Uganda: Museveni - Not Pessimism But Concern for Africa's Future

16 June 2004

Washington, DC — The following is the text of an address, followed by questions and answers, by President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Mr. Chairman, Rosa Whitaker and all of you ladies and gentlemen, first of all I would like to thank Secretary Hamre, President of the Center, and Mr.Morrison for organizing this occasion. Secondly, I would like to thank our sister Rosa Whitaker who is a very enlightened activist for African interests in the United States and became clear to me when she was still Assistant Trade Representative and she was one of the few Americans who understood what African needed or lacked the type of direction that African needed from the United States. So, I salute her and her group for all of the work they have been doing for us in the United States in Africa.

Because the United States needs Africa and the sooner the United States wakes up to know that the better. It was in the bible, it says they left undone the things they ought to do and they do things they ought not have done and there's no truth in them. So the bible says. So when you leave undone the things you ought to do and you do the things you ought not to do there is no truth in you. I don't want the United States to be in that category. Now in the 19th century, the 1800s, Turkey was referred to as the sick-man of Europe.

Now Africa today, I don't know why people are referring to as that, could be referred to as the sick-man of the world. Different parts of the world are improving, but Africa is/has not been showing signs of improving. Now many of our friends get worried and they seem not to understand what is the problem. Some of them become pessimistic that all of Africa will never change. Why? Because other continents are changing, but Africa is not changing.

Therefore, they would not like it to change-that's not correct. There is no need for pessimism, there's need for concern. The factors that have held back Africa can be grouped broadly speaking into two categories. One category I would call endogenous factors, factors from within. Endogenous factors, factors from within. Now the second category can be referred to as exogenous factors. In the past, in the beginning of the 1900s. Exogenous factors, where factors from outside, not from within, but from outside. At the beginning of the 1900s, the exogenous factors were more. There was colonialism which had stifled the treatment of the people which had distorted the interests of the continent and which defined them and so on. Now with the receding of colonialism the endogenous factors are the majority factors in terms of holding Africa back. Let me start with the endogenous factors, what are these endogenous factors? Factors that have been holding Africa back. First of all there was, once we got independence, the state was manned by incompetent people, but you should remember that soon after independence, I don't know how much time I have. How much time do I have? Oh, okay. I brought the wrong lecture. When you invite me, you do so at your own risk, but I have things to tell you. Okay, let's now content ourselves with these two sets of factors, maybe I will seem to highlight the most important now, and forget about history.

The most important endogenous factors now are roughly four, because others have been sort of dealt with. First of all: the balkanization, the political balkanization of the continent, there's too many states. There are 53 states in Africa, which is quite a big number-which you compare with North America. The continent of North America, and you only have three states: Canada, United States, and Mexico. Now this is a large area, about 7 million square miles. Whereas, Africa has got a land area, it is 11 million square miles, and there are 53 states in that area.

Now these states present a problem because, decision-making, when you have the whole continent is not easy. There are so many political authority. This in turn means that the negotiations are not easy. When you are negotiating with partners. When I come as Ugandan they don't listen to me. I don't come to negotiate, I come to beg: please, United States do this for me, kindly consider, favorably look. I must carefully choose my words, just in case I offend the one I'm talking to. Now that's not called negotiations, that's called petitioning or supplications. Not negotiations. Negotiations means mutual threats, that's what negotiations mean.

You come and say if you don't do this for me, I will not do that for you. This is what negotiation means (inaudible). See how much you drag the truth by not acceding to your demands, but if you come to supplicate: because I beg you, favorably consider, is not negotiation. Now this is important in Africa because of the present political structure. Africa is a very powerful continent, but the way to organize it now is unscrupulous, and that's why we're working very hard through these regional groupings: East Africa Community, COMESA, SADC, to unite our positions. So, that this one endogenous factor. So, factor one, it was started, you remember with colonialism. That's why we have all of these countries, however it's not sorted out yet, this is one factor. The other factor is infrastructure, the infrastructure is still backward. I cannot go by rail from East Africa to Congo, I cannot go by rail from East Africa to the whole of Africa and Ethiopia, I cannot go by rail from East Africa to Sudan. That's the second one. In the past African leaders mishandled the private sector. I remember in Uganda, Amin in 1972, he expelled millions, who played a very important role in our economic, and for that what we have is nationalizing, the present companies, and so that again was another endogenous factor, another inhabilitating factor. By interfering in the private sector, which was the very engine of growth, the (inaudible) of Africa in that state. Although this problem with the private sector has now been resolved. The private sector is much appreciated, but it is appreciated a bit late. Why? This is because the private sector in the West now has all the opportunity in the whole world. In the 1960s, the foreign direct investment did not have any destination to go to.

