African States campaign for protection of African civilians against the civil wars on their territories:

Displaced South Sudanese women walk towards the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) base in Malakal on January 13, 2014. PHOTO | FILE | AFP
Displaced South Sudanese women walk towards the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) base in Malakal on January 13, 2014

. PHOTO | FILE | AFP

By ROBERT MBARAGA


Posted  Sunday, November 20   2016

Rwanda, the Netherlands and the United States have combined forces to push for a robust mandate for UN peacekeepers to protect civilians in conflict zones.

This emerged at the training of 36 officers from the military, police and the civil service of 14 troop-contributing countries in Rwanda.

The course is expected to equip them with skills to protect civilians during peacekeeping missions.

The UN peacekeeping guidelines binds contingents in the field to wait for the green light from their respective governments before they can act, which has been blamed for slow response during crises.

Frédérique de Man, Netherlands ambassador to Rwanda, said commanding officers on the ground come under undue pressure when they have to take decisions to protect civilians in a war zone without clear guidance or with contradicting orders from the mission and the national headquarters.

This contradiction often results from caveats issued by troop-contributing states, directing their soldiers not to engage in combats.

“What we have seen through the years is that often, there are discrepancies between the mandate and what the troops can do,” Ms de Man said.

To address the discrepancies, signatories of the agreement dubbed “the Kigali Principles” will continue to push for enforcement by the United Nations.

“The US is urging the United Nations to attach considerable weight to a country’s commitment to implement the Kigali Principle when contributing units for peacekeeping operations, particularly those missions that are operating in environments with a civilians’ protection mandate,” said Matthew Roth, deputy chief of mission, US embassy in Rwanda said at the opening of the course.

Thirty-seven countries have signed the Kigali Principles, which Mr Roth was a milestone only one year after the principles were adopted.

“I think the fact that, in less than five months, another seven nations will have signed the, principles, which shows that we are moving in the right direction for the protection of civilians around the world” Mr Roth said.

Countries that have signed include Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Rwanda the US and France.

“The aim of this course is to develop understanding of the inadequacy of theories, policies and other legal instruments for the protection of civilians when they are confronted with the realities in peacekeeping missions and how to bridge the gap using the Kigali Principles as supplements to the current UN guidelines,” said Brig Gen Chris Murari, officer in charge of operations and training in the Rwanda Defence Forces.

Rwandan Minister for Justice Johnston Busingye urged participants to adapt to the “contemporary environment of peacekeeping” and “emerging threats,” and act in the best interests of civilians.

The primary responsibility is put on commanders of the peacekeeping troops on site, whom the Kigali Principles want given power to make decisions. Participants of the course are drawn from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya Malawi, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Tanzania Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, The Netherlands and USA.

What is a war crime? How are suspects tried?

By AFP

Added 28th September 2016


Article 8 of the Rome Statute sets out more than 50 examples which could be considered a war crime.


Syrian rescuers hold the body of a girl after pulling it from rubble of a building following government forces air strikes in Aleppo. AFP Photo


As Aleppo reels from air strikes, UN chief Ban Ki-moon has warned the use of bunker bombs and other advanced munitions against Syria civilians may constitute a war crime.

Here are five facts about war crimes, and the long, arduous legal process to bring perpetrators to justice.

Definition of a war crime

Violations of the Geneva Conventions adopted in 1949 following World War II are commonly called "war crimes".

In broad terms, the conventions cover protection of civilians, treatment of prisoners and care for the wounded.

They form the basis of the 1998 Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the world's only permanent court for prosecuting war crimes -- the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Article 8 of the Rome Statute sets out more than 50 examples which could be considered a war crime.

They include wilful killing, torture, taking of hostages, unlawful deportations, intentionally directing attacks against civilians not taking part in hostilities, and deliberately attacking aid and peacekeeping missions.

Using poisonous gases, internationally-banned weapons which cause "superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering or which are inherently indiscriminate" -- such as cluster bombs or incendiary weapons -- or bullets "which expand and flatten easily in the human body" are also considered a war crime.

Legal history

International treaties on the laws of war first began being formulated in the mid-1800s. But most such as The Hague Conventions, adopted in 1899 and in 1907, dealt mainly with the treatment of combatants not civilians.

The first high-profile war crimes trials of the modern era were held in Nuremberg and Tokyo in tribunals set up by the Allies to try German and Japanese leaders.

In May 1993, at the height of the Balkans wars, the United Nations established the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) based in The Hague.

Since its inception, the ICTY has indicted 161 people, of whom 83 have been sentenced, including former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic.

Following the genocide in Rwanda, the UN then set up the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 1994 in Arusha to prosecute those behind the killings of at least 800,000 people.

Both courts highlighted the need for a permanent war crimes tribunal, which gave rise to the ICC.

Prosecutions at the ICC

The ICC began work in The Hague in 2003, a year after its statute came into force. To date, 124 countries have signed up to the statute, including 34 from Africa -- the biggest regional group -- and 28 from Latin America and the Caribbean.

A country that has signed up to the treaty or whose citizens have been the victims of crimes may refer cases to the ICC's chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, for investigation.

Cases may also be referred by the United Nations Security Council or the prosecutor can initiate her own investigations with permission from the judges providing member states are involved, or a non-member state can agree to accept the court's jurisdiction.

Any group or individual can report alleged crimes, but it is up to prosecutor to first see whether they fall under her jurisdiction.

So far 23 cases have been brought before the court, and four verdicts -- three guilty, one acquittal -- have been issued.

They include former Congolese militia leader Jean-Pierre Bemba sentenced to 18 years in jail on three counts of war crimes and two charges of crimes against humanity.

Preliminary inquiries or full investigations are also ongoing into situations in 19 countries or territories, with charges yet to be brought.

The situation with Syria

Syria is not a signatory to the ICC. Nor are the other major players in the complex conflict -- Russia, the United States, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

As a result, the prosecutor would need a UN mandate to investigate any alleged crimes committed by the government or the rebels in the five-year war in the country -- including the use of chemical weapons.

