Uganda's President on the Gadhafi he knows
Gadhafi and Museveni
March 28th, 2011
11:23 AM ET

Uganda's President on the Gadhafi he knows

Editor’s Note: Yoweri Museveni has served as the President of Uganda for the past 25 years, during which time he has interacted repeatedly with Col. Moammar Gadhafi. For a profile of Museveni, click here. The unedited article below solely expresses the views of President Museveni.

By Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda

By the time Col. Muammar al-Gadhafi came to power in 1969, I was a third-year university student at Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania. We welcomed his rise because he was a leader in the tradition of Col. Gamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt who had a nationalist and pan-Arabist position.

Soon, however, problems cropped up with Gadhafi as far as Uganda and black Africa were concerned:

Backing Idi Amin: Idi Amin came to power in 1971 with the support of Britain and Israel because they thought he was uneducated enough to be used by them. Amin, however, turned against his sponsors when they refused to sell him guns to fight Tanzania. Unfortunately, Gadhafi, without first getting enough information about Uganda, jumped in to support Idi Amin. He did this because Amin was a "Muslim" and Uganda was a "Muslim country," where Muslims were being "oppressed" by Christians. Amin killed a lot of people extrajudicially, and Gadhafi was identified with these mistakes.

In 1972 and 1979, Gadhafi sent Libyan troops to defend Amin when we [the Uganda National Liberation Front] attacked him. I remember a Libyan Tupolev Tu-22 bomber trying to bomb us in Mbarara in 1979. The bomb ended up in Nyarubanga, Burundi, because the pilots were scared. They could not come close to bombing their intended target properly. We had already shot-down many of Amin's MIGs using surface-to-air missiles. Our Tanzanian brothers and sisters were doing much of this fighting. Many Libyan militias were captured and repatriated to Libya by Tanzania. This was a big mistake by Gadhafi and a direct aggression against the people of Uganda and East Africa.

Pushing for a United States of Africa: The second big mistake by Gadhafi was his position vis-à-vis the African Union (AU), where he called for a continental government "now." Since 1999, he has been pushing this position. Black people are always polite. They, normally, do not want to offend other people. This is called obufura in the Runyankore language, or mwolo in Luo - handling, especially strangers, with care and respect. It seems some of the non-African cultures do not haveobufura. You can witness a person talking to a mature person as if he or she is talking to a kindergarten child. "You should do this; you should do that; etc." We tried to politely point out to Gadhafi that continental governance was difficult in the short and medium term. We should, instead, aim at the Economic Community of Africa and, where possible, also aim at Regional Federations.

But Gadhafi would not relent. He would not respect the rules of the AU. Topics or discussions that had been covered by previous meetings would be resurrected by Gadhafi. He would "overrule" a decision taken by all other African heads of state. Some of us were forced to come out and oppose his wrong position and, working with others, we repeatedly defeated his illogical position.

Proclaiming himself king of kings: The third mistake has been the tendency by Gadhafi to interfere in the internal affairs of many African countries, using the little money Libya has compared to those countries. One blatant example was his involvement with cultural leaders of black Africa - kings, chiefs, etc. Since the political leaders of Africa had refused to back his project of an African government, Gadhafi, incredibly, thought that he could bypass them and work with these kings to implement his wishes. I warned Gadhafi in Addis Ababa that action would be taken against any Ugandan king who involved himself in politics, because it was against our Constitution. I moved a motion in Addis Ababa to expunge from the records of the AU all references to kings (cultural leaders) who had made speeches in our forum, because they had been invited there illegally by Colonel Gadhafi.

Ignoring the plight of Southern Sudan: The fourth big mistake was made by most of the Arab leaders, including Gadhafi to some extent. This was in connection with the long suffering people of southern Sudan. Many of the Arab leaders either supported or ignored the suffering of the black people in that country. This unfairness always created tension and friction between us and the Arabs. However, I must salute Gadhafi and President Hosni Mubarak for travelling to Khartoum just before the referendum in Sudan, during which time they advised President Omar al-Bashir to respect the results of that exercise.

Terrorism: Sometimes Gadhafi and other Middle Eastern radicals do not distance themselves sufficiently from terrorism, even when they are fighting for a just cause. Terrorism is the use of indiscriminate violence - not distinguishing between military and nonmilitary targets. The Middle Eastern radicals, quite different from the revolutionaries of black Africa, seem to say that any means is acceptable as long as you are fighting the enemy. That is why they hijack planes, use assassinations, plant bombs in bars, etc. Why bomb bars? People who go to bars are normally merrymakers, not politically minded people.

We were together with the Arabs in the anticolonial struggle. The black African liberation movements, however, developed differently from the Arab ones. Where we used arms, we fought soldiers or sabotaged infrastructure but never targeted noncombatants. These indiscriminate methods tend to isolate the struggles of the Middle East and the Arab world. It would be good if the radicals in these areas could streamline their work methods in this area of using violence indiscriminately.

These are some of the negative points in connection to Gadhafi as far as Uganda's patriots have been concerned over the years. Each of these positions taken by Gadhafi have been unfortunate and unnecessary.

Nevertheless, Gadhafi has also had many positive points, objectively speaking. These positive points have been for the good of Africa, Libya, and the Third World.

I will deal with them point by point:

Gadhafi is a nationalist: Gadhafi has conducted an independent foreign policy and, of course, also independent internal policies. I am not able to understand the position of Western countries, which appear to resent independent-minded leaders and seem to prefer puppets. Puppets are not good for any country. Most of the countries that have transitioned from Third World to First World status since 1945 have had independent-minded leaders: South Korea (Park Chung-hee), Singapore (Lee Kuan Yew), China People's Republic (Mao Tse Tung, Chou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping, Marshal Yang Shangkun, Li Peng, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao), Malaysia (Dr. Mahthir Mohamad), Brazil (Luis Inacio Lula da Silva), Iran (the Ayatollahs Khomeini and Khamenei), etc. Between World War I and World War II, the Soviet Union transitioned into an industrial country, propelled by the dictatorial but independent-minded Joseph Stalin. In Africa, we have also benefited from a number of independent-minded leaders: Colonel Nasser of Egypt, Mwalimu Nyerere of Tanzania, Samora Machel of Mozambique, and others. That is how southern Africa was liberated. That is how we got rid of Idi Amin. The stopping of genocide in Rwanda and the overthrow of Mobutu Sese-Seko in the Democratic Republic of the Congo were as a result of efforts of independent-minded African leaders.

Gadhafi, whatever his faults, is a true nationalist. I prefer nationalists to puppets of foreign interests. Where have the puppets caused the transformation of countries? I need some assistance with information on this from those who are familiar with puppetry.

By contrast, the independent-minded Gadhafi had some positive contributions to Libya, I believe, as well as Africa and the Third World. Take just one example: At the time we were fighting the criminal dictatorships here in Uganda, we had a problem arising of a complication caused by our failure to capture enough guns at Kabamba on Feb. 6, 1981. Gadhafi gave us a small consignment of 96 rifles, 100 anti-tank mines, etc., that was very useful. He did not consult Washington or Moscow before he did this. This was good for Libya, for Africa, and for the Middle East. We should also remember as part of that independent-mindedness the fact that he expelled British and American military bases from Libya.

He raised the price of oil: Before Gadhafi came to power in 1969, a barrel of oil was 40 American cents. He launched a campaign to withhold Arab oil unless the West paid more for it. I think the price went up to $20 per barrel. When the Arab-Israel war of 1973 broke out, the barrel of oil went up to $40. I am, therefore, surprised to hear that many oil producers in the world, including the Gulf countries, do not appreciate the historical role played by Gadhafi on this issue. The huge wealth many of these oil producers are enjoying was, at least in part, due to Gadhafi's efforts. The Western countries have continued to develop in spite of paying more for oil. It therefore means that the pre-Gadhafi oil situation was characterized by super exploitation of oil producing countries by the Western countries.

Gadhafi built Libya: I have never taken the time to investigate socio-economic conditions within Libya. When I was last there, I could see good roads, even from the air. From the TV pictures, you can even see the rebels zooming up and down in pick-up trucks on very good roads accompanied by Western journalists. Who built these good roads? Who built the oil refineries in Brega and those other places where the fighting has been taking place recently? Were these facilities built during the time of the king and his American and British allies, or were they built by Gadhafi?