Remember the Soviet Union was under, was inaccessible for the differing companies. China, and even much of Latin America was inaccessible. Now the whole world is open. Africa now appreciates the private sector, but those multinationals have too many opportunities now, so they're not noticing Africa. Given its weakness, its inherent, not because of lack of attractiveness, not because of the small size of this, or our economies and so on. But at least now that issue of the private sector is addressed. Now, we come to the issue of human social development, education for all our people. In the case of Uganda, we're sending all of our people to school and assuring that they stay there as long as possible. We're struggling with health, making sure all of our people are healthy, not sick and so on. So this is another factor, which is in a number of countries. Now, these are some of the internal factors, endogenous factors which are still not yet resolved. At one time it was a question of democracy in Africa, if you had no power, no say, you were a dictatorship. This one has been addressed in a number of countries. It is no longer a major problem as it used to be in the 1960s and 1970s. But what are the exogenous factors? The world knows colonialism is in the past, and it is no longer there directly. However, today nevertheless, you get the external powers interfering with the decision-making processes of these African countries. They come to interfere, they come to tell you, you do this, you do that, and if you don't do that. So, that's what is happening still. Apart from bad-mannered, it is bad manners, it also has a tendency of distorting if you follow what they are telling you and you can make a lot of mistakes, because of course these people who are telling you, they will not be there to be the one accounting. But the most damaging is a lack of trade access. For more than a century now Africa has been exporting raw materials. If you take Uganda, we started growing cotton for the British in 1903. Therefore, for more than a century we've been growing cotton. But how is this cotton shared? Cotton has got six activities. You grow the cotton that's number one. Number two, once the cotton is harvested you gin it, you gin it that means removing the seed from the fiber, that is number two. Number three is the spinning, the spinning of it to make yarn. Number four weaving into the fabrics. Number five you put the colors into it into this fabric and number six you sew the garment. Those are the six levels of cotton.

However much Africa has been growing cotton over the last century it has been ending at level two, ginned cotton is exported. What does this mean? It means two things; first of all if you take present day prices, if I export a kilogram of green cotton, I am paid one dollar and eighty cents. If you make yarn, if you spin and you make yarn out of that one kilogram of cotton you get three times the value then you got if you sold the green cotton. If you make fabric with the value goes up six times. If you make garment, the value goes up ten times. In other words if you sold what they call lint cotton, if you sold lint cotton and you ended there, you'd be a donor. That's what they call Africans, especially Africans that do these things, I call them donors.

Because these people are donating in every kilogram of cotton, they are donating ten dollars in outside work, in every kilogram. For the same kilogram and that's quite a bit of money. Because you get one dollar, someone else for the same kilogram gets ten dollars and it goes the same year in, year out. This is huge transferal of our resources. So these Africans donate money to the outside, they are donors. Second, they donate jobs, go those jobs: the spinning job, the weaving job, the finishing job, the garment job, are all exported. They are done by someone else. So these wonderful Africans are exporters of jobs and of money, they are donors of both. What does this mean, it means first of all that your people have no (inaudible) you lose money. Secondly, they have no jobs. Therefore there is a lot of poverty, therefore there is a lot of interest by foreign power. You cannot buy enough.

When I took economics they teach a lot on the blackboard, this was forty years ago. Demand equals desire plus ability to pay. If you have got the desire, but you don't have the ability to pay we don't call that demand, we call that desire. Now Africa has got a whole host of desires, with no ability to pay. Why do they have no ability to pay, because they have no jobs. Why do they have no jobs, because they have exported the jobs. So, this phenomenon of exporting raw materials is the greatest curse for Africa today, especially black Africa.