Attempts to refer Syria to the ICC were vetoed at the UN Security Council in 2014 by Russia and China, to the dismay of human rights groups.

Will alleged war crimes in Syria ever be tried?

While the war continues, it is unlikely any prosecutions can be brought before the ICC.

Experts believe accountability will have to be tackled in any eventual peace process. Many argue the best scenario would be some kind of hybrid court based in Syria, but perhaps staffed by a mixture of local and international judges.

The North Sudan issues flood warning as the famous African River Nile rises its African ancient banks






The Blue Nile, in Ethiopia.


FILE PHOTO BY CLIFFORD GIKUNDA

Posted: 12th August 2016


Sudanese authorities on

Wednesday warned people living near the banks of the Nile to be wary of flooding, after two weeks of heavy rainfall killed dozens across the country.

Authorities said water levels were rising on the Blue Nile along the border with Ethiopia after continuous rainfall in that country.

The Blue Nile flows to Khartoum where it meets the White Nile and they become the Nile, which flows into Egypt.

"The Blue Nile is rising because of continuous heavy rainfall in Ethiopia," Mohameddin Abu al-Qasim of the interior ministry told AFP.

"We warn residents living on both sides of the Nile to be cautious."

The water levels were rising particularly rapidly in the state of Blue Nile bordering Ethiopia, the official news agency SUNA reported.

At least 76 people have been killed due to flooding elsewhere in Sudan, Interior Minister Ismat Abdul-Rahman said last week.

The United Nations aid agencies had warned of flooding in Sudan between July and November this year.

The most affected states are Kassala, Sennar, South Kordofan, West Kordofan and North Darfur, said the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA.

"Heavy rain and flooding since early June have affected over 122,000 people and destroyed over 13,000 houses in many parts of Sudan," it said in a statement released on Wednesday.

A downpour in August 2013 was the worst to hit Khartoum in 25 years, affecting tens of thousands of people, the UN said.

Those floods had killed about 50 people nationwide, most of them in the capital.

The bitter truth of history of the African tribe of the Bakiga in trying to fight British colonialism:




The Former Life President,

Idi Amin of Uganda

By Faustin Mugabe

Posted:Saturday, February 1st   2016

When the Bakiga lobbied for Gen Idi Amin to be crowned life president and also be given the highest military title of Field Marshal, not many Ugandans had heard of the Akaryeija kararuga Kabale adage.

Ancient Bahororo had coined the saying Akaryeija kararuga Kabale (the surprise/trouble would emerge from Kabale).

The Bahororo lived in former Mpororo kingdom, north of present-day Kabale District. The kingdom was dissolved in 1902 by British colonialists in order to let the Bashambo upper class of the kingdom live with the Bairu-Bahororo in harmony.

But even after that, a rift between the Bashambo-Bahororo (the rulers) and Bairu-Bahororo (the subjects) continued to exist. The rift had existed since the establishment of the kingdom around 1840’s. Nonetheless, the two lived together.

Bakiga crown Amin life president

When the “Kigezi proposal” to crown Amin life president of Uganda and also be promoted Field Marshal became a reality, the Bahororo’s proverb Akaryeija kararuga Kabale had manifested once more.

On January 24, 1973, residents of Kamwezi Sub-county in Kabale District, Kigezi sub-region, made history.

Although it is not recorded who among the 3,000 who gathered at Kamwezi Sub-county headquarters proposed that Amin be made life president and promoted from four-star General to Field Marshal, what is well documented is that the gathering was chaired by Mr Karegyesa, the Kamwezi Sub-county chief.

The Kigezi proposal was later sold to the Eishengyero Rya Ankole (Ankole District Council).

After the September 1972 invasion by rebels from Tanzania through Mutukula and Isingiro in southern Uganda, no local leader wanted to be labelled a rebel associate.

Besides, at the time many believed in Amin’s leadership and wanted to be so close to the establishment.

Perhaps, the reason to crown Amin life president was to appease him after he visited Kigezi District and warned of severe consequences if anyone was caught supporting the guerrillas who were, according to the intelligence, operating in the area because of its proximity to Tanzania, the country sheltering them.

And to prove that they supported the government, it is believed, they wanted Amin to be crowned life president.

In late January 1973, a second meeting of chiefs and elders from the two districts was held at Kamukuzi, Mbarara District headquarters in the presence of Lt Col Ali, the commanding officer of Simba Battalion in Mbarara District.

The meeting had been hosted to review the security situation in both districts following the recruitment of guerrillas, particularly in Kigezi sub-region at the time.

On January 31, 1973, the Voice of Uganda newspaper carried a lead story: “Make him life president call.”

It had a sub title: “Ankole, Kigezi people make historic proposal on Gen Amin’s leadership and urge all Ugandans to support.”

The story in part read: “The Defence Council has been urged by the people of Kigezi and Ankole to consider very seriously the proposal of making General Idi Amin Uganda’s life president and they have also appealed to all Ugandans to support the proposal.”

At the Kamukuzi meeting, nine reasons were forwarded for why Amin should be made life president. They included:

1. Abolishing of political parties which had divided Ugandans

2. Abolishing of the General Service Unit and Kondoism (thuggery)

3. Expulsion of Indians

4. Expulsion of Israelis

5. Expulsion of the British

6. Abolishing of mini-skirts and dresses

7. Uniting religions in Uganda

8. Bringing back the body of former Kabaka Sir Edward Muteesa II

9. Handing over of the economy to Ugandans.

It would seem the Defence Council took the Kamwezi proposal to Amin and he liked it.

In late 1974, Amin accepted the life president title to be bestowed on him by the Defence Council. And on July 15, 1975, at a function hosted at State House Entebbe, Amin was promoted to Field Marshal. The Defence Council gave eight reasons for promoting him to that rank.

Bahororo saying

The Bahororo could have invented the Akaryeija kararuga Kabale saying because they had witnessed unusual happenings in and around Kabale area, or State as ancient tribes often referred to each other.

