By Frank Kamuntu
His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, has spoken about what he believes was the indecisiveness on the part of the rest of the African continent when foreigners invaded Muammar al-Gaddafi‘s Libya in 2011.
On the sidelines of the UK-Africa Summit in London, Museveni spoke to one of the media house in an interview during which he regretted Africa’s inaction after violence broke out in the North African country in 2010.
“We should have intervened. We tried diplomatically but we could have intervened even militarily. Africa should have intervened and taught those people (attackers) a lesson. Libya was an African country being attacked by foreign powers.
“This was the first failure. Who are these people to come and discuss about Libya, Africa? I was told that Africa was not even invited; the president of Congo was invited later on,” said Museveni.
He added, “Africa failed to protect Libya because it was like a surprise attack. I did not believe that anybody could be so stupid to attack an African country that way.
“We were not prepared and we have not had time because we have been scattered but the potential is there. If Africa wants to chase the invaders, we can chase them. We defeated the Portuguese, the Boers who were backed by all sorts of foreigners.”
President Museveni also explained that although he believed Gaddafi “had his own issues”, the way to deal with him was never to leave him at the mercy of NATO allies.
Libya is currently being governed by the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli.
Tripoli where rival authorities and numerous militias are vying for power, fell into chaos after the fall of strongman Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011 which is of no doubt that the death of this strong leader after eight months of war led to the collapse of the Libyan state and left its society profoundly divided which many foreign countries have tried to reshape the split nation but still remains impossible.
In 2014, Khalifa Haftar, one of Gaddafi’s former generals who had spent 30 years in the United States, returned to Libya with political ambitions. He launched an offensive from the east of the country aimed at eliminating his opponents, the political Islamists, laying claim to ‘revolutionary’ and military legitimacy.
He was initially successful, notably in the capital, Tripoli. But since then, the country has been divided. In the east, the majority support Haftar. The west remains extremely fragmented, but most here oppose him. Each region has its own government and parliament.
Against this backdrop of social division and militarisation, the UN, under pressure from western powers, began marathon negotiations to build a “government of national accord” (GNA). This was installed in Tripoli in March 2016.