And I have just given an example of cotton, but you can repeat that in every field. Coffee, take coffee for instance. Uganda is the fourth largest exporter of coffee in the whole world. After Brazil, Colombia, Vietnam, and then Uganda. There are also reports of the earnings today are 71-75 billion. What is the share of the coffee growing countries? Only 5 billion dollars, so many of this 70 billion is going to our partners in the developed world and those in (inaudible) don't get that much

Now, so how does United States come in here? This one is not by accident. Up to now if you export cocoa bean, you pay zero tax rate. The cocoa bean will come in free, but if you are too clever and try and make chocolate in the Ghana or Ivory Coast you will pay 25% tax. What is the message? Don't be too clever. To try and move up, keep up with the Jones. Don't try and keep up with the Jones, just stay where you are.

Presently, I was in China and I talked to the Chinese president Jiang Zemin, and I said please remove this tax. Because the Chinese are doing the same, you bring in coffee, unprocessed coffee and there is no tax. If you bring in processed coffee, 52% tax. This is not south-south cooperation. They think Africans are fools and they can cheat them, but the Chinese president agreed and he is going to move that tax on processed coffee, so we can do business. So, when it comes to the United States, a few years ago the President Bill Clinton made a very good move, advised by some friends of ours like our young sister here, and to show Americans who are active in supporting us, and he introduced an accession called AGOA, the African Growth and Opportunity Act.

Just now I had to, I was seeing Senator Frist, I had to postpone, I was supposed to go instantly, but because of the death of President Reagan, I couldn't see these senators so I had to postpone. So I came here, and in six months I will go there, I will take my plane, that's no problem. I want to be sure that the United States wants to be with us or not. And this African Growth and Opportunity Act, which was enacted by President Bill Clinton some few years ago, and was approved by President Bush when he came into government, is the greatest act of solidarity between the West and Black Africa for the last 500 years. This is not a small statement.

So, for me, I don't want to hear any other talk about this support or not, African Growth and Opportunity Act, this is the real starting point (inaudible). That means processed, manufactured African goods come into the American markets tax-free, quota-free: no tax, no quota. Then the next possible thing is infrastructure. We need to start to go to work on these things, support one of these things. The rest we should sort ourselves out as we go on. So, this is one of the exogenous factors that is holding us back, maybe I will stop there for the time being and take comments, because if you let go of me I will keep on and tell you stories. Thank you.

Q: This is the fourth year that African leaders were invited to the G8 summit, just in general I'd like to hear your comments on how valuable this has become as an institution. Specifically there were a number of things on the table: peace-keeping support, the administration wants to significantly expand peace-keeping training, the debt-relief issue was on the table, there was quite a bit of discussion about a US/UK debt write-off, that didn't happen, there was an extension of pay-back benefits for the next two years, there was a lot of discussion about HIV and the preparation of a vaccine, and there was a lot of discussion about the crisis in Darfur and a very sharp set of communications in regards to that.

Can you just offer us a bit of your thoughts on those issues and more generally about the value of this type of occasion, how receptive this environment is for the type of views that you and others are able to extend?

Museveni: Well these issues you have raised and we talked about them. President Bush promised to help. In Africa we have set up a Peace and Security Council, which is an African committee of states, where these African States can meet and decide on these situations to take place. We could improve support for that Secretariat of that Peace and Security Council, but we have been doing that. Debt relief, we must discuss, not resolved, but if we want to discuss, but my position is that we cannot start with debt alone. So, what if I'm a poor man, and you choose to forgive my whole debts, but you do not help me to increase my income and yet I still have the same needs, I will have to get some new debts.

So, what do you do with me, so I think you cannot start to talk about this debt cancellation without talking about growth. Growth, you must talk about growth, not only growth but also the possibility for transformation. Transformation. African society must leave the museum. European society has metamorphosed from a futile, to middle-class, to skilled working society in the last 500 years. African societies are frozen in the pre-industrial age. That's not sustainable, so we must talk about growth, and we must talk about transformation. And then whatever other measures, debt relief, and what other aid, whatever you call it will expedite that process of growth and transformation.