In Tunisia and Egypt, some youths immolated themselves because they failed to get jobs. Are the Libyans without jobs also? If so, why are there hundreds of thousands of foreign workers? Is Libya's policy of providing so many jobs to Third World workers bad? Are all the children going to school in Libya? Was that the case in the past - before Gadhafi? Is the conflict in Libya economic or purely political? Possibly Libya could have transitioned more if they encouraged the private sector further. However, this is something the Libyans are better placed to judge. As it is, Libya is a middle income country with a GDP of $62 billion.

He's a moderate: Gadhafi is one of the few secular leaders in the Arab world. He does not believe in Islamic fundamentalism, which is why Libyan women have been able to go to school, to join the army, and so forth. This is a positive point on Gadhafi's side.

Coming to the present crisis, therefore, I need to point out some issues:

First, we must distinguish between demonstrations and insurrections. Peaceful demonstrations should not be fired upon with live bullets. Of course, even peaceful demonstrations should coordinate with the police to ensure that they do not interfere with the rights of other citizens. However, when rioters are attacking police stations and army barracks with the aim of taking power, then they are no longer demonstrators; they are insurrectionists. They will have to be treated as such. A responsible government would have to use reasonable force to neutralize them. Of course, the ideal responsible government should also be one that is elected by the people at periodic intervals. If there is a doubt about the legitimacy of a government, and the people decide to launch an insurrection, that should be the decision of the internal forces. It should not be for external forces to arrogate themselves that role; often, they do not have enough knowledge to decide rightly.

Excessive external involvement always brings terrible distortions. Why should external forces involve themselves? That is a vote of no confidence in the people themselves. A legitimate internal insurrection, if that is the strategy chosen by the leaders of that effort, can succeed. The Shah of Iran was defeated by an internal insurrection; the Russian Revolution in 1917 was an internal insurrection; the Revolution in Zanzibar in 1964 was an internal insurrection; the changes in Ukraine, Georgia, and so forth - all were internal insurrections. It should be for the leaders of the resistance in a given country to decide their strategy, not for foreigners to sponsor insurrection groups in sovereign countries.

I am totally allergic to foreign, political, and military involvement in sovereign countries, especially the African countries. If foreign intervention is good, then, African countries should be the most prosperous countries in the world, because we have had the greatest dosages of that: the slave trade, colonialism, neo-colonialism, imperialism, etc. But all those foreign-imposed phenomena have been disastrous. It is only recently that Africa is beginning to come up, partly because we are rejecting external meddling. External meddling and the acquiescence by Africans into that meddling have been responsible for the stagnation on our continent. The wrong definition of priorities in many African countries is, in many cases, imposed by external groups. Failure to prioritize infrastructure, for instance, especially energy, is, in part, due to some of these pressures. Instead, consumption is promoted. I have witnessed this wrong definition of priorities even here in Uganda. External interests linked up, for instance, with bogus internal groups to oppose energy projects for false reasons. How will an economy develop without energy? Quislings and their external backers do not care about all this.

Second, if you promote foreign backed insurrections in small countries like Libya, what will you do with the big ones like China, a country with a system different from the Western system? Are you going to impose a no-fly zone over China in case of some internal insurrections, as happened in Tiananmen Square, in Tibet, or in Urumqi?

Third, Western countries always use double standards. In Libya, they are very eager to impose a no-fly zone. In Bahrain and other areas where there are pro-Western regimes, they turn a blind eye to the very same or even worse conditions. We have been appealing to the United Nations to impose a no-fly zone over Somalia - so as to impede the free movement of terrorists linked to al Qaeda, which killed Americans on September 11th, killed Ugandans last July, and have caused so much damage to the Somalis - without success. Why? Are there no human beings in Somalia, as there are in Benghazi? Or is it because Somalia does not have oil that is not fully controlled by the Western oil companies, as in Libya on account of Gadhafi's nationalist posture?

Fourth, the Western countries are always very prompt in commenting on every problem in the Third World - Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, etc. Yet, some of these very countries were the ones impeding growth in those countries. There was a military coup d'état that slowly became a revolution in backward Egypt in 1952. The new leader, Nasser, had ambitions to oversee the transformation of Egypt. He wanted to build a dam not only to generate electricity but also to help with the ancient irrigation system of Egypt. He was denied money by the West because they did not believe that Egyptians needed electricity. Nasser decided to raise that money by nationalizing the Suez Canal. He was attacked by Israel, France, and Britain. To be fair to the United States, President Eisenhower opposed that aggression that time. Of course, there was also the firm stance of the Soviet Union at that time. How much electricity was this dam supposed to produce? Just 2000 megawatts - for a country like Egypt!! What moral right, then, do such people have to comment on the affairs of these countries?

Fifth, the by-now-entrenched habit of the Western countries over-using their technological superiority to impose war on less developed societies, without impeachable logic, will ignite an arms race in the world. The actions of the Western countries in Iraq and now Libya are emphasizing that might is "right." I am quite sure that many countries that are able to will scale up their military research, and in a few decades, we may have a more armed world. Weapons science is not magic. A small country like Israel is now a superpower in terms of military technology. Yet 60 years ago, Israel had to buy second-hand Fouga Magister planes from France. There are many countries that can become small Israels if this trend of Western countries overusing military means continues.

Sixth, all this notwithstanding, Col. Gadhafi should be ready to sit down with the opposition, under the mediation of the AU, with the opposition cluster of groups which now includes individuals well known to us. I know Gadhafi has his system of elected committees that convene to form a National People's Conference. Actually, Gadhafi thinks this is superior to our multi-party systems. Of course, I have never had time to study how truly competitive this system is. Anyway, even if it is competitive, there is now, apparently, a significant number of Libyans who think that there is a problem in their country's governance. Since there has not been internationally observed elections in Libya, not even by the AU, we cannot know what is correct and what is false. Therefore, a dialogue is the correct way forward.

Seventh, the AU mission was unable to enter Libya because the Western countries started bombing the day before they were supposed to arrive. However, the mission will continue. My opinion is that, in addition to what the AU mission is doing, it may be important to call an extraordinary summit of the AU in Addis Ababa to discuss this grave situation.

Eighth, regarding the Libyan opposition, I would feel embarrassed to be backed by Western war planes. Quislings of foreign interests have never helped Africa. We have had a copious supply of them in the last 50 years - Mobutu Sese-Seko, Houphouet Boigny, Kamuzu Banda, etc. The West has made a lot of mistakes in Africa and in the Middle East in the past. Apart from the slave trade and colonialism, they participated in the killing of Patrice Lumumba, until recently the only elected leader of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the poisoning of Cameroonian political leader Felix Moummie, and the assassination of Prime Minister Bartholomew Boganda of the Central African Republic. The West supported UNITA in Angola, Idi Amin - at the beginning of his regime - in Uganda, and the counter-revolutionaries in Iran in 1953. Recently, there has been some improvement in the arrogant attitudes of some of these Western countries. Certainly, with black Africa and, particularly, Uganda, the relations are good following the fair stand the West has taken on the fate of the black people of southern Sudan. With the democratization of South Africa and the freedom of the black people in southern Sudan, the difference between the patriots of Uganda and the Western governments had disappeared. Unfortunately, these rash actions on Libya are beginning to raise new problems. They should be resolved quickly.

Ninth, if the Libyan opposition groups are patriots, they should fight their war by themselves and conduct their affairs by themselves. After all, they easily captured so much equipment from the Libyan Army, why do they need foreign military support? I only had 27 rifles. To be puppets is not good.

Tenth, as to the international community, the African members of the Security Council voted for this resolution on Libya. This was contrary to what the Africa Peace and Security Council had decided in Addis Ababa recently. This is something that only the extraordinary AU summit can resolve. It was good that certain big countries in the Security Council - Russia, China, Brazil, and India - abstained on this resolution. This shows that there are balanced forces in the world that will, with more consultations, evolve more correct positions.