For instance, in September 1909, there had emerged the notorious Nyabingyi Movement, a religious/ militant cult led by a priestess, Nyiragahumuza, who claimed to be fighting colonialists.

The movement went on, though in different phases, until September 1945 when Nyiragahumuza died.

She died in a prison at Kakeka, Mengo, near Kampala, according to available records. Since never before had the Bakiga and Bahororo heard of a woman commanding a war, the saying akaryeija kararuga Kabale was thus brought to life.

Kabale public executions

February 27, 1918: The public execution of two former Nyabingyi fighters, Baguma and Bagorogoza, at what is now Kabale stadium proved the Bahororo’s prediction.

The duo was executed by the guillotine after British colonialist and Kigezi District Commissioner J. H. G. McDougall found the two guilty of participating in the infamous Nyakishenyi battle of August 27, 1917 in which a British camp was destroyed and several people killed.

February 10, 1973: On that day, Kabale residents witnessed the second public execution. Joseph Bitwari, James Karambuzi and David K. Tusingwire, part of the Yoweri Museveni-led Fronasa group, were executed at Kabale stadium by firing squad conducted by the Uganda Army .


Really Uganda was not a colony of Europe. It was a Protecto

rate of Europe. One reckon freedom fighters in the Protecto

rate of Uganda after Indepen

dence are called liberators from African tyranny.

RAT

 (Resist African Tyranny)

 


President Museveni at the unveilling of the Rugando monument in Mbarara district in 2012. The monument was erected in memory of the victims of the 1979 anti-Amin struggle


President Yoweri Museveni will unveil a monument in memory of the victims of the National Resistance Army (NRA) struggle at Dwaniro subcounty headquarters in the central district of Kiboga on Heroes' Day next week.


According to government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo, the unveiling of the monument will precede the day’s main celebrations at Katwe PS grounds in the same district. Opondo said Dwaniro had been selected because it was the epicenter of the liberation war that steered the ruling NRM government into power.


Heroes’ Day(NRM) is celebrated every June 9 in memory of citizens who have contributed to the nation building. However, the public holiday’s national celebration ceremonies have been criticized by the opposition, with the choice of heroes raising eyebrows and the event’s pomp often described as wastage of tax payers’ money.

skamugisha@

observer.ug


An old war bomb has killed two in Nakaseke, in the historical Luwero war zone:

Mr Abdul Kasakya, a survivor of the blast, at Nakaseke Hospital.

 

PHOTO by Dan

Wandera. 

Article by:
By Dan Wandera


Posted  Tuesday, March 10  2015

 

Nakaseke, Buganda State, Uganda.

Police in Nakaseke District have confirmed two people killed and one injured when an object suspected to be abandoned war material exploded at Kamusenene village in Ngoma Subcounty at the weekend.

Police have identified the deceased as Dan Ssemakadde, a resident of Kiwoko village Wakyato Sub-county and Simeo Mukwaya Kabaya, a resident of Kiwoko Town in Nakaseke. The injured currently admitted to Nakaseke Hospital, has been identified as Abdul Kasakya, a resident of Kayunga District. 

“We suspect that the explosive could be an abandoned war material which exploded after the victims tampered with it as they went on with their charcoal burning process. Simeo Mukwaya died on spot while Dan Ssemakadde died at Nakaseke Hospital shortly after admission,” Mr Lameck Kigozi, the Police Spokesperson Savanah Region, told Daily Monitor.

According to Kasakya, they did not notice they had any metal as they carried logs in preparation for charcoal burning at Kamusenene village.

“Saturday morning was very normal as we carried logs in preparation for charcoal burning. I did not see any suspicious material in form of a metal around us but there was something which looked like a stone. I heard a loud burst and a cloud of dust. I did not know that i had been injured but tried to look for my two friends whom I could not locate at that particular time. I only came to my senses when we were being lifted up by residents and police,” Kasakya said.

Mr Kigozi said police are waiting for ballistic experts from UPDF to help police identify the type of explosive.

editorial@ug.

nationmedia.com



A British Navy rescues African and Arabic refugees in the Med Sea.

 
 
A Royal Marine from HMS Bulwark watches over refugees on a Royal Navy Landing Craft in the Mediterranean (Ministry of Defence)

The Royal Navy's flagship has rescued a more than 100 refugees adrift in the Mediterranean - its first mission since being deployed in the region.

HMS Bulwark was despatched to the Mediterranean on Monday as part of David Cameron's promise to help tackle the migrant crisis, which has cost the lives of nearly 1,800 people this year.

The 19,000-tonne assault ship picked up 110 migrants today after inspecting a suspicious rubber boat. With the help of the Italian coastguard, the migrants were taken to land.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said last night: "HMS Bulwark, working with the Italian coastguard, today investigated a large rubber boat with approximately 110 individuals on board.

"The individuals were rescued using Bulwark's landing craft before being transferred on to the Italian coastguard's vessel and taken to land. Everyone was transferred safely and HMS Bulwark remains on task."

The Prime Minister pledged the ship on April 23 ahead of an emergency EU summit to discuss how European countries could cooperate to prevent the deaths of thousands this summer.

Speaking outside the Brussels meeting, Mr Cameron said: "Saving lives means rescuing these poor people, but it also means smashing the gangs and stabilising the region.

"Now Britain, as ever, will help. We'll use our aid budget to help stabilise neighbouring countries. And as the country in Europe with the biggest defence budget, we can make a real contribution."

Mr Cameron also pledged three Merlin helicopters to the rescue effort.

HMS Bulwark, a landing platform dock, is designed to put ashore Royal Marine commandos in assaults by sea, by boats launched from the dock compartment, and from two helicopters from the deck.

It has a nautical range of 8,000 miles and can carry up to 700 troops on top of a crew of 325.

The MoD said earlier that the Prime Minister had made clear to the European Council that Britain would play a role in tackling the current crisis in the Mediterranean, but would not offer refugees asylum in the UK.