Growth is often called in biology metamorphosis, where there is an egg, then the caterpillar, then the pupae, then into a butterfly. We must have a social metamorphosis, social transformation growing from a pre-industrial society to an industrial society. There is no (inaudible) how these societies are going to grow, and the industrial society, in one part of the globe and the pre-industrial society in another part of the globe. And then you go and you are forgiving their debts, the HIV/AIDS, and poverty alleviation, but you alleviate poverty, not elimination, just alleviation (inaudible). So, on this G8 summit, my talk was about two subjects, is what I talked about market access and value-addition, and maybe infrastructure. Those three are the problem from outside, from outside.

Now the AGOA, this AGOA since it started just three years ago exports, entirely related to AGOA, from black Africa 18 million dollars, 300,000 jobs were only from AGOA. So, you can see, this is the way to go. This AGOA 3, this AGOA 3 will give a new set of (inaudible) and I am very glad there is Bush, and the senators I have met today, they are supposed to be for AGOA 3, so that opportunity grows.

About HIV vaccine that is good. HIV is an easy disease to control, AIDS is the easiest of diseases to control. It is not very infectious. I can reach when you have got AIDS and I will not get AIDS from you. We can travel on the same bus and I will not get AIDS from you. But if we travel on the same bus and you have got influenza, I will be sick. So, AIDS is a simple issue, it is a symbol of poor leadership, but the disease is not addressed. It is easy to stop. It is a policy behavior problem. It is not so much a health problem; AIDS comes from sex, through blood transfusion, and through drugs, from the dirty needles, that's all. It is easy to stop.

Even by people in jail. In the case of Uganda, we did not have, we have got one of the lowest per capita use of condoms, and this is what we need to situate which country who has the largest use of condoms per capita so we have the statistics. In Uganda, it is the one with the lowest per capita use of condoms, but it is one in which the HIV/AIDS numbers have fallen the sharpest because of the Ugandan people. I can see that is a (inaudible) I frighten those people I tell them they are going to die, I shouted you are going to die from AIDS. AIDS comes from sex, so stop and they stopped, they are not fools, they stopped.

If a vaccine comes, that is very good, that's very good, and it will be the real solution for this problem. In the meantime, I am very pleased with President Bush and the 15 billion dollars for AIDS support, he is helping us with the ARVs for our people. With the number, you don't have to be on the ARVs with the AIDS virus, they are providing the antiretrovirals, but those are better off whose blood counts have gone down, and the ability to get the benefits from the ARVs. I am very, very grateful for Bush for this support.

So, Darfur, Darfur is a problem of, I think it is the military intervention that can manage it. Sort their problem out with the support of outsiders, because Sudan was a good country, an Afro-Arab country. Where Africans met Arabs, but their leaders have made many mistakes. Including trying to (inaudible) Arabs. This is where these places were, and where the crises were (inaudible) you're not going to be an Arab unless you are out of your mind. If you look at a man in Africa he's actually blue not only black. When you call a blue man an Arab, I'd say you are actually out of your mind. And I told those people they should stop that. I can see there must be a blue man here? Laughter...Where are you from the Sudan?

Man in crowd: I am from Uganda.

Museveni: Now the people from Nguru are the same as the people from the Southern Sudan, Nguru is another Ugandan. Not only can you see that the man is actually blue, but he is not also an Arab and to spend fifty years fighting that that man is an Arab, you must be out of your mind. So, this is the problem of the Sudan. I'm glad now that he arised and made clear the case of not being an Arab. (inaudible) Just giving you a blue man.

Now, in respect of Southern Sudan they have now said okay these are for the Arabs, they are not Muslims we have got to leave them alone, and if they want to be with us, it should be a voluntary act In somewhat, we will have a referendum and decide within six years whether they want to be with the Arabs or not. Now Darfur, which is the problem now, the people in Darfur are Muslims but they are not Arabs, this is the issue. They are Muslims, but not Arab, they're African. So, I hope a mistake is not going to be continued to be made in Darfur. To try and convince or to force these that are full Muslims who are not Arabs, to be Arabs.

I cannot stand by, it is what I told you, and there is no way that an Arab will change my identity. The Africans from my clan, the Ankole clan is what the clan of my great-grandfathers and the chief. (inaudible), but he is also risking himself. But this would never happen. So, that's what I would like to say. Darfur must be stopped before it's too late, before there is a bitter dispute there. Northern Muslims who are African versus with Northern Arabs, who are also Muslim, but Arabs. Thank you.