Eleventh, and finally, being members of the United Nations, we are bound by the resolution that was passed, however rushed the process. Nevertheless, there is a mechanism for review. The Western countries, which are most active in these rushed actions, should consider that route. It may be one way of extricating all of us from possible nasty complications. What if the Libyans loyal to Gadhafi decide to fight on? Using tanks and planes that are easily targeted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy's planes is not the only way of fighting. Who will be responsible for such a protracted war? It is high time we did more careful thinking.


soundoff (225 Responses)
  1. Sezch Wan

    "They, normally, do not want to offend other people. This is called obufura in the Runyankore language, or mwolo in Luo – handling, especially strangers, with care and respect. " – China has that too. It's called saving face. They want to respect your dignity, so they will not be harsh to your face

    March 28, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Reply
    • JAlexander

      with all due respect to President Museveni, i disagree with his view that the west is ill-motivated or applying double standards. I concede wth west has erred much in the past and he is correct in suggesting we should learn from this (as africa too must learn from its past errors). President Obama did not want to intervene in libya, however the images of AIR ATTACKS by Gadafi on libyans (protestors or insurgents...who gets to define?) is what coerced the american public and the president to feel a moral obligation to do something (memories of Rwanda anyone?). Had Gadafi simply use ground troops as Bahrain, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen & Syria is doing...then i assure you Mr President that they U.S. would have stayed out as our president and much of the American public wanted. Mr President i understand your sensitivity to western interventionism of the past, but as a keen intellect you should be diligent and nuanced enough not to provincialize the past into the present and commit the error of reflexive cyncism....you must assess each occurence on its own without the carry-forward. Thanks for sharing your opinion.

      Respectfully.

      March 28, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Reply
      • ThePeaceful

        You are right on one thing, but wrong on the other..."images of AIR ATTACKS by Gadafi on libyans (protestors or insurgents...who gets to define?) "...the right thing...the American public got dupped by "images", the press. I am sure you are aware that it is not the first time that we got fooled into believing in something that was not accurate (remember weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?)...How do you suggest the established leadership ("democratic" or not) deals with armed people taking over a region and demanding the former to step down...how do you believe the American government would react if the people of Iowa for example took up arms and decided Obama should step down...just think.
        Kadhaffi isn't a saint and is foolish at times but I truly believe that Obama got outplayed by the French who sought to increase their control over African economies by eliminating the competition (Libya). Not to mention that with Kadhaffi dead, Sarkozy wouldn't have to pay the money that the libyan government loaned him for his presidential campaign.

        March 28, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
      • Tom

        The dictator had this written for him because he is afraid he could be next in line. He is trying to be normal and prevent his people from toppling him.

        March 28, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
      • Oscar Umoja

        I fully agree with Mr.Museveni. He is right on many positions, especially his position that external forces are bad for black africans. He is also more intelligent that white western leaders by remaining an alleged dictator. Mr.Museveni knows that all the so-called great nations mentioned in the christian old testament were ruled by dictators and tyrants. By modern standards king Solomon, king David, Joshua, Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus the Persian etc. were tyrants. Did not king Solomon kill his own brothers Adonijah for no good reasons? Did not God refused to allow king David to build his Holy house because David had shed too much blood in the sight of the earth?Did not the democracy of the roman empire illegally invaded jerusalem and egypt? Shall i mention the tyrant Alexander the Great?Thus, Mr. Museveni shunning alleged western democracy is in line with the great men of the bible.See how dumb westerners are compared to an intelligent black african leader like Mr. Museveni?

        March 29, 2011 at 1:30 am |
      • kanyoka

        The facts are known. The whole world witnessed what happened in Libya, also happened in Tunisia, and in Egypt. Only Gaddafy acted foolishly to handle the very opportunity of democratic process, In his Minds Museveni aligned with Gaddafy thinking that those citizens who want change are insurrectors, rats, terrorists, "they have to face brutal forces and punishment". Museveni is wrong even to his many positive points on Gaddafi, eg Gaddaffi built Libya?, how?, if so why not then Iddi Amini built Uganda?

        March 29, 2011 at 5:26 am |
      • liz48

        The west has double standards. I am from Sri Lanka where we had a very repressive war with several rapes and murders and killings over several years. India is adjacent to Sri Lanka and the west, especially the US, turned a blind eye to the atrocities committed by the government. The Sri Lankan government always maintained a cordial relationship with the US and that was significant in their dismissal of the colossal atrocities committed. The present president, much to the chagrin of the west is a hawk and a socialist/communist. He wiped out the rebels and then invited people like Iran's president to Sri Lanka!

        March 29, 2011 at 8:31 am |
      • EL

        dear brother. I am a descendent of those forced into slavery in america and I can truely say that president museveni is correct about the ill motivated intentions of the american government. They have always operated on a double standard especially when it comes to us black americans. Obama is no better than Bush was. He started a bogus war at the exspense of the american people. As for Gadhafi it has always been the american policy to get ride of him. Obama just happened to find the right opprotunity with a fake excuse(humanitarian criss) to do it. There is evidence that the rebels are linked to al aqaida. Al aqaida has been blamed by the U.S to be responsible for the 911 attacks that killed 1000's. And america is fighting a war in afkanistan against them. So how are they supporting al aqaida on one hand and fighting them on the other. Double standards. They never like those who they can't control. what about patrice lamuba and kwame nkrumah? memories of rawanda? what about dafur? Hes not sending troops there. What it balls down to is OIL Don't let that half black and half white face(obama) trick you into believing america has changed. Obama made many promises during his campaign for presidency but has fullfilled none of them. Typical politican. And if black americans stood up to declare our independance from our former slavemasters and their children and began to rebel like those rebels in libya are doing, you can rest assure that the president would call out the police, cia, national guard, army and what ever military force they needed to crush the rebellion. Hell look what they did to the black panther party. In libya it is a civil war and both sides are killing libyan people. However it is America, french, and british forces that are joining with the rebels to killing other libyan people.

        March 29, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
      • EL

        the peaceful. Well said.

        March 29, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
      • Marcel12

        Your asessment is excellent, to conclude how can we trust another dictator like this one in Uganda

        March 30, 2011 at 10:44 am |
      • Benn

        I truly believe that Museveni deserves some listening! I think being in power for so long he obviously has some positive contributions. if the western countries really cared that much, they should move quick and fix the problem in Ivory Coast too!!! I understand that in Ivory Coast there has not been any air-bombing yet but still people are being killed! Why don't the US and other countries impose sanctions or no fly zone in Ivory Coast???
        it is hard to miss the underlying interests that the Western countries have in Libya:
        1. They want some president they can control (a puppet).
        2. They want to revenge and and avenge for the "Locabie" bombing which Gaddafi was implicated in that case!
        Or, maybe I'm wrong but the last time I heard McCain cannot stand President Obama "slow moving" into Libya because according to McCain, this is the time to oust Gaddafi! I don't know what exactly that means but I'm just worried that any president that don't share same views or behave how how the Western countries want him to, will be attacked!!
        I really don't think that should be the case! Nobody meddled with Americans business even when President Bush attacked Iraq...
        I think instead of bombing Libya and imposing sanctions, we would have used those resources to resolve the problems by involving AU, UN and the Libyans...but since that didn't happen, then all we can do is sit back and watch the world "superpowers" quench their thirst of killing spree!!
        Did you see how Italians were quick to support that? hmmm...and you wonder what double standards mean? I thought Berlusconi has been having enough problems in his country??(underage prostitution)....Sakosky cannot provide enough jobs to the French??? US is yet to recover from depression.....
        Please help me how oil is not a factor....in the name of protecting the Libyan people??

        March 30, 2011 at 11:14 am |
      • Amisi

        Are the Lybians civilians only on the rebels side?The western intervetion is not fair.Gadhafi's troops are not fighting civilians but rebels.

        April 5, 2011 at 6:21 am |
      • J2thaD

        Too bad there aren't any real footage of protesters being bombed like the media tried to portray.

        May 15, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
    • gok

      Saving face usually refers tosaving yourself some embarrassment and shame not others.

      March 28, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Reply
      • Oscar Huff Umoja

        To all the dumb Mao and Museveni bashers look at how powerful china has become by shunning democracy like old testament prophets?Also, what about the tyrant Abraham Lincoln?Did he not killed thousands of his people while he had more slaves than Robert E.Lee? Again, Mr. Museveni understanding of the real world is more accurate than brain washed americans who don,t realize that democracy was built by the brutal onslaught of Abraham Lincoln and i am sure china learned from this at Tianamen square.Yet, i give china straigh A,s in rebuilding their country and i as an african american am proud to hear Mr. Museveni speak so intelligently as a true black african leader.

        March 29, 2011 at 1:43 am |
      • Lisa Martin Ramos

        Oscar Huff Umoja: Sources? Lincoln had more slaves than all of the Confederacy? Huh?

        March 29, 2011 at 3:12 am |
      • LE

        EI
        This is in response to El's comments above. I had to write it here because the system reached the maximum number of comments for that posting:

        Museveni pays alot of people like you to defend him on the web. I am Ugandan and I think you are Ugandan too but you need to look at the suffering people of your country first and Museveni / money after.