Nb

Great Britain used to rule the global waves. Many of these refugees are from the political confusion Great Britain caused in their countries as it consolidated its abruptly ended recent British Empire. These refugees therefore should be given a UN mandate to be resettled back to their lands with all the protection against political and military neo-colonialism that is causing so much disorder and social  chaos in this world order.


The United Kingdom Government is attempting to keep details of a  secret security agreement  with Saudi Arabia, hidden from the British people:

© Reuters/PA Wire Theresa May and Prince Khalid bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz

The British Government signed a secret security pact with Saudi Arabia and is now attempting to prevent details of the deal from being made public.

The Home Secretary Theresa May agreed to the so-called ‘memorandum of understanding’ with her Saudi counter-part Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef during a visit to the Kingdom last year.

The Home Office released no details of her trip at the time or announced that the deal had been signed. The only public acknowledgement was a year later in a Foreign Office report which obliquely referenced an agreement to “modernise the Ministry of the Interior”.

But now following a Freedom of Information request from the Liberal Democrats, who were in Government at the time, it has emerged that the agreement is far wider than has been acknowledged.

In its grounds for refusing to publish details of the memorandum the Home Office has admitted it “contains information relating to the UK’s security co-operation with Saudi Arabia”.

Releasing the document it says “would damage the UK’s bilateral relationship” with the Kingdom and potentially damage Britain’s national security.

The Home Secretary Theresa May agreed to the so-called ‘memorandum of understanding’ with her Saudi counter-part Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef

Human rights groups have expressed alarm at the secretive nature of the deal with a regime which has been condemned for its human rights record.

In February the Kingdom adopted a new anti-terrorism law that defines terrorism as words or actions deemed by the authorities to be directly or indirectly “disturbing” to public order or “destabilizing the security of society.

In March, a series of decrees promulgated by the Interior Ministry extended Saudi Arabia’s extended the definition of further to include “calling for atheist thought” and “contacting any groups or individuals opposed to the Kingdom”, as well as “seeking to disrupt national unity” by calling for protests.

The Ministry of the Interior is also responsible for carrying out executions such as the threatened beheading of Ali Mohammed Baqir al-Nimr for taking part in anti-government protests and allegedly attacking security forces when he was 17. Mr Ali al-Nimr supporters claim he was tortured while in detention.


© Provided by The Independent Prince Khalid bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz welcomes British Prime Minister David Cameron (L) as he arrives in Jeddah on November 6, 2012 (Picture: [copyright])


Both Liberal Democrats and Labour have called for Mrs May to provide details of the deal to Parliament and expressed concern that such an agreement should be done behind closed doors without any public scrutiny.

“Deals with nations like Saudi Arabia should not be done in secret,” said the Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron.

“Parliament should be able to hold ministers to account. It is time to shine a light onto the shady corners of our relationship with Saudi Arabia.”

“It is time we stood up for civil liberties, human rights and not turn a blind eye because the House of Saud are our ‘allies’”.

The emergence of the agreement comes after the Justice Secretary Michael Gove announced he was cancelling a £5.9 million contract to provide a training programme for prisons in the Saudi Arabia.

The contract had attracted widespread criticism but when the cancellation was announced it led to a diplomatic row with the Saudi leadership who threatened to withdraw Saudi ambassador in London pending a review of relations with the UK.

In an attempt to placate the Saudis, David Cameron sent a personal message to King Salman bin Abdul Aziz bin Saud, while the Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond was dispatched to Riyadh to rebuild bridges.

Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn said that while Saudi Arabia had undoubtedly provided assistance to Britain in dealing with threats in recent years it had also clamped down on fundamental freedoms, such as free speech.

“Any assistance to their interior ministry needs to be in line with our commitment to human rights worldwide,” he said.

“Given the UK Government's recent decision to pull out of a deal with the Saudi Ministry of Justice on prisons, it is imperative that the FCO and the Home Office provide details on what this MOU with the Saudis involves so Parliament and the public can be assured that it is compliant with our treaty obligations and British values. Ministers should not hide behind the cloak of national security and should instead be open about the nature of this arrangement.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen described the memorandum as a “murky deal”.

“We’d like to know what efforts are being made by UK officials to challenge and prevent abuses in Saudi Arabia’s highly abusive justice system?” she said.

“This murky MoU deal was set up shortly after the Saudi Interior Ministry was granted draconian new powers to hold and interrogate terrorism suspects without a lawyer for 90 days. Have Theresa May’s officials ever asked their counterparts to scale back on these excessive powers?

“The UK already has a track record of selling vast quantities of arms to Saudi Arabia while remaining markedly reluctant to publicly criticise Riyadh for its atrocious human rights record.

“With people like the blogger Raif Badawi still languishing in jail and the teenage protester Ali al-Nimr still facing a possible execution, secret deals between the UK and Saudi leave a very bad taste.”

A Home Office spokesman said they could not comment on the memorandum.


An African School in Tanzania built by the President of Uganda, Mr Yoweri Museveni 

The village of Muhutwe in Kagera region has a special relationship with Uganda's president, Yoweri Museveni. During his years in exile from Uganda he spent some time at Muhutwe, in the western Tanzania region of Kagera.

The house where President Museveni lived in the village of Muhutwe.

He reportedly lived in the house, pictured above, where he rented a small room. My guide during the trip to Muhutwe told me the room was packed with books. The landlord did not know who Museveni was until Museveni returned to the village of Muhutwe as president of Uganda and visited his former residence.

Nyarigamba Secondary School.


President Museveni not only decided to build a house for his former landlord, but even decided that two secondary schools should be built in Muleba district: one at Muhutwe, and another one at Kamachumu.

Nyarigamba Secondary School.
Nyarigamba Secondary School.
Nyarigamba Secondary School.

The decision was not received with approval by some Ugandans who complained that President Museveni should have spent that money in Uganda.


According the the Ugandan High Commissioner to Tanzania, Ibrahim Mukiibi, the schools were built as a gesture of friendship from Ugandans to Tanzania for the good job that the Tanzanian army had done in the war that toppled the former ruler, Idi Amin in 1979.