Q: My question is you have risen as a luminary, such as the ones that came before you such as Mobutu. Economically you have done very well, Uganda is doing well. Politically I'm wonder what your legacy is envisioned, how do you see your legacy, especially in light of the Congo?

Q: My question is about NEPAD, you talked about growth and transformation I'm wondering how you see NEPAD contributing to this. Secondly, how you view the peer review process in NEPAD?

Q: Some of us have looked at democratization and equated it with multi-partyism and seen that as the only path to legitimate rule, and I think you have a very interesting case where you have not multi-partyism, and the people have said they don't want multi-partyism and you have a good measure of legitimacy in institutionalizing your politics there. I like to know what you could say by way of lessons that you've learned that might be transferable to a case like Swaziland, or perhaps Iraq, or Afghanistan as they begin to democratize. On democracy versus multi-partyism.

Museveni: Politically my legacy, first of all is to empower people with the vote. That is what was sacrificed with Amin in 1971, they had taken away our vote. Our power to vote. Vote, by universal suffrage and secret ballot. That's one of my greatest legacies, what could be better than that. Secondly, in the case of Uganda we have solved some of the problems that have been taken for granted in other parts of the world. For instance, extra judicial killings. The state agents to kill people, that was a very big problem, and we tamed the agents of the state and so on. Those are clear within our own society.

Now the question is how about our involvement in the Congo. It is not enough to fight, to just fight wars. There are what they call "Just" wars and then there just wars. When I fight to defend myself, that is not a bad fight, even in some of the places you say, they are fighting the good fight. They deserve songs of praise. So our involvement in the Congo is legitimate, in fact, our involvement in Congo is the result of two reasons. First of all, the Sudan. The Sudan has never been (inaudible) that they are confused in policy in Congo and also in Northern Uganda.

You know how much our Northern Ugandan have suffered. Where this young friend of mine comes from. People have been killed, children have been abducted, all orchestrated by the government of Sudan. So, when they tried to outflank us by going through the Congo with the connivers of Mobutu we had to do something about it. Then also there was the threat of Rwanda, because of the genocide, the genocidaires had begun to come. So there are good reasons why we became involved in the Congo, and it was good that we did, both for ourselves, but also for Congo. It was an opportunity to make a just and fresh start, that's how Mobutu came down.

NEPAD, yes NEPAD is very useful, first it is the first attempt to negotiate together and solve the other problems that I talked about. Secondly, it is an attempt to develop infrastructure together, to develop regional links, rather than country-country connections. Within the negotiation we have taken a power position that we should negotiate for market together. At the G8 and that island my assignment was to talk about market access and value-addition. Some of the other leaders have talked about peace and security, infrastructure and so on.

So, NEPAD is in the right direction, it is an initiative to harmonize our efforts. The peer review is good, we should be able to inspect each other, and criticize each other, and correct each other in case one of us is wrong. So, it is a very good effort. It is much better than outsiders coming from outside saying you do this, you do that, you do that. Because that is not good and it brings a lot of backlash. Even if you are right, an outsider, even if he is right, we say who is that one to tell us? Especially, when those outsiders also have bones in their cupboards. It is not a good idea. That attempt to lecture people is very much resented by those who are involved, they don't like it.

Now multi-partyism somebody asked me about multi-partyism and democracy. Well for me I have been fighting for democracy all of my life that is why I fought Amin presidency in 1971, so that is no problem. That's my cause, democracy. Now, multi-partyism is a form of democracy. Sometimes people confuse substance with form. They confuse, for instance, water. Water is water, H20 is the universal formula, but is a lot of different forms. It can be a solid or even a vapor, it is water, still water. Now some people say unless it is liquid it is not water. That is a big problem. These are the sort of narratives, philosophical narratives which can cause problems in the world.

You know that the world has been here for a long time, and we've been searching for solutions for a long time. How to produce wealth, how to distribute it, how to govern, it is an old question, it has not started now. Therefore those who come with a simplistic solution, who think it has arrived are 'arrivists.' The ones that think that they have arrived at the final solution for human organization can cause a problem. For me I haven't got there yet, I am still looking, for a solution. So, multi-partyism is not a party-system of course because it developed in a society in Europe, when it was transitioning to sugar to industry, and then you had the crystallization of distinct social interest groups. Industrial workers, the property owners, and so on.

