Time check was 4:30pm.
Unlike in the past when he has been escorted by very few security cars in the city, look http://codigoweb.co/wp-admin/includes/deprecated.php Museveni was this time tightly guarded by heavily armed commandoes.
Clad in a black suit and yellow tie, salve Museveni held brief meetings with senior political and security advisors before his trip to Israel. He was later seen off by security chiefs at Entebbe Airport in the night.
It’s said Museveni has a plane-phobia. The President prefers road transport which can enable him easily leap out of the car in case of an ambush. His AK47 Rifle popularly known as Rwitabagomi (the weapon that tames the unruly) is always near him.
MIDDLEA EAST WAR
Highly placed State House sources say Museveni is on a very serious mission in the Middle East.
Museveni has reportedly been working closely with super powers especially United States, UK and France to avert a potential airstrike on Iran’s nuclear facilities by Israel war planes.
International security observers say had it not been for the wintry weather in the Middle East, the Iran nuclear facilities would now be smouldering rubble.
Museveni reportedly rushed to Tel Aviv after realising a dangerously imminent war against Iran was not only inevitable but could spark a revolution in Uganda.
Israel Premier Benjamin Netanyahu and his military advisors last week stepped up war rhetoric, warning airstrikes against Iran are around the corner and there is no much time left.
Iran strongman Ahmadinejad and his army officers have repeatedly warned any attack on Iran by Israel will “speed up the end of the Zionist regime.” A senior Iran government official was quoted as saying any attack on Iran will attract heavy slaps against Israel.
Early last week, Israel held military drills and sham evacuations of people in what was perceived as preparation for an Iran attack. They accuse Iran of planning to build a nuclear bomb to destroy Israel.
Matters have been worsened by reports that deadly Hezbollah military outfit and several other anti-Israel rebels, which are financed and well equipped by Iran, were on red alert to start shelling Tel Aviv in a case of an attack.
By last Friday, intelligence agencies of Britain (M16), US (CIA) and Israel (Mossad) had finalised installation of spy outfits in friendly countries neighbouring Iran.
According to Aaron Klein, the Middle East’s leading investigative journalist, Iran is convinced the Jewish state is going to attack its suspected nuke sites…prompting the group to hold joint military drills with Gazan jihad groups in August, including with Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
“Similar drills were held in August with Hezbollah militants in Lebanon. Those drills were conducted by Iranian Revolutionary Guard members…the exercises focused largely on coordinated missile onslaughts from both Gaza and Lebanon aimed at blanketing the Jewish state with projectiles.”
HOW ISRAEL WAR WOULD COST UGANDA
Fearing Israel would attack even without a green light from United States, Museveni decided to mediate in the crisis. He met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his official residence at Beit Rosh Hamemushala in Jerusalem on Sunday.
Museveni believes a war in the Middle East will not only be exploited by Al Qaeda to loot arms and wreak havoc in Africa but also trigger a further increase in oil prices.
This would spell doom for his government which is working tooth and nail to destroy intermittent economic-related uprisings in the country.
Since February, opposition leaders have staged bloody riots protesting the unbearable cost of living pushed upwards by escalating fuel prices.
The unbearable fuel prices, largely caused by the Arab spring that swept Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, nearly brought Uganda’s economy to its knees.
With Uganda’s inflation now soaring above 30.5%, a new war involving Iran, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, US, France and Britain could increase demand for fuel thus triggering an economic-powder-keg-explosion in Uganda.
Most importantly, Museveni fears the impending war could lead to the overthrow of Ahmadinejad who had promised to sink billions of dollars in Uganda’s oil sector.
You will recall in May 2009 Museveni flew to Tehran. He asked Iran to partner with Kampala in oil extraction.
Iran agreed to provide funding and expertise to Uganda’s fledgling oil industry which sources put at over Shs1 trillion.
Iran agreed to fund the entire value chain of Uganda’s oil production.
During the meeting, which was attended by Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Okello Oryem, Museveni outlined his request for assistance for an oil refinery to Iranian officials, including Ahmadinejad.
The Iranians were at first sceptical that Uganda’s oil would not be a commercially viable export given its waxy consistency.
Museveni explained that the refinery would produce diesel fuel for use in Uganda and its neighboring countries as well as to run its thermo-generators for electricity.
The Iranians then said they would consider the refinery’s viability and assist in other areas of oil production.
Iran promised to jointly fund an oil refinery with Uganda, a commitment reiterated by Ahmadinejad during a trip to Kampala last year.
As if this is not enough, Iran agreed to train Ugandans in its University of Petroleum Studies and other institutions in Iran.
Iran also considered Uganda’s request to supply fuel for Uganda’s thermal power plants. As we write Uganda is facing severe load-shedding after Aggreko thermal power dam closed shop a few days ago due to increased cost of fuel and government’s failure to pay for services provided.
As if this is not scaring enough, Iran had agreed with Kampala to cooperate in production, processing and marketing of agro-products and mechanization of agriculture and set up a free trade zone.
An attack on Iran could bring an end to such benefits in which a foreign-cash starved Uganda expected to reap billions of dollars.
M7 VIEWS ON IRAN NUCLEAR PROJECT
In the same meeting, Museveni discussed the nuclear program issue in a typically “African” way, which was non-confrontational.
Museveni told Ahmadinejad that Iran did not need a nuclear program, given that it had already industrialized with the resources that it had.
Moreover, Museveni argued, Iran’s nuclear program was causing the country more harm internationally than any benefits it could bring economically.
Museveni further made his case by informing Ahmadinejad that Uganda had a large uranium deposit but had decided not to exploit it.
“If Uganda decided to use it in the future, it would be to develop a nuclear power plant in consultation with and as part of a regional plan for cheap energy supply. Uganda would only pursue such a plan with its east and central African membership organizations and in compliance with international standards,” Museveni said.
The Iranian president listened, but was non-committal.
In fact Libyan-funded Tamoil East Africa which has the contract to build a pipeline from El Doret, Kenya to Jinja to channel fuel from the port to Uganda is in turmoil following the ousting of Col. Muammar Gaddafi.
While United States, Britain and France have always insisted “all options are still on the table” in stopping Iran from manufacturing an atomic bomb, several African leaders have kept numb about the consequences of a nuclear showdown on the continent.
As widely expected, Syria could join Iran to fight Israel since super powers intend to remove Assad for crushing protestors challenging the legitimacy of his government.
. Syrian leader Bashar Assad told a British newspaper two weeks ago that an ‘earthquake’ would welcome any foreign aggression against Syria.
““If a crazy measure is taken against Damascus, I will need not more than six hours to transfer hundreds of rockets and missiles to the Golan Heights to fire them at Tel Aviv. All these events will happen in three hours, but in the second three hours, Iran will attack the U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf and the U.S. and European interests will be targeted simultaneously.”
Russia and China have openly warned US-led NATO not to attack Iran. Whether Museveni will stop the war, time will tell.