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Monday, 16 July, 2001, 00:41 GMT 01:41 UK
Ugandan child king honours Gaddafi
Muammar Gaddafi, Yoweri Museveni and King Oyo Nyimba
Mr Gaddafi met the king at Mr Museveni's swearing-in
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was granted the highest honour of the Toro tribe of western Uganda when he attended the anniversary of the coronation of their child monarch.

Mr Gaddafi was made defender of the Toro kingdom during celebrations to mark the sixth anniversary of nine-year-old King Oyo Nyimba's coronation.

The ceremony was held in King Oyo's Karuziika Palace in the town of Fort Portal, about 400 km (250 miles) west of Kampala.


The function was also attended by Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni and other dignitaries.

King Oyo appointed Mr Gaddafi as his special adviser in May when the Libyan leader visited Uganda to attend the inauguration of Mr Museveni following his re-election as president in March.

Last month, King Oyo and his entourage travelled to Tripoli in a special plane provided by Mr Gaddafi - a visit that led to the king inviting the Libyan leader to the anniversary celebrations.

Huge entourage

Colonel Gaddafi flew in from Zimbabwe with three planes and a 250-strong entourage.

He was received by President Museveni at Entebbe airport, where a phalanx of the Libyan leader's female bodyguards jostled reporters and Ugandan security forces.

Mr Gaddafi was later driven to western Uganda to attend the celebrations. The convoy of presidential vehicles stretched for more than a mile.

Dozens of cars with Libyan number plates were ferried into Uganda ahead of the three-day visit.

Thousands of Muslims were at the airport to welcome Mr Gaddafi, creating chaos outside the airport. Thousands more lined the roads waving Libyan flags.

King without power

The king of the Toro is the cultural figurehead of about one million predominantly Christian subjects.

King Oyo, like dozens of other traditional leaders in Uganda, has no political power.

But Mr Museveni revived the roles of traditional leaders in the early 1990s to perform cultural functions.

See also:

28 Mar 99 | Africa
Ugandan prince gunned down
13 Jul 01 | Africa
Gaddafi driven to support Mugabe
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