So, it is ahead of the system, it is ahead of the system. In the case of Uganda we delay the introduction of multi-partyism because our society was stalled and we didn't have those types of crystallizations. So we have to wait and give ourselves a period, and in this period you know there has been a lot of changes. For instance, some years ago we had 2.5 million children in the primary school, now we have got 7.75 million children in the primary school. The university enrollment is now around a 100,000, at that time there were only around 5,000. The students in the secondary school is almost one million, at that time there were only 200,000. So as I speak today, one fact is that Ugandans are in schools today. Nine million to ten million Ugandans are in school. So the structure of the society is changing, and it is now important for all Ugandans to go to University.

So, it is now important for multi-partyism, because when I get tired, some groups they might want to have their own political org. They make me rather inefficient by being banned all together with them, but the form. The form should conform to the substance. I have a problem with those who are arguing that substance must conform to the form. This is a fundamental philosophical mistake, of which I have got a lot of problems. In my language you say, the hairstyle depends on the shape of the head. If you have got a flat head the hairstyle should conform to your flat head. But if you try to make the head try to conform to the hairstyle, you will have to do some surgery on the cranium so that you can fit the hairstyle. So, Uganda has transformed, and now I guess that's what I'm proposing, that we must find the form of democracy.

Q: In 1991, at the OAU conference, I had a meeting with you and President Babangida, and we talked then about what to do as far as to a collective leadership as far as AIDS is concerned, you have been able to make a lot of progress and many African countries haven't. We thought that some collective leadership from the OAU might do something. All that we have gotten in all these years are aggravation, proposals that have never been implemented, as far as the collective. Do you see any role of collective leadership beyond declarations? and I have a quick second question when I was in Uganda in 1996 there was a proposal by a Vietnamese economist to transform the society to an Agri-economy and become the bread basket to East Africa, and most of your people received it very well. What has happened to that concept?

Q: I wonder if you would address an almost seemingly troubling humanitarian situation in Northern Uganda and speak about economic transformation and integration into the world economy and so forth is possible in Uganda while this war's still going on and has 2 million people not productive and forcibly displaced?

Q: Please your Excellency can I make a request, one of them can I have a copy of your video? Secondly, can I request that the next time maybe you can meet members of the African diplomatic core, especially to tell you our day-to-day struggles with AGOA. We have a few friends, but maybe we have too many non-friends. Thank-you.

Museveni: Okay, I can tell from her name she is very important person from Western Zambia. No, but the next time I am here I will be very glad to meet you. I will come back the next time for the General Assembly, so the rulers we should organize and we shall meet.

Now regarding collective leadership on AIDS. Political leadership, yes we talked. I think for one, we have so many political authorities on the continent. The best way is to learn by example from country-to-country, their are all types of people. In terms of all people, and they have their own priorities, and the way they see it. For me, I was very worried because this was very close to our people, our tribes and our history seemed to restrict sex, in the pre-colonial times. In the colonial scheme, especially Christians there was some preaching, and some tolerance and some people really relaxed. Parents had parental control in terms of a laissez-faire society. That was one danger which I knew, but we had ignored it, but if it had been normal times maybe this wouldn't be such a serious danger.

The second danger was the discovery of penicillin in the 1930s. When penicillin was introduced it cured most of the known major diseases: gonorrhea, syphilis, which were (inaudible) and people started saying that gonorrhea was like the flu, like the flu. So, there is no danger. Penicillin was introduced into the population for security. Now, the moment I heard that there was a new sickness that had come about, which was not curable and was heterosexually transmitted, I knew that this was a very big danger, because of those two problems. Because there was promiscuity in the society on the one hand and there was also a false security. It doesn't matter if I get sick. This is an issue clearly.

