Ugandan President Idi Amin has made his first appearance outside his country since a reported assassination attempt last month.
Ugandan President Idi Amin has made his first appearance outside his country since a reported assassination attempt last month. He flew to Libreville, Gabon on Saturday (2 July) for the opening session of a summit meeting of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU).
SYNOPSIS: Although Uganda Radio said President Amin wouldn't be attending the summit, he arrived an hour before it was due to start.
Bedecked with medals, and looking in perfect health, Amin was greeted by Gabonese President Omar Bongo. Amin was the 21st head of state to arrive for the OAU summit, which is expected to deal with several disputes among its 49 members. Amin's arrival at the airport attracted a large crow -- presumably waiting to see how he looked after the reported assassination attempt. Whatever had happened, Amin obviously wasn't worrying about it. He's staying in a specially reserved hilltop residence in a Libreville suburb.
After a short ret, Amin appeared at the conference on time -- and took his seat. He hadn't bothered to change his military uniform, which was still weighted down with an impressive array of medals. Of the 49 members of the OAU, only Benin was absent from the meeting -- it is having differences of opinion with the host country. president Bongo has appealed to delegates to make the summit a session of reunion and solidarity.
President Bongo asked the delegates to shake hands over their differences -- he said all their problems could be ironed out in some way.
United Nations Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim is reportedly very unhappy about what's been happening in Southern Africa, and he regards the decolonisation process as a dangerous one.
Mr. Waldheim's theme at the summit was Rhodesia's aggression towards Mozambique. He said this had spotlighted the troubles of Southern Africa.
Mr. Waldheim heavily underlined the seriousness of the situation, and the burning need to intensify efforts towards a quick solution.