overstaying in power (yet on his ascent to power, he prescribed the problem of Africa as leaders who overstay in power) but also of suffocating electoral democracy, freedom of expression and of violating human rights.
In recent years, Bobi Wine has been calling on the western world to sanction Museveni and his government over some of the ills of his regime.
But when she met Museveni recently, President Joe Biden’s envoy Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US Representative to the United Nations, praised the Ugandan Commander-in-Chief’s for his role in promoting regional peace and security.
“We [the US government] still have a strong partnership with President Museveni. He has been, and continues to be, a strong leader in the region,” Thomas-Greenfield has been quoted as saying.
According to the acting spokesperson of the US Mission to the United Nations Melissa Quartell, Museveni and Thomas-Greenfield “discussed a broad range of global issues and regional security challenges” and Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield “reiterated the importance of supporting democratic institutions in Uganda.”
“Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield and President Museveni consulted on their shared commitment to helping advance peace in Somalia, South Sudan, and the Great Lakes region. They also discussed efforts to help mitigate the effect of Russia’s war on Ukraine on global food security and commodity prices, which were already heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change,” a statement attributed to Quartell further read.
“Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield expressed appreciation for Uganda’s long-standing open-door policy and hospitality for refugees, its leadership on global health security, and its commitment to economic development.”
Bobi Wine has several times begged Biden’s US government to stop funding Museveni’s government. (Read Story Here).