        March 29, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
      • Minos

        @ Oscar Huff - You're so wrapped up in your own Anti-American lies that I think it would be best if you and America part ways. Move to Libya and help out you brother Gadhafi. That way, when all hell is breaking loose around you, you can look up at the American bomber and curse it with your last breath - for once in your life, all of your hate (and fear)would be justified in the moment. Otherwise, you're a bigot, fraud and traitor. Man up, pack up, and don't look back. We don't want or need you here but your dictator buddies do. Follow your heart right to the International departure gate.

        March 29, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
      • FreeSouth

        Oscar Huff Umoja is right. Lincoln did not invade the south over slavery. Read his August, 1862 open letter to the New York Tribune. Written right in the middle of the war. By directing the slaughter of 620,000, Lincoln forced the country from it's intended "republic of soverign states" (a confederacy) to a "democracy". An empire controlled by the central government.

        March 30, 2011 at 10:37 am |
      • Ed

        Free South is still fighting the American Civil War, which ended in 1865. That was probably about a century before he was born. The South lost; get over it. Now exit your ratty trailer, get into your pickup with the rebel flag in the back window and go hang out with your fellow loser Klan buddies.

        March 30, 2011 at 11:20 am |
      • FreeSouth

        Ed. Congradulations. You are correct. War ended in 1865. And General Grant was still a slaveowner. Did you read the letter?...Didn't think so.

        March 30, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • claudia

      Only 27 rifles? Really? Come on Mr President! I will remind you of what I know that you received from that tiny country in the south... the weapons, blankets, sugar, ... from Burundi. Have you already forgotten the outpouring of support from your hima friend Col Jean Baptiste Bagaza.
      Plus, don't compare your fight to that of Libyan rebels; you wouldn't beat Kadafi forces with 27 riffles (plus anything you may want from Burundi), would you?

      March 29, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Reply
      • Oscar Huff Umoja

        Minos does not have good reading comprehension.I never said that Quadafy was my brother.Nor did i say i support Quadafy.I know nothing about arab business.What i clearly said was i support my black african brother Museveni for speaking as a real black african leader.I am an african american and i don,t called people outside black skin my brother.Whatever is going on between Quadafy and arabs is their business.Also, since when is speaking freely an anti-american posture?Minos is Quadafy,s brother and an anti-american for not wanting me to speak freely.Isn,t western nations accusing Quadafy of suppressing free speech?Well,if he is, then Minos is his brother and should move to Libya.Or, Minos should stand up for democracy by saying Oscar Huff Umoja has a right to speak freely.I say Minos has a right to speak freely even when it,s obvious Minos does not comprehend clearly.

        March 29, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
      • citizen1978

        I lived in Libya. I still have family and friends in Libya. What Gaddafi "built" is a joke. 42 years in power and there are no decent roads. There aren't enough houses for people. The education system is a joke just like Gaddafi and military service is mandatory so he can send people to die whenever and wherever he wants. This president of Uganda is a joke as well if he believes all this nonsense about Gaddafi. Gaddafi is a souless terrorist and criminal and anyone who respects that has no decency.

        March 29, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
      • kanyoka

        @Oscar Huff Umoja... It seems that, you are confused, or lack of knowledge and contradicting... I can help you to think, Think this way, "MINOS IS ALSO HAS RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH"...

        March 30, 2011 at 7:12 am |
  2. Mo

    Like all tiresome dictators, Mr. Museveni confuses a whole country with a dictator. In all of his ramblings he never explains why Gadhafi has the right to oppress a country for 42 years. Also Mr. Museveni happily accepted Tanzania's help in fighting Idi Amin, but somehow sees a problem with the West helping Libya. Here is some news for you, Mr. Museveni, Libya is only geographically in Africa, its heritage and culture is Mediterranean. So Libyans aspire to be like free Europe and not like an Africa dominated by despots like you.

    March 28, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Reply
    • WilhemF

      You have no clue as what you are talking about. You know nothing about this man or his country.

      March 28, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Reply
      • Mo

        Neither do you or he know anything about Libya. He and you should just shut the hell up and let the Libyans take care of their country.

        March 28, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
      • Kojo

        You Sir, do not know anyhting about real democracy. if President Museveni is a true democrat, he wouldn't rig elections and change the constitution to abolish term limit. correct me if i'm wrong, but i think he is of the same mindsight as gaddhafi in terms of life presidents. we as Africans don't learn. even though i agree with the independency of some leaders with regards to the west, the tendency to disrespect the intelligence of the natives is stupid. he never mentioned Mugabi, who had good intentions for Zimbabwe till he felt he should be president for life.

        March 28, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
      • Tom

        Mo is right. WilhemF is one of the Museveni paid dudes to defend the despot dictator online.

        March 28, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
      • Oscar Huff Umoja

        One final reply to people like Minos and others who does not know real history or facts. I refer all concerned to 1 Chronicles 22:verses 6,7,and 8.Then to 1 Kings 2:verses 22,23,24 and 25. Also, Minos did not comment on Abraham Lincoln crushing the will of the people in the south and democracy is about the will of the people.African black leaders are sticking closer to what the biblical prophets set up.No biblical prophet allowed the people to vote for their successors. It,s surprising how many westerners don,t know this yet they claim the bible is the word of God.Even my brother Museveni position on homosexuality is biblical.Need i recite any biblical verses?Now i will do like the prophet Daniel was told – i will seal up my book and write no more replies and go my way and those with good reading comprehension and good intentions will understand.

        March 29, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
      • kanyoka

        Oscar Huff Umoja...I see you confused, you need help. your points are irrelevant here.

        March 30, 2011 at 7:19 am |
      • Anonymous coward

        Mo: are Western planes, ships and aircraft carriers a part of "let the Libyans take care of their country"?

        March 31, 2011 at 7:42 am |
    • Cedrick clark

      You know nothing ! you westerners only know how to rape and capture !

      March 28, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Reply
      • Nyarlathotep

        I've never raped nor "captured" (whatever that means in this context) anybody. But thanks for demonstrating that Third Worlders can be bigots, too.

        March 28, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
      • bh

        this is what a 3rd world education will get you.

        March 28, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
      • Oscar Huff Umoja

        Out of all the replies in this subject, my replies caught kanyoke and minos attention.It,s also interesting that kanyoke find only my replies to be irrelevant.The truth catches people attention and it gets very emotional responses.Yet, kanyoke has a right to speak freely and to fight against those he feels wronged him.Still,he should get good reading comprehension skills which would unconfuse him.

        March 31, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • P Jane

      I believe you should re-read and re-read again until you understand his arguments, then you would know the difference. Libya is in the African continent and The African Union should be the first to mediate not the western countries who only have thing in mind, control of oil for politician's business partners.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Reply
      • MK

        What has the AU done for Africa? Absolutely nothing, money hungry useless leaders.

        March 28, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
      • Tom

        Unfortunately the African Union or AU is a club of despot dictators that kill and tear gas their people all the time. Can you mention any one problem solved by the African Union? They are working hard to protect their fellow dictator. The more dictators they have on ground, the safer they feel

        March 28, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
      • Chaliz

        Mugabe sent the snipers to Libya hence I don't see any benefit the AU would bring to Libya. These old dictators, African leaders, friends of gadafi would use the AU to deploy sodiers to fight the rebels. You can't trust an african dictator if gadafi offers money. So even if I am African I say viva USA and NATO.
        Museveni is no different from idi Amin for they are both dictators pushing the people to the wall everytime. It's not about the west but about having leadership that hears and responds to the people's concern and that is what Africa needs. Not leaders who aim to enrich themselves and their inner circles. Therefore Museveni too must go.

        March 28, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
      • Oscar Huff Umoja

        Do to kanyoka haaving came out of a traumatic experience in libya,his position merits this one last reply.Thousands of african americans supports Gaddafi past and current and some of these african americans are very influential.Thus,kanyoka is actually labeling these african americans as confused they actually have verbally supported Gadaffi wherein i know nothing about libya or Gadaffi.This is the value of getting good reading comprehension skills.Otherwise,kanyoke will find himself labeling many african american supporters of Gaddaffi as being stupid,confused and anti american.Why do so many black africans and african americans don,t see things the way kanyoka sees them?

