Page last updated at 09:34 GMT, Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Uganda bars Gaddafi kings' forum

Africa's kings around Col Gaddafi

Uganda has stopped a planned meeting of African traditional rulers led by Libya's leader Muammar Gaddafi, saying it would be too political.

The group had planned to discuss Col Gaddafi's plans for African unity, such as a single currency and army.

This contravened Uganda's constitution, which bans traditional leaders from politics, an official said.

The forum was launched last year, when more than 200 African kings and rulers named Col Gaddafi "king of kings".

Senior foreign ministry official James Mugume issued a statement saying that having traditional rulers discuss political issues without a mandate from their governments could lead to instability, reports the New Vision newspaper.

About 200 kings, princes, sultans, sheikhs and traditional leaders had been due to attend the meeting in Kampala on Tuesday to elect a secretary general for the eastern zone of the organisation, the paper says.

Col Gaddafi has been promoting his vision of African unity for several years but Africa's political leaders are lukewarm about his vision of a single government.

Correspondents say he launched the forum of traditional rulers so they could join his campaign and press Africa's national governments to sign up to his vision.

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