Mr Crispy Kaheru

Uganda is currently undergoing a serious political crisis triggered by the continued contestation of the February 18, 2016 presidential election results by a section of the political actors that participated in that election.

The government, Electoral Commission and the NRM party are contented with the way the election was conducted. On the other hand, the opposition, civil society organisations as well as local and international observers remain dissatisfied with the way the election was managed.

Election observation outfits (with the exception of the African Union and the East African Community [maybe]) have described the conduct of the election as having been inconsistent with the country’s obligation under Article 25 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to hold genuine elections that guarantee the free expression of the will of the voters.

The results of the last presidential election as announced by the Electoral Commission and the decision of the Supreme court have not brought an end to the country’s political contestations; neither have they conferred legitimacy on the outcome of the election in the minds of a significant section of the Ugandan society.

However, this was not entirely new. Ugandans have consistently faced the same political and electoral challenges after each election – especially since 2001.

It is actually regrettable that over the years, similar political and electoral crises have been glossed over, only for the same crises to reoccur on higher scales.

As of today, the events taking place in the country, including the arrests of key opposition figures, incidents of police brutality on ordinary citizens, the ban on the media live coverage of opposition activities and the restrictions imposed on social media, are only representative of a deteriorating political and security situation in the country.

We must appreciate that the current crisis, though electoral in nature, it is deeply rooted in broader political and governance challenges. If not comprehensively addressed, the current political crisis could further lead to a severe fracture in the social fabric of the Ugandan state and thus exacerbate the polarization and possible paralysis of the political and socio-economic system in Uganda.

The existing political stalemate presents Uganda with an opportunity not only to address the historical and political causes of this very prevailing situation, but also with a remarkable chance to discuss and, through a national dialogue and consensus, pave a new political and electoral path for Uganda.

Up until now, a number of stakeholders have recognized the need, and are calling for a people-to-people national conversation as a platform to tackle the escalating tension in the country. This national conversation is, indeed, critical if the country is to move forward.

It is incumbent upon all political actors to ensure that every effort to address the prevailing political challenges in Uganda is through peaceful means. At this moment in time, stakeholders in the electoral process and the citizenry ought to urgently activate a national peace architecture.

This peace infrastructure should rely on existing capacity within our society. Institutions such as the elders’ forum, Inter Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU), the Women Situation Room (WSR), the National Consultative Forum (NCF) and the Inter-Party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) should lead processes around an inclusive dialogue – with the aim of addressing the root causes of the current political and electoral crisis.

In countries such as Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Kenya, etc, the role of the international community in internal dialogue processes has been substantive.

Most of the dialogue processes have taken place under the auspices of the international community and regional structures/institutions. Their support in capacity building and expert assistance cannot be underestimated – and, therefore, must be sought.

What the current situation has exposed is the necessity to develop a long-term perspective on sustainable political dialogue for Uganda – either under the auspices of state institutions, or as extraordinary measures.


The author is the coordinator, Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU).

Nb

Indeed back to square one of the Ugandan historic times of the 1960s when about 15 tribal states created what now is an Anglophile Uganda state. M7 does not want to hear all that. He calls it  all political chaos that he alone came to mend.

EKITIBWA KYA BUGANDA

 

CHORUS:

 

TWESIIMYE NNYO, TWESIMYE NNYO

OLWA BUGANDA YAFFE

EKITIIBWA KYA BUGANDA KYAAVA DDA NAFFE TUKIKUUMENGA.

 

1. Okuva edda n’edda eryo lyonna

Lino eggwanga Buganda

Nti lyamanyibwa nnyo eggwanga lyaffe Okwetoloola ensi zonna.

 

2. Abazira ennyo abaatusooka

Baalwana nnyo mu ntalo

Ne balyagala nnyo eggwanga lyaffe

Naffe tulyagalenga.

 

3. Ffe abaana ba leero ka tulwane

Okukuza Buganda

Nga tujjukira nnyo ba jjajja baffe

Abaafirira ensi yaffe.

 

4. Nze naayimba ntya ne sitenda

Ssaabasajja Kabaka

Asaanira afuge Obuganda bwonna

Naffe nga tumwesiga.

 

5. Katonda omulungi ow’ekisa

Otubeere Mukama

Tubundugguleko emikisa gyo era

Bba ffe omukuumenga.

 


OBUKULEMBEZE BW'ENSI BUGANDA

 

Ekitabo kino: OBUKULEMBEZE BWA BUGANDA,

kitandise okutundibwa mu bitundu by'ensi ya Buganda nga kilambika bulungi ekifo kya Buganda  wakati wobufuzi bwa M7 obwa Uganda obwe myaka 30.


Kiwandiikiddwa Olukiiko lw'Abazzukulu b'Abataka b'Obwakabaka bwa Buganda.



Posted: 05 August 2016

 

Tubasaba Mujje mutandike okwerowooleza ebikwatta ku Nsi yamwe Buganda Nokutegeera obuwangwa Bwo Omuganda Era Ofunne okwagala eri Ensi Yo.

 

Abaganda Amazima Agalituwa Eddembe, Nga Tulwaniriira Ensi Yaffe Buganda.

 

Okwesomesa Ebitatusomesebwa.

 

Kikakatako Omuganda Okukola Omulimu Ssemalimu we Mirimu Gyonna Kwe Kulwanirira Ensi Yo Buganda.

 

Ebyo Byonna Ojja Kubiwuliira Ku Rediyo Ababaka, Ku Lwo Mukaga Entekateeka Kyooto Muzaawula Ku Saawa Biri Ne Kitundu Ezekiro eBuganda.

 

Ku Sande Entekateeka Yamwe Engaazi Wooli Nyweera, Era Nayo Etandika Esaawa Biri Ne Kitundu Ezekiro E'Buganda.

 

Tosubwa Kulwaniirira Buyiiza Bwa Nsi Yo Nemirembe.

