While one of the sons of former President Idi Amin Dada welcomed the visit of Israel commandos who staged the 1976 raid on Entebbe airport, the opposition Democratic Party (DP) is on the other hand angry with President Yoweri Museveni for joining his counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu in remembering the historic event.
The 1976 incident saw Israel commandos led by Yoni Netanyahu, the brother of Israel’s sitting president Benjamin Netanyahu to invade Uganda as part of mission to rescue 100 passengers whose plane had been hijacked by Pelestinian terrorists supported by Amin. The plane landed at Entebe Airport.
President Netanyahu, who formed part of the rescue group, visited the country at the beginning of this week to commemorate 40 years since the raid took place.
But DP have issued a protest notice against the visit during the party’s weekly press briefing chaired by its secretary general Mathias Nsubuga Birekerawo.
Nsubuga said the visit was unjustified since Israel commandos killed members of the Ugandan army and destroyed jets and other properties during the raid.
“DP is so disappointed with the visit because our country seems to side with a foreign aggressor while completely unmindful of the lives of Ugandan servicemen that were lost,” Nsubuga charged.
Alluding to history in regard to the creation of the state of Israel, Nsubuga said it also made Netanyahu’s visit unwelcome.
“It is also an irony that Israel that was created out of the persecution of Jews by Adolf Hitler sees no problem in itself persecuting Palestinians and not allowing for the emergence of a Palestinian State,” Nsubuga added:
“The quarrel of the Israel and Palestine is very central in the rise of what we today know as terrorism. It’s our hope that Israel can one day get a leader who can face the bitter truth and show that the mighty have to exercise justice.”
Netanyahu said his country’s raid on Uganda’s Entebbe airport 40 years ago, in which his brother was killed, “changed the course” of his life and had a lasting influence on his country’s relations with Africa.
Speaking shortly after his arrival in Uganda, Netanyahu praised Israel’s commandos’ raid on Entebbe airport which freed Israeli hostages from a hijacked plane. “International terrorism suffered a stinging defeat,” he said of the mission in July 1976.
Accused of siding with apartheid bosses during their reign in South Africa, Netanyahu regretted it, but added that the leadership of that time had learned from their mistakes.