So, that's why I have to shout, because otherwise people are losing their lives. I have to shout. Now those who did not shout they are losing a lot of Africans. But they will learn Africans have survived a very many problems, they have survived the slave trade, they survived smallpox, this is a small matter. You need to get shouting. The biggest problem is growth, trade access, that's what my message is. If you leave someone to die, how long (inaudible) before they die? and why don't you care for those? You care for those who will not die or who are not sick and then they can support the ones who are sick. What solutions are you having if some people are dying, and the ones who are not sick have no jobs, no income. So what solution are you providing?

Uganda, becoming the breadbasket. Yes it is the breadbasket, there is a lot of food, but we have nowhere to sell it. The other year there was a famine in Zambia and Malawi, we sold quite a lot of maize there, but now with East African Customs Union it is going to be easier. Because no one can take my maize from another exchange. Also with there is a customs union with COMESA, which has been negotiated. So I think we are slowly going there. By treaty, not simply by pocket, but by agreement. These agreements with the customs unions are negotiating that you don't grow what I produce. Because the only thing that blocks it is price or consumer preference, that's why I think we are moving the way of negotiations.

The problem of Northern Uganda has been a problem for many years, that was a part of our war with the Sudan. They are using these terrorists to intimidate us. You Americans and your fighting of terrorists is recent, but I started fighting terrorists long ago (inaudible) and the Darfur, the major situation is winding down and the situation in Northern Uganda is winding down (inaudible). Those who come out peacefully will be forgiven.

So, we have no solution but to side with the terrorists. We have no solution. But your question, how can Uganda join with the economic community and fight terrorism in the north? It is like in the UK, in spite of the world war and the problems in Northern Ireland, it is possible. Like now you are fighting al Qaeda, but the economy is growing and it is growing through better means. Growth, the economy is growing, Uganda is growing, it is one of the fastest growing economies in the world actually. So in spite of that terrorism our economy is growing. Have you been to Uganda Madame? Oh, that human rights report was biased.

Q: (Human Rights Watch) Actually, I did a report on torture in Uganda, that came out in March, but we have written and I have written other reports as far as Uganda. Unlike bin Laden the people who are fighting in Northern Uganda are native to Uganda, so I think the terrorism analogy is a little misplaced and you could let us know what the state associations are?

Museveni: What about McVeigh, McVeigh. McVeigh the one who blew up the other building in Oklahoma, did I hear that was an American or did I hear wrongly? What difference does it make if a terrorist is Ugandan, if he's American, or not American he is a terrorist. Terrorism is not about citizenship. We are not talking about citizenship, we are talking about terrorist matters. That means you are using indiscriminant violence. Let me define terrorism for you. What terrorism means is when you use indiscriminant violence, when you use violence indiscriminately. For commandants and non-commandants, when you don't discriminate between adults and children. That is the first thing we must get clear Madame.

A terrorist is a terrorist, now you cannot say, these are national terrorists as opposing to non-national terrorists. So, I have got some news for you about terrorism. So, anyway, you can come and say these are national terrorists, and we can discuss we can say these are national terrorists, but they need to be handled differently from foreign terrorists, this is what we cannot discuss. A terrorist is a terrorist. (inaudible) If you use bad methods with a terrorist, but coming in to the case of Northern Uganda, they are now criminals who are being abused by a foreign power. (inaudible)They are nationals being used by Sudanese. Ugandans being used by Sudan in this case. Make sure those things come out in your comments. Moreover, (inaudible) they are linked to the whole of Sudan, and to the regime, they are Ugandan yes (inaudible).

Q: (Human Rights Watch) Is it your position than that the Sudan government is still assisting these people and also is there any other direct steps being taken to correct human rights abuses or evidence being given in fighting the war?

Museveni: If they make mistakes we are very, very strict with them. We are punishing them. It is a question of knowledge, who we know we punish. Our factions are rather harsh. Let me take this opportunity to tell you we are executing soldiers who have killed people. I remember this woman, I will never forget anything you write. When I punish the ones violating human rights it concerns me, when I know some of them, it still concerns me.

So, for the UPDF army we are punishing them. It is a question of knowledge, as long as we know them we will punish them. But is Sudan still supporting those people? I think in the last six months they have not had energies, from their supporters in the last six months. Previously, there was an agreement of some newspaper reports of some quiet support (inaudible), but in the last six month I have not seen any support from Sudan.

This transcript was prepared by All Africa's Jill Sudhoff-Guerin.

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