The Interna-

tional Criminal Court prosecutor, Bensouda rejects MPs’ calls to indict UPDF

By Yasiin Mugerwa

Posted  Sunday, March 1   2015  

 

In the Uganda Parliament.

Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Fatou Bensouda, on Friday rejected calls by MPs from northern Uganda to indict government officials for alleged war crimes during the counter-insurgency operations against the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels.

Ms Bensouda is in the country to follow up on the impending trial of former LRA commander Dominic Ongwen at ICC in The Hague for war crimes.

Dokolo Woman MP Ms Cecilia Ogwal had asked Ms Bensouda to consider preferring similar charges against the NRM government officials accused of committing atrocities against civilians in the north during the LRA rebellion.

“It’s a complex situation,” Bensouda replied: adding that ICC does not have a provision in its rules to summon government, according to sources who attended the closed door meeting with MPs at Parliament on Friday. 


In asking ICC prosecutor to indict government officials, Ms Ogwal sought to know the action ICC prosecutor would take if it finds the government also committed atrocities during the LRA insurgency.

Sources said the ICC prosecutor however, said the government is “free to request the judge of the ICC to make submissions in cases like that of Ongwen.

“During Ongwen trial, if any witness points a finger to government, the judges can summon government to make submissions towards such allegation [but not as a key suspect in the case.],” Bensouda said.

When contacted on Friday, the Uganda People’s Defence Forces’ spokesman Lt Col Paddy Ankunda said: “MPs are free to make such accusations, they have a right to do that. But if anybody has evidence that UPDF soldiers committed any atrocities in the north, we will cooperate in investigating such cases.”

Ms Bensouda, after a courtesy call to Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, met selected MPs from Acholi, Lango and Teso, the regions worst ravaged by the LRA rebellion, as part of her wider consultations with the victims, political leaders and religious leaders.


On the question of trying Ongwen as a victim and at the same time a perpetrator, Ms Bensouda said: “The question of whether ICC is going to try Ongwen does not arise since at the time of his capture, he was already an adult. This is why Ongwen was allowed to choose his lawyer and he chose Crispus Ayen Odong (Oyam North MP) to represent him.”

She admitted some African leaders were seeking to quit ICC but said this was in their self defence. However, she said this won’t deter ICC from pursuing cases before the court to stop impunity.

ymugerwa@

ug.nationmedia.com



Uganda

Peoples Defence Forces of the NRM Political party has retired 40 officers in Gulu. 

UPDF

A UPDF officer speaks to soldiers who were retired from the army at the 4th Division Infantry headquarters in Gulu Town yesterday.

Photo by Julius Ocungi


By JULIUS OCUNGI


Posted  Wednesday, April 1  2015

Gulu. UGANDA.


A total of 40 Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) soldiers at the 4th Division Army Barracks in Gulu District were yesterday retired from the army.

The retirement exercise, which took place at the 4th Division Infantry headquarters in Gulu Town, saw soldiers at the ranks of Captain, Lieutenant, Sergeant, Corporals and Private relieved of their duties.

The exercise was the first phase of the approved plans by the UPDF to retire 1,400 soldiers.

Speaking in an interview with Daily Monitor, the division spokesperson, Col Caesar Otim Olweny, said some of the officers who were retired had earlier applied for retirement, others had clocked 50 years while the rest had ill health.

“This is the first batch of officers to be retired at division level in the country, we are proud of the good services these officers provided to the country while serving in the UPDF over these years,” said Col Olweny.

Financial package

He noted that the retired officers will be given financial packages to help them begin a new life.

The 4th Division commander, Brig Muhanga Kayanja, who graced the ceremony, advised the retiring soldiers to desist from indiscipline that might block their chances of being recalled for other special assignments by the army.

“Today, you are being retired into a civilian, but it doesn’t mean we have lost touch with you. You still remain soldiers and in any of special assignments, some of you may be recalled, but only those who have been living good lives at home,” Brigadier Kayanja said.


The conditions of Uganda’s  health system in Karamoja after 30 years of NRM rule?

One of the houses in the medical staff quarters in Moroto.


By FREDERIC MUSISI


Posted  Saturday, April 4  2015 at  01:00

 

Insensitive? As government plans to send at least 263 specialised medical personnel to the Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago, what is the health situation back home?

 
 

On a good day at a rural government health facility, when doctors are present and nurses are not shouting, drugs will be out of stock. On a bad one when drugs have been stocked, health attendants will be out of sight.

It was such undoing, typical of majority health centres around the country, that Joyce Ategeka, a resident of Nyawaiga village on the shores of Lake Albert in Buliisa District, was left a widow at 35. Her husband succumbed to acute malaria and diarrhea, leaving her the burden of raising 10 children alone.

A nurse at a health centre III in the neighbouring village, Sebagoro, where the deceased had been admitted four days before his death, revealed that there was a high chance of saving him.

Problem was, there were neither drugs nor a qualified doctor so he could not be helped further. Admitting that the centre has a staff and drug shortage, the best the nurse, who spoke on condition of anonymity, says they all they could do was give him painkillers - Panadol. The doctor at the health centre had been transferred three months earlier.


The health centre in Sebagoro is a 20 by 40-feet container that moonlights for patient examination, emergencies, labour ward, antenatal and clerking, name it. The unit is shared by seven villages, with a daily patient influx of between 30 to 40 and a staff of seven.

Four hundred kilometers South West in Nyakashaka, Burere Sub-county in Buhweju District, the situation is perhaps slightly but not any better.

Regional referral hospitals

At the 14 regional referral hospitals in the country, the status quo is barely better.

According to the ministry’s Annual Health Sector Performance Report for the FY2013/14 issued in October last year, seven out of the 14 regional referral hospitals have a staffing level below the average. These include Moroto (41%), Mubende (55%), Naguru (67%), Kabale (70 %), Soroti (74%) and Hoima (74 %). Having to serve five neighbouring districts of Nakapiripirit, Abim, Kaabong, Moroto and Kotido, Moroto Regional Referral Hospital has had to up its 115 bed capacity by 70, despite its laughable staff numbers.

