Uganda settles in for new period of rule by military
| Nairobi, Kenya
In the wake of its latest political shakeup, neighboring Uganda now is operating under commission rule. But it plainly needs a new period of governmental stability.
Tanzania's President Julius Nyerere meanwhile has been playing a key role behind the scenes in the Uganda power struggles.
Members of a six-man military commission, headed by President Godfrey Binaisa's labor minister, Paulo Muwanga, and Yoweri Museveni, another Binaisa Cabinet minister, and backed by the Army chief of staff, Brig. David Oyite Ojok, appear to be the top men in the recent successful coup against Mr. Binaisa.
Last week, the military commission took over power in a bloodless coup, dismissing President Binaisa.
Mr. Muwanga, Mr. Nabudere, and Brigadier Ojok flew on May 16 to meet Tanzania's President Nyerere, who is said to have disliked the takeover but appears to have recognized the new situation and almost certainly approved the new government arrangements.His influence in Uganda is powerful, and he still has 10,000 troops there maintaining law and order.
A strange quiet has descended on the capital city of Kampala. Residents say there is none of the shooting that had become customary in the past few weeks.
Even those who claim to know the pulse-beat of Uganda are bewildered. Some believe Ugandans are resigned to another military dictatorship and are keeping their heads down. Others say the withdrawal of Tanzanian troops from Kampala and their replacement by the Ugandan Army has given people more confidence.
Tanzanian sources say that President Nyerere urged the military commission not to take any violent action against Mr. Binaisa, still believed to be at the presidential residence in Entebbe, under the protection of Tanzanian troops.
Diplomats say Mr. Nyerere does not want his troops involved in clashed with young Uganda soldiers who came up from Tanzania to expell Idi Amin from Uganda.
This disturbed and tragic scene is being watched carefully by ex-president Milton Obote in dar es Salaam, Tanzania, who maintains he knew nothing about the coup. He could, however, ride back to the power he lost to Idi Amin in 1971 on the shoulders of the military commission.