A US government official joined African presidents in Kampala to represent President Barack Obama at the swearing in ceremony of President Yoweri Museveni.
Museveni had actually invited Obama himself as well as the UK Prime Minister David Cameron to his inauguration.
Obama instead sent Ambassador Bruce Wharton, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs with the US Department of State, to represent him.
Washington has been sharply criticising the outcomes of February 18 elections and the post-election environment in Uganda.
US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ms Samantha Power, even described Museveni as a threat to Uganda’s future stability.
Uhuru, Kiir, Bashir in surprise last-minute show up
Kenya president Uhuru Kenyatta who chose to first attend the World Economic Forum in Kigali Rwanda, later showed up at Entebbe Thursday morning.
He had earlier tweeted that he would be in Uganda for Museveni’s inauguration.
The event was spiced up when Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud was also announced as having arrived at Kololo grounds.
Another surprise last minute show up saw South Sudan president Salva Kiir land at Entebbe airport.
Minutes after, Sudan president Omar al-Bashir who is wanted by the international criminal court for war crimes, also showed up.
At Kololo, Bashir sat next to the scandal-ridden South African president Jacob Zuma.
Other African presidents present included; John Pombe Magufuli (Tanzania), Edgar Lungu (Zambia), Prime Minister of Swaziland Dr Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini, King Letsie III of Lesotho and the Cameroonian Premier Philémon Yang and Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou, , Mr Idriss Deby, the President of Chad, Mali’s Ibrahim Boubabacar and Chad’s Idris D’by and Teodoro Obiang of Equatorial Guinea had arrived.
Zimbabwe strongman Robert Mugabe could not handle the pressure or early rising and opted to miss three-quarters of the entire ceremony.
President Paul Kagame (Rwanda) was hosting the World Economic Forum summit in Kigali while Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari, was attending an anti-corruption event in London, UK.
Other notables at the event included the former Sri Lanka president Maithripala Sirisena and former Tanzania president Jakaya Kikwete.