        March 31, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • umama

      Nato and US interference in the Lybia's current situation, the Egypt and Tunnisia revolution made President Mosevini and his other African Despotic buddies including the guys who currently ruling Ethiopia (btw he is his bff) and Eritriea's Isayias Afeworki really, really nervous. they are closely following these current middle east revolutions and do the best they could in preventing its success so that they could continue to stay in power for ever. and the above article is one of the many efforts these leaders' will be pulling out in the near future. i can imagine only that he wrote this one during one of the few sleepless nights he is having.

      March 28, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Reply
    • KingOfKutz

      Why would anyone want to be like Europe or America. These are the most depraved countries in the world. Africa was fine until Romans, British, Germans etc. with there superiority complexes came. Truthfully the U.S. is in no moral position to call anyone wrong or dig in other countries business. They don't give a d@mn about those people over there.

      March 28, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Reply
      • Tom

        They are better than dictator Museveni because they protect life. The despotic dictator kills and tear gases his own people. He had this article written for him because he is afraid he is next in the near future. He knows a revolution does not require a political leader but just a few determined individuals that can use facebook or twitter in addition to cell texting to collaborate and stage a peaceful demonstration.

        March 28, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
      • Bconner

        And where do you call home? Hopefully not America or Europe.

        March 28, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
      • Island Man

        I will say it again "GOD BLESS AMERICA"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A COUNTRY TO WHICH YOU MIGHT LIKE TO COME TO LIVE WHEN YOUR DICTATOR PUSHES YOU OUT OF YOUR COUNTRY.

        March 30, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • making-sense

      I’ll like my fellow Americans to please answers these questions
      1: Prior to the US bombing, Kaddafi forces manage to re-capture all previous held cities, Why didn’t he murder his own people in those cities as being alleged, “ He was moving in to kill his own people” Please also bare in mind, prior to the US bombing it was reported that about 1000 people was killed, where they civilians or rebel?
      2. Obama ran on the war in Iraq, positioning himself as a negotiator and a peace maker, he won the likes of many Non violent civilians and the anti war population around the world. My question is, unlike former Pres. Bush who took months before going into Iraq, what means did Pres. Obama sort resize bullying others to join him in the Security Council?
      3. President Obama, told us he was open to talking with adversary, Have he spoken to any, if yes , who?
      3. Can someone please tell me what was the purpose of the Nobel Peace Prize? Bare in mind, he was president for only few months, wasn’t the peace prize given because of situation as such in the Middle East now, did he conducted yourself as a peace prize recipient or a ………… How come our president didn’t at least attempt to broker some form of negotiation before bombing a sovereign country?
      4. Is America a country now that will openly back rebels with pride?
      5. Why did all the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, china) didn’t participate?
      6.If this is strictly a humanitarian and prevention of mass murders, why not over here too http://article.wn.com/view/2011/03/28/The_Ivory_Coast_Libya_and_Rwanda_Redux/

      March 28, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Reply
      • Tom

        Your English shows you are not American. To answer your questions briefly,
        1. Haven’t you been reading statements from doctors in all those towns? Lots of people have been killed by Qaddafi forces.

        2. You may want to follow current affairs. France and Britain initiated requests to the security council. The US saw the need for protecting people that were being attacked by Qaddafi forces. If the coalition didn’t intervene, they had started shelling Benghazi and several people were already dead in Benghazi and other places.

        3. The Nobel peace prize came into action when the coalition established a no fly zone to protect the defenseless Libyans that Colonel Qaddafi was shelling mercilessly. If the Nobel didn’t act, you would have seen another Bosnia or Rwanda and who do you think would be blamed for that?

        4. The rebels are people like you and me that found it necessary to defend themselves and their families. Over 90 percent of them are civilians of all walks of life.

        5. Look at the human rights records of the countries you mentioned and you will know why they didn’t participate

        6. Suctions are in place in Ivory Coast. When the Security Council sees that it is time, Gbagbo will have to go. That time is coming soon.

        March 28, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
      • making-sense

        Tom
        Your response is as ignorant to the issues as your statement about not being an American, what that have to do with the issues. Yes, I m an American citizen, and about the answers you give..... are you really serious? Before you come up with answers to questions like those I posted, please be a little logical in your views, read a little bit more world news before giving bogus answers like those you posted Mr. Talking-Point Tom. Talk first, Bomb last, thats's the way to go or perhaps sent your own relatives to die in another man's land, since you're more American then others from the way you write.

        March 28, 2011 at 9:25 pm |
      • EL

        Tom. The rebels have been linked to al aqaida and the truth is coming to light more each day. NATO COMMANDER JUST CLARIFIED THAT.

        March 29, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
      • EL

        Very good questions? He wasn't killing his own people he was crushing the armed(where did they get the arms from?) rebels' Some of them are al aqaida memebers.

        March 29, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
      • citizen1978

        I have friends and family in Libya who have seen with their own eyes the atrocities being committed by Gaddafi the criminal and his thugs. Gaddafi is sending his paid mercenaries to kidnap, torture, rape and kill people. I personally lived under the terror of this criminal for many years. The "rebels" are all the Libyan people except for that small minority in Gaddafi's pocket. If you actually read the articles instead of just the headlines you would realize what they said was that Al-Qaeda would like to become involved with the Libyan people but the Libyan people are not in the least bit interested in working with Al-Qaeda. I am so so sick of people pretending like they know something when they can't be bothered to get their facts straight.

        March 29, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
    • Sha

      Mo You are so wrong. Libya is more than just 'geographically' in Africa. There are black Libyans who were the original inhabitants of Libya before the Arab insurgents took over the country. That they have been pushed into the background does not mean that their country is no longer theirs. If the Arab Libyans want to be 'free' like the Europeans, maybe they should consider tracing their footsteps back to where they originally came from.

      March 29, 2011 at 2:33 am | Reply
      • Umuntu

        I believe you are so right, people tend to gloss over history and create their own....suddenly some parts of Africa arent inhabited by Africans....if one considers themselves African, be it black, arab, white or whatever else there might be, then they are Africans. Africa should learn to develop from its diversity....we dont envy others...we are AFRICAN

        March 29, 2011 at 4:06 am |
    • EL

      Mo the west is not helping libya, they are trying to get ride of Gadhafi who has been the enemy to begin with. They have joined with the al aqaida linked rebels to get the job done while at the same time killing libyan people. Don't be fooled by the flowery words of preventing a humanitarian crisis. NATO COMMANDER MADE IT CLEAR THAT THE REBELS ALSO INCLUDE AL AQAIDA MEMBERS.

      March 29, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Reply
      • citizen1978

        "Gene Cretz, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, called Col. Gadhafi's claims about al Qaeda's role amid the rebels "patently ridiculous.
        Mr. Cretz, the point man for U.S. contacts with the rebels, said that opposition forces were "very aware of the problem" and that they had caught "maybe three or four" members of an Algerian al Qaeda affiliate trying to infiltrate rebel forces in the first week of the uprising." Wall Street Journal

        March 29, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
  3. christina monson

    Dear Sir,
    I am very sorry that you believe the "independent thinkers" you mentioned in your article are great at all especially the likes of Josef Stalin and chairman Mao. Both along with other historical dictators like Adolph Hitler were absolutely blights upon humanity. I believe there is a way to be moral and ethical as a national leader. When a leader does not respect the life/lives of their people they do not deserve to be a leader. Each murderous example above was responsible for millions of peoples deaths and many still untold true stories of immense suffering. Each of us as persons have a responsibitlity to love and stand up for our fellow human brothers and sisters. The world is changed by one person at a time deciding that respect for life and human dignity are how they choose to contribute to society as a whole. True leaders respect life . True leaders lead by example. True leaders would never ever consent to any civilian person dying or suffering so they could rule and live an oppulent lifestyle on what should be national resources (specifically Libya) Many nations are guilty of this one. True leaders would never force someone to abide by a religious law by force as long as they respected laws forbidding crimes from theft to murder (Iran, Saudi Arabia and other theocracies). True leaders respect other peoples beliefs and allow them their opinions as long as they are respectfully aired. Time along with the human element has proved that Communism is a crock and just as corrupt as capitalism. All governments should adopt a global "Bill of Rights" guaranteeing their citizens basic human rights that are free of any state sanctioned religion. Religious intolerance, dictatorships, and of course basic human greed is what causes and fuels the violence in certain areas of the world. The world will change for the better only when the good people in it one at a time in whatever way they can big or small take a stand for themselves and each other by contributing to society in a positive manner.

