Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

More historic than I realised - my encounter with Gaddhafi

You may remember I attended last July's African Union summit in Uganda as part of the Southern Sudanese delegation. One incident was sufficiently odd that I really could not quite bring myself to blog about it at the time, but the time has now come. It was on the Sunday, and we were milling around the buffet tables beside Lake Victoria finding our lunch, when we became aware of a biggish crowd, focussed on a single individual, approaching us from the main meeting tent. It was not difficult to see who was at the centre of this group, and I got a couple of decent pictures as he came towards where we were standing, before he swept past us:

I do not know who he was talking to; presumably another head of state, but one who is less well known. NB that there was no sign of the rumoured bodyguard of trained Ukrainian superwomen, though we understood that he was making his way to his personal travel tent, pitched further along the bay behind us.

At the time my sense was that he was being treated by the African leaders as an eccentric but rich old uncle; the road from Entebbe to Kampala sported posters ostensibly from the people of Uganda thanking him for his generosity, but these were clearly paid for by the Libyan government as a publicity stunt. How rapidly things can change. I doubt that there will be many posters thanking him for his generosity in his future.
Tags: world: libya

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