In Tanzania, President Julius Nyerere has announced the withdrawal of most the twenty five thousand Tanzanian troops from neighbouring Uganda.
In Tanzania, President Julius Nyerere has announced the withdrawal of most the twenty five thousand Tanzanian troops from neighbouring Uganda. The details of the operation were worked out during talks between Dr. Nyerere and the new Ugandan leader Yusufu Lule. A communique issued after their meeting on Sunday (10 June) gave no details of the discussions but emphasised the importance of unity and consultation between the two governments. A combined force of Tanzanian troops and Ugandan exiles crossed the border in April and ousted former Ugandan President Idi Amin. President Nyerere announced that mopping-up operations in Uganda had been completed, during a speech broadcast to the nation on Wednesday (6 June).
SYNOPSIS: President Nyerere addressed hundreds of party and government members in the Diamond Jubilee Hall in Dar Es Salaam. He was accompanied by his Vice-President Aboud Jumbe and the Dar Es Salaam Regional Party Secretary Ibrahim Kajembo.
The Tanzanian leader said that most troops involved in the overthrow of Amin's government would be returning home soon. He stressed that only a few would be staying in Uganda to help train a new army and police force following the disbanding of Amin's security forces. Dr. Nyerere said he had assured other neighbouring countries, including Kenya and Zaire, that Tanzania had no intention of `empire building' and had only invaded Uganda in response to what he called Amin's aggression.
Tanzanian Foreign Minister, Ben Mkapa has recently visited several East African states to clarify the position of his government following the final defeat of the remnants of Amin's army in the north of Uganda.
Dr. Nyerere announced that all soldiers who had taken part in the soldiers who had taken part in the invasion would received military decoration on their return. He emphasised that he did not want gratitude from the new Ugandan leaders but was intent on developing close and friendly relations. He rejected rumours that his government had wanted to replace President Amin with the former Ugandan leader Dr. Milton Obote. Dr. Nyerere pointed out that the Tanzanian troops could have brought about such a move if that had been his government's intention.
During his recent talks with President Lule, Dr. Nyerere also discussed the internal political situation in Uganda. There have been reports of a split in the Kampala government following complaints by some Ministers that President Lule was appointing his own supporters to important government positions. And that he was instituting policies, ignoring the Consultative Council which is intended to be the Provisional Legislature until elections can be held.