    March 28, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Reply
    • KingOfKutz

      I do wholly agree with your comment. However, because of the emergence of European greed the world has changed. Of all the countries who abuse there power the U.S.A. is the worse. It would be great to live in a global world, but thats not the reality. Most people are ignorant of the truths behind the lies and cant handle them when brought out. That abliged ignorance makes it possible for the World Powers to be as they are. CORRUPT!!! Also there is a International Bill Of Rights. You can google it and a link will come up. In about 8-15yrs there will be very similar uprisings in this country. Thats when people here will begin to see how much this government doesnt give a d@mn about the citizens here. It will be an interesting time.

      March 28, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Reply
      • YetAnotherBob

        Your revolution in "this Country" has already begun in the US. It is called the "Tea Party" movement. The origonal Tea Party was a demonstration against taxes levied by Britain without allowing any representation or input from America. The current Tea Party is a reaction against a Government grown too large. Americans do not want to be involved in other countries affairs. But, we do respond to attacks by other countries. Iraq and Afganistan were invaded because they attacked us. If Omar had listened to Saudi Ariabia ind not supported Al Quida, he might still be in charge there. Fortunatly for Afganistan, he isn't.

        March 28, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
      • steve40

        Look who is talking.....Perhaps Museveni knows something other people do not know. He is eager to write this message to CNN because he knows he is next. He himself has commited so many atrocities in RD Congo and killed his own people. At least Kadhafi build his country. How about Uganda. Hope one day Museveni will pay for what he did in eastern RDC

        March 29, 2011 at 1:04 am |
    • Edward Sevume

      That is indeed right Christina. Stalin took away the life of many millions and disregarding the dead here is a sad matter.
      Many people remain unaccounted for as they disappeared in the sea of Gulags then wide spread in the most uninhabitable areas of the Soviet Union.

      March 30, 2011 at 5:56 am | Reply
  4. John Essek

    Brilliiant article...especially from an African perspective. What is good for the west has not been good for Africa. The mad man of libya has been no more heavy handed than the leaders of bahrain and other despot Arab leaders. What this article has shown is the benefits he has provided to the Libya prior to this chaos. People need to understand the history .

    The real mad men are in syria and iran... those have done nothing for their coountry

    March 28, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Reply
    • Peace

      Do you know that the Syrian president has resigned today? That means he is not a mad man like Gaddafi and Museveni
      Museveni need to resign today

      March 29, 2011 at 11:15 am | Reply
  5. Marc

    Sounds like we should mind our own business. I pretty much thought that from the beginning.

    March 28, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Reply
    • umama

      "sounds like we should mind our own business"... only when it comes to regime change, especially the despots.
      how about arming these regimes (btw including Mr. Mosevini) from the begining so that they could continue to govern for ever, of course, as long as they fullfill western interests.

      March 28, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Reply
  6. Chris

    President Museveni,

    Thank you very much for taking the time to construct this piece and express your sentiments and viewpoint. Your balanced and intelligent analysis of the situation is much appreciated and after reading this, I have a greater interest in Uganda, and your unique historical experience. Your balanced and level-headed analysis, from your unique perspective, is not lost on others. I wish other world leaders would weigh in similarly.

    Thank you very much, through your writing you have helped shape and change the world. Texas, USA.

    March 28, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Reply
    • Nathaniel

      SHILL! LOL

      March 28, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Reply
    • Umuntu

      "Editor’s Note: Yoweri Museveni has served as the President of Uganda for the past 25 years, during which time he has interacted repeatedly with Col. Moammar Gadhafi."

      Just incase you missed who penned this article, just another African dispot. – Lusaka Zambia

      March 29, 2011 at 4:13 am | Reply
  7. Prashant

    Very well explained and coherent perspective.

    March 28, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Reply
    • Mombasa

      I hope u r being sarcastic in ur analysis... This guy is a dead man walking. He is very delusional. How could he Blame the west and be the darling of the US in Africa? How r u able to stay in power for so long? No no no. Let's wake up!n!

      March 28, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Reply
      • Peace

        Mombasa you are right. Ugandans need to wake up and get rid of this guy. Face book, twitter, texting are all tools they can use to get together and demonstrate.

        March 29, 2011 at 11:21 am |
  8. Kenny Blair

    President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda sounds like a very intelligent man. We had the privilage of being guests in his great country in the earily 80's right after Ida Amine was kicked out. (We were helping to dig water wells.) My main observation is that Africian countries will only start to get better when they stop blaming others (ie the West) for all of their problems. The West is to blame for some of them to be sure but at some point each Country needs to take resposablility for the chaous that seems to rage between the different tribial groups. The line between good and evil is not drawn between different countries or even different cultures. The line between good and evil cuts through the heart of every man. (To quote Alexander S.)

    March 28, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Reply
    • Umuntu

      Intelligent he might be, but a dispot Uganda can do without!

      March 29, 2011 at 4:16 am | Reply
  9. Tired

    Any president who has been in power for 42 years-Libya or 30 years-Uganda, has no right to claim that they are still working for change and care about their people when we can barely see any consistent democracy in these nations. You have had several decades to implement your change and have failed so in 2 simple words: WALK AWAY!!
    Give other citizens a chance.

    March 28, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Reply
  10. Paul

    I have been struggling to try and offer a courteous and constructive comment in response to the views expressed by this man who has been president for 25 years running. The mindset of those who take power and never voluntarily relinquish it is the same no matter where they may be. They are in a bubble of reality in which they are only told that they wish to hear and it comes as a great surprise to them when they find out that in fact they aren't really beloved of everybody in the country and if their people were given a true opportunity they'd throw them out. It is too bad that it takes violence in many places to pry these kleptocrats from their thrones.

    So – I guess I'd say that Mr. Museveni has about zero credibility and the most value one gleams from reading his comments is to get a glimmer of insight into the mindset of dictators.

    March 28, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Reply
    • umama

      Amen!!!

      March 28, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Reply
    • KingOfKutz

      During the Dynastic Periods of Egypt family's ruled for anywhere from 20-200 years. The difference was the mindset of the people then. It wasn't the way of ruling. Ruling for 50 years is not a negative. The biggest problem is that the world is run by commerce. Thats the evil, its not the ruler. In years past the world worked on the Barter System of transaction. With the institution of commerce came a huge amounts of greed.

      The only problem I had with his statement is what he said about Amin. It didnt make since. He said that Amin stood up to Isreal. And that the Muslims where being suppressed by the Christians. So he went to war with the Isreal and I think he said Brittan so they would leave the country. So I don't understand what the reason to try and over through him was. But I already new that the picture painted to the world about Amin is incorrect. He on all accounts was a good person who was about the upliftment of his people. Wasnt gonna let his land be used and robbed by western countries.

      March 28, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Reply
      • Umuntu

        Please do a little research before you make conclusions or form opinions, Amin was a dispot that was kicked out curtesy of Mwalimu Nyerere of Tanzania. He brutalised his people before he was forced to flee to Saudi Arabia – ring any bells (the Saudi where who else flees?)

        March 29, 2011 at 4:22 am |
  11. Carlo

    Sir. it sounds like you want to be just like Kaddafi. You been in power for about 25 years only, all you need is another 20 years in power to be just like him. You are just another pathetic leader, all you care about is you and your family and not about the millions of starving people on in Uganda. Do the world a favor and do something to improve people’s lives in your country.

    March 28, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Reply
    • bisoneb

      I have had the opportunity to meet President Museveni and went to school with his sone for about a year. He has done a lot of things in Uganda to help the people. He has fought an active insurgent in the LRA. It is the LRA that has victimized the Acholi people in the north. he has made great strides in reducing the AIDs proplem in Uganda. He has put in place a number of initiates to help impoverished communities in Uganda. He has worked on increasing education throughout the country especially for women. The elections in his country have been certified by the international community and there are no term limits. He is far from a dictator and has done a lot of good for Uganda. Now should he step down, I think he should because new leadership is good for a country. With that said he is a good man who does have the best interest of his countrymen in mind as he governs.

      March 28, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Reply
      • Help

        "Gadhafi, whatever his faults, is a true nationalist. I prefer nationalists to puppets of foreign interests. Where have the puppets caused the transformation of countries? I need some assistance with information on this from those who are familiar with puppetry."

        I need some help with this statement and the others that bash western ideals. I am part of an organization that has raised millions of dollars to help rebuild his country from the rebel war. We empathize, work tirelessly, and take money from our own families to send to educate his children. And this is the response? This is what he really thinks of westerners? Help me understand why I should praise this article? Help me understand why I should believe in the cause?

