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.