Besigye on relations between Rwanda and Uganda

In a candid interview, the head of Ugandan opposition, Colonel Kizza Besigye explains in details the source of conflicts between Rwanda and Uganda.

The interview is in Luganda on this link:

“If you want to understand the problem between Rwanda and Uganda, you have to understand two things:

One: Mr. Museveni thought that since President Kagame was here as his officer, under his command, he thought once he went to lead Rwanda, he would stay under his command and Rwanda would be an extension of Uganda – as a matter of fact, this is Museveni’s mentality of projecting himself, even Uganda, he treats it as his personal property: everyone is his grand child, relative, etc., he doesn’t believe that people can be their own selves…’

  • But where do you fit? Are you his brother, a comrade?
  • I told you I want to be an independent human beings. I am no one’s son, grandson, etc.

He[Museveni] saw President Kagame in that way, and expected him to do his bidding. But Kagame told him off! This [Rwanda] is our country and we’ll govern it how we see fit.

Museveni underwood this during the war in Congo to remove Mobutu, which was fought and won only by the Rwandan Army. [Ugandan army did nothing]. This has put Museveni in a permanent state of fear [of Rwanda]. 

Number two: the second issue between the two countries, is that Rwanda faced many challenges, but worked hard. Mind you, they were coming from the genocide, but they started developing. Over time people started comparing the two countries. They looked at Rwanda, which was coming from far behind, then they looked at Uganda. They compared hospitals, in the two countries, infrastructure, etc., there was no comparison. So they asked Miseveni: ‘what is wrong with you?’. That also got him scared.

Now there are security concerns that Rwanda has. There are supposedly boyscouts who were arrested travelling from Uganda through Tanzania to reach Burundi. It turns out they were joining a rebel movement to fight Rwanda. There was that and many more acts that were posed by Uganda to sabotage Rwanda’s security and development…” – Besigye.

Colonel Kizza Besigye is leader of Uganda’s opposition, founder of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and husband to the Head of Oxfam International Winnie Byanyima.

Translation from Luganda-English by