Reverse RSVP: Why Uganda’s Museveni, who called enslaved Africans ‘stupid’ and praised Hitler, shouldn’t come to U.S.-Africa Summit
Milton Allimadi | 7/31/2014, 2:43 p.m.
There’s no single African ruler whose militarism has led to the deaths of more Africans than Museveni’s. Major media outlets, such as The New York Times, CNN and the BBC, eager to preserve Uganda’s relations with the West, often ignore or gloss over his crimes. Ironically, Robert Mugabe’s alleged transgressions pale in comparison to Museveni’s. Consider Museveni’s resume to date.
Uganda’s army (and Rwanda’s as well) has invaded neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo numerous times, primarily to plunder billions of dollars worth of the country’s immense mineral and natural resource wealth. In the process, estimates of Congolese deaths range from 5 million to 7 million due to the wars, massacres, displacements and attendant diseases. Eastern Congo is referred to as the “rape capital” of the world, with attacks on women, children and men.
In 2005, the International Court of Justice found Uganda liable for these war crimes in Congo and awarded $6 billion to $10 billion in reparations. Not a dime has been paid.
The International Criminal Court also started its own inquiry. Possibly fearing that he would be criminally indicted, Museveni contacted then U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and asked him to block the investigation, the Wall Street Journal reported in its June 8, 2006, edition. Using the same set of evidence, the International Criminal Court was likely to have come to a similar conclusion as the International Court of Justice. This means Museveni is essentially an unindicted war criminal.
More recently, Museveni (along with Rwanda’s Paul Kagame) was found by a U.N. Group of Experts report to have trained, armed, financed and commanded a proxy army called M23, which also committed war crimes in Congo, to continue creating conditions that permit theft of resources.
It took a personal phone call from Obama, who warned Kagame in December 2012, for Rwanda and Uganda to halt support of M23.
A United Nations special brigade commanded by Tanzanians and South Africans finally defeated M23. Some fighters fled to Rwanda and Uganda, while M23’s military commander, Sultan Makenga, is harbored by Museveni, who has refused to extradite him to Congo.
Finally, in February, Museveni was back in the news with the anti-LGBT law.
Even though Obama had warned him that the harsh anti-gay law would jeopardize relations with the U.S., Museveni signed the bill into law, then, in a rambling press conference, delivered numerous attacks and insults on members of the LGBT community. He also publicly demonstrated his prejudice and ignorance.
Museveni claimed Ugandan “scientists” had convinced him that while there were genetic factors, homosexuality was primarily “triggered” by how people were “nurtured.”
“Can somebody be homosexual purely by nature without nurture? The answer is ‘no,’” Museveni said during the videotaped press conference. “No study has shown that you can be homosexual purely by nature. Since nurture is the main cause of homosexuality then society can do something about it to discourage the trends. That is why I have agreed to sign the bill.
“Even now I have not fully understood it,” Museveni said of homosexuality. “That you can fail to be attracted to all these beautiful women here and elsewhere, and you are attracted to a man.”