        March 28, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
      • Umuntu

        "With that said he is a good man who does have the best interest of his countrymen in mind as he governs."

        – Just like Robert "Bob" Mugabe, and see where Zimbabwe is. Please if you are an appologist for Museveni, you are doing a pretty bad job, get better excuses!

        March 29, 2011 at 4:27 am |
  12. Craig

    While I don't agree with every conclusion reached, this essay does have several valuable points to share. It is well constructed, obviously well thought out, and full of insights from a point of view seldom heard. Though the writer and I might disagree, some of that would come from our vastly different perspectives, and that's fine. He has seen things up close that I can only watch from afar, and his views, like mine, are clearly tempered by the environment in which he was raised.

    We need more dialogue like this, where honest opinions are expressed without rancor, where differing points of view can be openly debated, and alternative positions explored. Maybe we're not as far apart as we tend to believe, and certainly hearing a different viewpoint can provide balance to what might see to be one-sided.

    In short, thank you CNN, for publishing this essay. I'm not certain I've changed my mind all that much, but at least I have new ideas to consider. Thank you, also, to President Museveni. Too many of us stopped noticing Uganda once Idi Amin was ousted, and that, sadly, means we know little about what has happened there. Good news from that region doesn't make the news generally. Sad.

    March 28, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  13. Sam

    excellent article. USA, France should wake up and stop killing Libyans.they have different policies for Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arbaia and all gulf states

    Liby is weak. so attcked. can they do the same to CHINA. they cant even touch his finger. Obama begs for money from china. France and UK wants more business with China.
    Shame

    March 28, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Reply
    • 4sanity

      The international community acted because of teh imminent threat by a pscyhopath to unleash mass murder on his own people who want him gone. If EVER there was a time to stand up and use military force to prevent this outright bloodbath, now is it. These despots need to know their days are numbered. Just a shame, the rest of the world didn't learn the lessons in time for Rwanda and Sudan. And China and Russia deserve a lot of the blame for obstructing more forceful UN interventions elsewhere primarily because their corrupt systems worry they might be seen as hypocrites and may be next.

      March 29, 2011 at 1:09 am | Reply
  14. Alan Dean Foster

    Dear President Museveni;
    I agree with some of what you say and disagree with some of what you say...but I appreciate you taking the time to say it.
    Now do a piece on Robert Mugabe. Tell us how much he has done for the people of Zimbabwe and what a wonderful place it is to live.
    The greatness of a country can be determined by how many people are desperate to live in it, and how many are desperate to get out.

    March 28, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Reply
    • bisoneb

      President Museveni is not a fan of Mugabe.

      March 28, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Reply
      • Umuntu

        I just had a feeling that you were an appologist for Museveni!!!! I wonder why he doesnt like Mugabe when they sound the same! "I liberated my country, and I alone hold the key to its development and prosperity"

        March 29, 2011 at 4:32 am |
  15. Joe

    Good Article. NATO will have a hard time to figure out who to defend in the near future when rebels start fighting pro Gadhafi armed civilians. I wonder what the world powers will do in Syria, civilians are been killed by goverment forces too.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Reply
    • Martine

      Is dictator Museveni trying to incite pro Gaddafi militias to fight? if so he is not going to be successful in protecting his fellow dictator friend.

      March 28, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Reply
    • Peace

      Joe, Unlike museveni and gaddafi that wish die torturing their people, the intelligent Syrian leader resigned for the people of Syria today.

      March 29, 2011 at 11:27 am | Reply
  16. Ako Eyong

    SO MUCH TRUTH FROM MR MUSEVENI. UNFORTUNATELY HIS POSITION IS SEVERELY UNDERMINED BY THE FACT THAT HE HIMSELF HAS BEEN PRESIDENT OF UGANDA FOR 25 YEARS. BUT IT DOES NOT CHANGE THE FACT THAT MUCH OF WHAT HE HAS POSTED HERE IS TRUE.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  17. John

    How long has President Yoweri Museveni been in power – time to change also?

    March 28, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Reply
  18. Landruu

    Any man who is president for 25 years is dirty. Sorry but that is the truth.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Reply
  19. Seka

    Museveni is a dictator himself and I don't think he any moral authority to talk about Ghadafi. Ghadafi is a dictator and so is Museveni and so is Mugabe. Mr Museveni your time will come once sub-saharan Africa wakes up to fight for freedom.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Reply
    • steve40

      I agree with you SEKA. Museveni does not have any balls to talk about freedom. He has been the main player in wars in Rwanda,Burundi,Congo etc,......Do you know how many innocent people died? my guess, he knows his time is up. Very soon Ugandans will walk up and do something about it. what a hypocrite.....

      March 29, 2011 at 1:20 am | Reply
  20. Nyarlathotep

    The only thing this article demonstrates to me is what Dan Pipes has called "the soft bigotry of low expectations." We, as Americans or Europeans or Australians would never tolerate a man like Museveni running our countries for 25 years, but somehow it's okay in Uganda (or for that matter, in Egypt or Bahrain or Libya) because their societies are "different." In my job, I've worked with many Middle Easterners (mostly Saudis, but also Libyans and Kuwaitis) and Africans (mostly Ivorians) and I can tell you very few of them were happy with rigged elections or endemic corruption. Really, outside of the governing parties and their sycophants, what normal person would be?

    This is why the current Middle Eastern unrest is significant. Enough of their citizens have traveled abroad or at least been exposed to the cultures of liberal democracies through the Internet, and they've decided they want some of the reforms that we've begun to take for granted. Museveni is just making excuses for Gaddafi and, indirectly, for himself. In an ideal world, Ugandans would be next up for rebellion.

    March 28, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Reply
  21. Anonymous

    I never realized how uneducated and, frankly, crazy Museveni is (let alone Qaddafi). He makes Sarah Palin look like Einstein and Abraham Lincoln rolled into one. Africa is in a whole lot of trouble if guys like this are left in charge. I weep for the future.

    March 28, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Reply
    • umama

      Amen!!! by the way, his bff, the other Ethiopian despot they are so much alike and it amazes me when i hear both considered the new africa leaders by such vip as Tony Blair and other western leaders. so shame.

      March 28, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Reply
  22. Sanza Makombo

    How ironic to think that this man cares about anyone but his coffers. After invading DR Congo in early 2000s and causing mayhem to the people of Kisangani in their fight for congolese resources against his former allies the rwandans, he wants now to show off his analytical skills through this peace of writing. 25 years as the sole "decider " in Uganda makes him no different than Gaddafi in Lybia the past 42 years. Shame on you Mr. Museveni for all the blood of africans you have wasted over the years. Why don't you just vanish away for a change in Uganda?

    March 28, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Reply
  23. Kwame

    Thank you Mr President, for your insightful analysis. I do not care if the president is in power for 200 years,so far as he can lift the Ugandan people out of poverty and make the world a better place. If not then he must give other well meaning people an opportunity. Democracy has also brought the crazies of Putin and Chavez and Gbagbo( yes he was elected in 2001 ) and the madness that was Hitler...people talk as if it is the cure all..it is not .it can be the tyranny of the majority with the vested interests. Mr Museveni may not be a Saint but his analysis is good. About the 2 faced UN and the west ? Can someone tell if the security council is a democracy...out of over 210 countries in world, how come five countries have the veto power over all decisions...all European and one Asian country.

    March 28, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Reply
    • Mawejje

      Kwame:

      I wish you knew what you are talking about. Do you know how many have been killed by the murderous regime of museveni?
      Are you sure he lifted poverty in Uganda? The guy has intentionally impoverished Ugandan villages except his home district. He takes money and distributes through his members of parliament just before every elections and the extremely poor Ugandan villagers then get to their knees to thank for an equivalent of less than a dollar in exchange for a vote.
      He spends tax payers funds on his campaigns as opposed to his opponents.
      He owns the electro commission, the military and police to intimidate and tear gas people.
      News papers write what he want them to. In fact your comments were very disturbing to me.

      I know museveni is going to follow his friend in arms Gaddafi that has kept him in power over the years.

      March 28, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Reply
    • Mombasa

      Kwame u should care. I dont like what the west is doing in Africa. But to support Museveni after 25 years, 25years is beyond reality. Museveni is no better. He is no good for Uganda, no good for Africa. He is leader with no true vision. He has no plan for Uganda. What after his death? Is he establishing a true a system that works for the people? Don't think so. Think hard..

