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» 21.02.2011 - Huge Uganda election funding questioned
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Uganda halts Gaddafi's meeting with traditional leaders

afrol News, 13 January - The Ugandan government has stopped a meeting of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and traditional leaders in the capital Kampala, saying the meeting was contradictory to the nation's constitution which bans traditional leaders from politics.

About 200 kings, princes, sultans, sheikhs and traditional leaders were expected to attend the forum in Kampala.

According a communiqué issued by the ministry of Foreign affairs and signed by the permanent secretary, Ambassador James Mugume, the meeting which was expected to discuss African integration and the creation of the African Union government, is beyond the jurisdiction of traditional leaders.

"Inviting kings and chiefs who are not recognised in their respective countries to come and discuss political issues may raise controversies and undermine stability in the great lakes region," Mr Mugume said in a statement.

The forum initiated by Mr Gaddafi last year saw the leader promoting his vision of African unity for several years but Africa's political leaders have been very skeptical about his vision of a single government.

In August 2008, over 200 African kings and traditional leaders met in Libya and bestowed the title "King of Kings" to Mr Gadaffi during ceremonies in Benghazi. Ugandan traditional leaders were part of the forum, whose objective was to solve problems where political leaders have failed.

King Tchiff Zie Jean Gervais of Ivory Coast, who was due to attend the cancelled meeting, called on traditional leaders not to engage in divisive politics. "Kings, sultans, princes and sheikhs of Africa do not need to do politics because they are fathers to everybody. If our children are divided by politics, it is our role to bring them together into one fold," he told local newspaper.

He warned that the struggle for power between traditional and political leaders could easily degenerate into war.

Traditional institutions were banned in 1966 in Uganda, but the government brought them back in 1993 in a move to foster peace and development.

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