Patient numbers, however, are quite low except for the maternity ward due to factors ranging from the bad roads, drought, famine, absence of specialised facilities and medical attendants and lack of electricity. With limited access to clean water, the hospital is forced to rely on the hard water available, which frequently breaks down the equipment.

The hospital’s chief medical supretendant, Dr Filbert Nyeko, says they have to refer patients to as far as Soroti to access specialised services.

Nonetheless, health centres continue to face other challenges, including poor working conditions, excessive workloads, low salaries and poor remuneration, obsolete diagnostic equipment, medical workers stealing drugs, and drug shortages.

Yet in the face of all such challenges, government is making plans to send at least 263 specialised medical personnel to the Caribbean Island of Trinidad and Tobago, a deal which officials from both Health and Foreign Affairs ministries, say is intended at “accelerating diplomatic relations” between the two countries.

Uganda is number 149th in rankings of healthcare around the world. Trinidad on the other hand, is in the 67th position and in third position is the Americas after United States and Canada. With a population of 1.3 million people, Trinidad has 12 times as many doctors per capita than Uganda.

According to the shortlist, the personnel set to go include , 15 of the 28 orthopedics Uganda has, four of the six urologists, 15 of of 91 Internal medicine specialists, 15 of 92 paediatrics, four of the 25 ophthalmologists, four of the 11 registered psychiatrists and 20 of the 28 radiologists.

Others include 20 Radiologists, 15 of the 126 gynaecologists in Uganda, four of the 15 pathologists, 15 paediatrics, four Ophthalmologists, 15 general surgeons, among others.

But Dr Asuman Lukwago, the Permanent Secretary in the Health ministry, says the decision to offer Trinidad a helping hand has nothing to do with Uganda’s health sector being afflicted.

“The sector has some human resource challenges, but this is not because of availability on the front line. There are some frontiers where we even have excess and the question that begs is what should we do for such people without work?” he asks.

Dr Lukwago argues that the challenges plaguing the health sector are bigger than the ministry, and a solution, if any, requires multi-pronged approaches.

ENTALO ENFU EZITAGGWA MUNSI BUGANDA

Posted on 25th September, 2014

 

The current military government of NRM after closing the Constitutional Square with its beautiful tropical vegatation for many years has leisurely re-opened it:

By The New Vision

 

Added 3rd March 2017

 

Political demonstrations led to lasting political police occupation

It is indeed a very long story since independence when the British left this park intact and beautiful with tropical vegetation all over the place. One wonders how Africans stop fellow Africans from enjoyment of this tropical beauty and let alone improve on it right in the centre of the Equatorial International City of Kampala.

 

 

The only natural leisure park in the whole city of Kampala, Uganda.

How a Central Government bureaucracy helped the illitrate and dictatorial Amin sign a book at the swearing-in, after capturing power by military arms in Uganda 1971:

  Edward Ochwo (Left) shows Idi Amin where to sign in the book after the latter swore in as African president                                                                         Inllitrate in 1971.

 

Inset is Mr Ochwo, today.  

By  Henry Lubega

 

Posted  Saturday, May 21   2016 
At the time of Amin’s take over, I was the clerk to the National Assembly or Parliament, and also in charge of Kampala Club.

Thus, I was in charge of the VIP lounge at Entebbe airport on the day Milton Obote left for Singapore.

Normally, all heads of security agencies and ministers see off the president at the airport when he is going on a foreign trip. I had noticed that Amin and other senior army officers were missing.

As soon as Obote’s plane was airborne, Amin arrived at the head of a convoy of four military jeeps with an APC at the end. I was standing at the VIP lounge entrance seeing the ministers off.

Amin takes charge

He parked at a short distance from the entrance and sent for me. He knew me personally; from 1963 when I was the assistant District Commissioner of Jinja. When I got to his jeep he instructed me to tell the ministers to go back to the VIP lounge, 20 minutes later, he sent for me again, and asked whether the ministers had assembled in the lounge.

I waited for him at the door, and as he entered he asked where the president had been sitting. I pointed where Obote’s seat was and told him once the president leaves we take away the chair.

He ordered for the chair to be brought back, and sat in it as he addressed the ministers. He asked all of them to give account of their ministry’s activities.

The meeting which started soon after 7pm went on past 11pm in the night.

As I went to work the next day, I noticed there were soldiers at every corner though not armed. Around 6am the next day, one of our drivers Sebi Kelili, a Nubian in the speaker’s office rang me to say: “My Lord, Amin has taken over government, but for you, you don’t have to fear anything. Stay in your house don’t move.”

The night was quiet until around 5am when gunfire was heard almost all over the city. This went on up to around 3pm when a big blast went off and the guns went silent. Soon after, the coup was announced on Radio Uganda and all civil servants were ordered to report to work the next day.

Following the orders, I left my home in Nakasero where the present day UNRA offices are which was the official residence of the clerk to the National Assembly. I could not drive, I walked to Parliament. At Parliament there were soldiers almost in every space. As I settled in my office some soldiers came and asked me to show them around.

I took them around all the offices except the one above the Sergeant at Arms’. This was Obote’s private office and it was his bodyguards who kept the keys. In there he kept his private things such as spare clothes, books and a radio set. He also followed parliamentary proceedings from there. I told the soldiers it was the president’s bodyguard with the key.

Saved by the bell

They said “we onacheza tutapiga we lisasi tu (you are playing we shall shoot you) bring the key now”.

The situation was saved with the arrival of Lt Ocima who I had gone to college with. He told the soldiers around me to behave “this is our man” with that I breathed a sigh of relief.

They broke into the office and ransacked it, taking whatever was there. There were two suits, a pair of cufflinks, a radio set, and other personal effects. That evening, the permanent secretary in the office of the president and head of civil service Justus Byagagaire rung me to say that I should prepare Kololo Airstrip for the swearing in ceremony, the following day.