      March 28, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Reply
  24. Jim

    Interesting words by this leader but this is the same leader of a country that has declared homosexuals as illegal and looking to pass laws to execute them and those people with HIV. Interesting how he feels Libya should have endured the slaughter of it's madman leader.

    March 28, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Reply
    • Carlos TN

      Jim, the gay issue is not a Museveni issue. In our african cultures, it hardly ever crosses anyones imagination. It is the lowest level to which human morality can go. I have not observed it even with animals. It is difficult to comprehend why Westerners want to impose it on us. Do it among yourselves and leave us out on that one.

      April 29, 2011 at 8:20 am | Reply
  25. Diego Bergonzi

    What would happen to Africa and African if the western countries withdraw all their support and trade?
    Would Africa survive on it's own? what about if Europe close its border to the millions plus immigrants that flee Africa every year? Without offense I believe that if the black people of Africa if would be given a choice of their own to choose between how they live today or go back to the Colonialism of the past they would run to the past.
    Internal wars, diseases, genocides and famines are the result of the so called independence created only to feed the thirst of power of leader that will do anything to clinch the power, stepping over the any human right or dignity of their own people in order to leave like millionaires in the "western stile".
    I'm my opinion what creates this terrible intestine wars it's Envy, seen the new leaders having all and them (the majority of people) leaving in way worst conditions than ever, the bad thing it's that those new kings or life long presidents whatever you want to call them will say it's USA or Europe fault, or it's a consequence or the Colonialism, sad thing it finish long time ago.

    March 28, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Reply
    • Umuntu

      Dear Diego,

      Please dont insult us....if you know nothing about Africa or Africans its better you keep you ignorance about us to yourself. I can assure you we can do just fine without the support that is purported to be given to us as our corrupt leaders are courted by our liberators in their quest to steel our resources.

      Have you wondered why we havent been probably left alone to rot in the disease you see in Africa?

      March 29, 2011 at 4:43 am | Reply
    • Louis

      Diego,

      Yes, lets stop supporting Africa and pull out of the middle east altogether and see how long we could last without the oil and other natural resources mined from African and other Middle Eastern countries.

      We would be in for a rude awakening.

      March 29, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Reply
    • Carlos TN

      Diego, you should be asking what would happen to Europe if they were denied access to Africa, because over the centuries, that is where they have been stealing/plundering/robbing resources. Europe is ahead in technological development but the wealth you brag about is a result of stolen resources. Simplistic arguments, like yours, wont change the facts. The intervention in Libya and other developing countries before by USA and her alliance of thieves is a continuation of this unfortunate legacy. You may wish to note that their 'humanitarian' intervention only happens where there are forces, percieved or real, which are ranged against their strategic economic interests. In histry, Europe and the Americas had their bitter internal wars – and seems they learnt a lot from them. We should also be left to sort out our issues by ourselves, because external forces deliberately cause distortions. For example, many of our compatriots are fixated with the numbers of years a leader has been in power not realising that as long the 'Big Brothers' are always around dictating and manipulating for their own interests, it will be very difficult for our less developed countries to get out of the quagmire.

      April 29, 2011 at 8:52 am | Reply
  26. Help

    "Gadhafi, whatever his faults, is a true nationalist. I prefer nationalists to puppets of foreign interests. Where have the puppets caused the transformation of countries? I need some assistance with information on this from those who are familiar with puppetry."

    I need some help with this statement and the others that bash western ideals. I am part of an organization that has raised millions of dollars to help rebuild his country from the rebel war. We empathize, work tirelessly, and take money from our own families to send to educate his children. And this is the response? This is what he really thinks of westerners? Help me understand why I should praise this article? Help me understand why I should believe in the cause?

    March 28, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Reply
    • JOHN

      HELP!?,
      calm down.
      Museveni is talking about People like Mobutu Seseseko i.e puppets. Puppets do not build hospitals, schools or roads. They allow foreign companies to exploit national wealth for next to nothing, while they get a cut. This necessitates NGOs, individuals and other philanthropic entities to fill the vacuum with charity giving. There is also a big difference between political sponsorship (refered to as 'puppetry'), and charity giving by private people or NGOs. I do not think Museveni criticized help from western people.
      While I am not a fan of Mr. Museveni, I do agree with some of his observations. The hypocricy of the western governments when responding to different people with similar problems. Their motivations are suspect, but then again even western citizens agree on this.
      I do have something for you to mull over though; For how long will the NGOs, philanthropic entities continue to feed, clothe, and medicate populations in undeveloped countries because dictators have absconded their duties, and have instead robbed the state? Is it possible that dictators love you for just that? They steal in part because they know 'someone' will come to fill the void? That you may be their PUPPETS?

      March 28, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Reply
      • making-sense

        John,

        Great point, I believed this Pres. wrote a real good piece and it seems many of us in the west dont like constructive and different views apart from " talking Point" on national news headlines. Great job explaining John, HELP, could you assist me with the below questions, since John has already assisted you with yours

        3. Can someone please tell me what was the purpose of the Nobel Peace Prize? Bare in mind, he was president for only few months, wasn’t the peace prize given because of situation as such in the Middle East now, did he conducted yourself as a peace prize recipient or a ………… How come our president didn’t at least attempt to broker some form of negotiation before bombing a sovereign country?
        4. Is America a country now that will openly back rebels with pride?
        5. Why did all the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, china) didn’t participate?
        6.If this is strictly a humanitarian and prevention of mass murders, why not over here too http://article.wn.com/view/2011/03/28/The_Ivory_Coast_Libya_and_Rwanda_Redux/

        March 28, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
      • steve40

        Museveni, you are responsible for hundreds of death in Kisangani. Innocent kids, unarmed fathers and mothers during the 6 days war. you are not even ashamed on talking about crime. Look at the country next to you. Kenya. An example of what africa should be. People in Uganda still live in mud houses. What did you do? I hope the international communities can now focus on you.....

        March 29, 2011 at 1:27 am |
  27. ACHIREKO kWAGYAN

    The West claim to go to war for free speech and democracy; Arabia should have been the highway to all that. Why haven't they been at Darfur – probablly the Southners cannot count as human beings

    March 28, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Reply
  28. En Ken

    Museveni has been in power for over 23 years and is simply trying to protect his position too. He doesn't want to be seen as being against Gadafi who has single handedly supported his regime and helped him rig the recently concluded eclections. He also wants to show Gaddafi's mistakes to somehow appease the West. Museveni uses the same kind of brute force seen in Libya. On a visit to Uganda, Gaddahi once proclaimed that Ugandans should let Museveni rule Ugandans for life. Museveni was so excited about the idea. The only problem these two have is the fact that Gaddafi wanted to become the leader of the African Union and Museveni saw himself as a major contender for the same position. They started having disagreements and Museveni feared Gaddafi would blow him up in his presidential jet as was noted in wikileaks. Otherwise, Museveni has always borrowed the same evil methods used by Gaddafi to oppress Ugandans. I have seen this first hand. All these dictators just need to pass on power to the younger generation or these upheavals won't stop anytime soon.

    March 28, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Reply
    • kanyoka

      In East Africa, He thinks and wants to be the first president if East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda) is united, the very same dream of Gadaffi to be the head of the first United States of Africa. These kind of people are sick. They don't believe in democracy, they believe that they are chosen to lead, nothing else.

      March 30, 2011 at 7:44 am | Reply
  29. Mombasa

    To hear Museveni claim hypocrisy from the west is totally crazy. This is the guy that blamed khadafi for helping idi Amin, but then thanks him for helping them fight the rebels. Museveni is pathetic. Puppet? He is a damn puppet. How did he get in power? How is he staying in power ? This man is delusional. he has been in power for 25 years. Enough said! Reading his essay was just sad. I feel sorry for the people of Uganda. What has he done to Uganda to change them? Like lula in brazil? Nothing. This guy can't claim nothing economically for Uganda. Nothing. No non no. Lets not feed the beast. Sarkozy, Obama, Cameron, they are product of a system. A system that works for its people. We have no system in Africa. I can't stand this fool.

    March 28, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Reply
  30. fineart

    Most African heads of state are ego driven bafoons. They just assume that the masses want to be governed by them for life. This is narcissism at it's highest. There should be mass demonstrations all over the African continent and when the so called leaders are toppled they should have public trials. These dictators even look stupid.

    March 28, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Reply
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