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Ugandan President Museveni Said ‘No’—Repeatedly—to U.S., British Army Bases

Reporter Wongel Zelalem, posted a clip on Dec. 28 on her YouTube channel of Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni describing to an audience how to handle security negotiations with “Bwana NATO.” (paraphrase): “The Americans came here, and the British, and these Western governments, and they said, ‘we want to help you build your army.’ We said, ‘But we have already built the army…. So, we don’t want to be over- involved with you people. We can share some experiences, that’s all.’

“So that’s why you find that we don’t have foreign bases here, foreign armies here…because we didn’t need them [applause]. Foreign armies? What? We can defend ourselves. We don’t need anything from anybody. If we need knowledge you can come and [we can learn], and you can come back. And then we had these African countries getting problems—Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, Central African Republic—they got problems, because of that over-involvement with foreigners, in the issue of security.

“So, you can take one example—What they call SOFA, it means Status Of Forces Agreement. If [their] forces are in Uganda, how should they be handled? So, the Americans and the British brought their SOFA to me. They said, ‘when our forces are here, if they make a mistake, they should not be tried here. They should be tried in the U.S.’ Why? Then I said, ‘OK, can we make that reciprocal, so if Ugandans do something in the U.S. and they make a mistake, they will be tried back here in Uganda? They said, ‘No, no!’

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