Uganda renews plans to log rainforest reserve for sugar cane
December 21, 2007
The scheme was shelved in October after deadly protests and widespread domestic and international condemnation.
Museveni said those who oppose the plan to hand 7,100 hectares of Mabira forest reserve over to the Mehta group, a private sugar firm, are "criminals and charlatans."
"Mehta wants to expand his factory ... in the underutilized part of Mabira ... criminals and charlatans kicked up lies and caused death. We suppressed the thugs," Museveni said. "This issue should be resolved," Museveni said in a party address published in Ugandan newspapers, according to Reuters. "If we do not industrialize, where shall we get employment for the youth? I will mobilize the youth to smash ... these cliques obstructing the future of the country."
Rainforest in Uganda. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.
Reuters reports that analysts expect the unpopular measure to be opposed in parliament.
Museveni also faced criticism for plans to allow a Kenyan company to log thousands of hectares of rainforest on Bugala island in Lake Victoria for a palm oil plantation. The license for the project was withdrawn in May.