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Libyan Leader Opens Uganda's Largest Mosque
    2008-03-20 00:56:18     Xinhua

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi opened Uganda's largest mosque on Wednesday at a colorful ceremony witnessed by six visiting African presidents and over 3, 500 foreign delegates.

Gaddafi, together with his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni, and presidents from Mali, Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi, Djibouti and Somalia, opened the Gaddafi National Mosque, whose cost of construction is still undisclosed.

Both Gaddafi and Museveni called for unity among Muslims and between Muslims and other religious faiths.

"Muslims of Uganda were much divided, some were pro-Libya, some (were) pro-Saudi Arabia and some (were) pro-Iran," Museveni said.

Gaddafi appealed to all Muslims in Uganda to be united, noting that there is only one Islam.

The architectural gem, located on top of Old Kampala hill, overlooking the capital Kampala, is said to be the largest in sub- Saharan Africa, sitting about 12,000 people.

According to the Jameel Byandaala Sseguya, the administrator of World Islamic Call Society in Uganda, the overseer of the project, most of the building is made of concrete, making it the strongest building around the continent with a 200 year life span

It has a compound measuring half-acre, a conference hall with translation gadgets, computer laboratory, library and a guest house, in addition to a spacious lobby and a general library.

The mosque was named after the Libyan leader, following his donation to help complete construction of the structure that had stalled since the late 1970's due to political and religious wrangles in the country.

It was reported that the Libyan government would meet the maintenance bill for the next 10 years.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Libyan leader led prayers marking the birth of Prophet Mohammed at Nakivubo Stadium, about 2 km away from the Gaddafi National Mosque.



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