Tanzania and other African Union (AU) members called in July for an immediate ceasefire and resumption of peace talks between the Libyan government and rebels. Foreign Affairs Minister Bernard Mwembe said: “We, as Tanzanians, are saddened by what the Libyan people are going through. We support the declaration to protect the lives of the people and we are calling on NATO to cease fire” – Majira.
The case brings to mind the events of 1978 when Tanzania was at war with Uganda. Told by Ugandan President Iddi Amin Dada that this was a war against ‘the enemies of Islam’ Colonel Gaddafi sent thousands of Libyan troops to beat back the invading Tanzanians. But, according to eye witnesses, many were mown down like flies and were buried in Uganda. Gaddafi offered to pay huge sums for the return home of the others who had surrendered, but Mwalimu Nyerere refused the money saying that Tanzania did not trade in human beings. They were returned as soon as the war was over.