Amin arrived at Kololo in style; he was standing alone in an open roof Cadillac. After taking the oath, he had trouble locating where he had to sign in a book. He didn’t know how to read or where to put his signature. I had to show him and explain what to write on the dotted line.

Two days after the swearing in, Lt Ocima called me and said the military head of state (he was not being referred to as president at that time) wanted me to hand over Kampala Club to the army.

A day after handing over the club to the army, Amin personally called me to his office at Parliament and told me to take charge of the Nile Conference Centre and the Nile Hotel. By then, they were being called the OAU (Organisation of African Unity) centre. I was to report direct to him.

Taking a new role

With that appointment, I became the officer in charge of the centre at the same time retaining my title of clerk to the National Assembly because the decree dissolving the National Assembly did not abolish my office.

The vote for running the centre came to the office of the clerk to the National Assembly.

I was the clerk to the nonexistence National Assembly and director of the conference centre. As a result, it was me to usher Amin into the conference centre whenever there was a function. To the extent that in 1974 when King Faisal of Saudi Arabia was coming, while I was in France to publicise our conference facilities at the annual conference of an association called International Congress and Conventions Association in Paris, message came that I was needed home immediately.

The status quo remained that way until 1978 when the Tanzanian war started. Two days after Tanzanian shells fell in Kampala Amin left the city. That was about five days before Kampala fell to the Tanzanians. Amin left five days before Kampala fell. It’s not true that he left on April 10 from Luzira. Those areas had already been infiltrated by that time.

Amin parting moments

The day Amin left Kampala, he drove into the Nile Mansions complex from the direction of Kololo. I was there to receive him.

He arrived at around 10am in a convoy of about six jeeps with him in the lead car. He was dressed in his full Field Marshal uniform.

We shook hands and he said he was “going on safari to Karamoja for one week” he directed me and the manager of the hotel, Mbuga Kaggwa to keep the place in top form because upon his return from the safari, there was going to be an international conference, “nobody should be allowed to use the facility,” he directed us as he got back into his jeep.

He drove off towards the direction of Jinja Road.

That very afternoon, he made a statement on Radio Uganda castigating Tanzania president Julius Nyerere and assuring all Ugandans that all Tanzanian soldiers who had invaded Uganda were going to be destroyed. He said he was not running away he was coming back to finish off the Tanzanians. Unfortunately, he never returned.

The National Resistance Army(a rebel force 1980/86)(Currently UPDF), its war ammunition is being dug out in Luweero these days

 

              The G-3 guns recovered by a farmer in Makulubita

                         Sub-county on Monday, 22/09/2014.

 

PHOTO BY:

 

By Dan Wandera

 

Posted  Wednesday, September 24  2014 at  01:00
 

IN SUMMARY

Discoveries. Several weapons have been discovered by farmers tilling their land in the area most pouplar for the NRA war.

 

SHARE THIS STORY
 
One of the former false civil Wars of Buganda in the Luweero Triangular towns.

The three triangular towns in the country of Buganda include: Kampala, Luweero, and Mityana.

 

An assortment of ammunition, believed to have been used during the National Resistance Army (NRA) liberation war has been dug out in Luweero District.

The ammunition include; two bombs, an anti-tank rifle and six G-3 guns. Luweero District CIID chief, Mr Topher Gimei, says the police on Monday received six G-3 rifles which were recovered by a farmer, Mr Jamil Ssenkubuge, who was clearing a bush at Namakata village in Makulubita Sub-county.

The rifles had been piled together and buried several feet deep in the ground. “We have been receiving information about abandoned war material. We have responded by contacting the UPDF while some of the material recovered has been handed over to the police,” Mr Gimei said.

Mr Ssenkubuge says the area where he recovered the six guns had not been used for a long time. The guns, he said, were rusty. “I contacted my area LC1 chairman who informed the police about the guns in my garden,” Mr Ssenkubuge said.

Kamira Sub-county chairman, Livingstone Kategaya, told the Daily Monitor that one anti-tank rifle had been recovered at Kabunyata village on Sunday by a farmer who was clearing a bush. He said materials including empty shells are now common in many areas of Kamira Sub-county because the area was a battle ground between the then UPC government forces and the NRA guerrillas in the early 1980s.

“We only appeal to our residents to be careful when they come across any suspicious material which could turn out to be dangerous,” Mr Kategaya said. 

The chairman noted that in the past two years, several weapons have been recovered and handed over to security agencies. 

Mr Patrick Kissekwa Sonko, the District councillor representing Makulubita Sub-county said a Uzi-gun and three magazines were recently recovered in a bush at Kitemamasanga village and handed over to the UPDF.

“This area hosted the high command for the guerrilla forces at Mondlane camp in Makulubita Sub-county where we suspect that some of the military materials we are recovering could have been abandoned by either the government forces or the NRA rebels. Our people should not play with these suspicious objects,” Mr Kissekwa said yesterday.

In the past

In May 2013, an abandoned bomb exploded and killed one person while five others were admitted at Nakaseke Hospital nursing serious injuries. The explosive was picked from a farm at Bulamba village as a scrap metal. The men who were clearing a farm carried the suspicious metal to their rented home where it later exploded as they tried to remove the rust.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

 

Poliisi ekutte abaana 24 ababadde batendekebwa obuyeekera:

Mar 18, 2015

 

EKIF: JOSEPH MAKUMBI

 

Bya JOSEPH MAKUMBI

 

POLIISI enunudde abaana ababadde batendekebwa eyaliko omuyekera wa ADF nga yefuude abasomesa eddiini n'ebagiraga obukodyo bw’abadde akozesa okubatendeka.

 

Abaana abaanunuddwa bali 24 era nga ku bano, kuliko abawala 13 n’abalenzi 11 nga bali wakati w’emyaka 2 (ebiri) ne 15.

 

Abaana 10 ku 24 abadde batendekebwa mu maka ga Hajati Mariam Huthman Nalumaga omutuuze w’e Mpoma mu ggombolola y’e Nama mu disitulikiti y’e Mukono n’abalala 14 ababadde batendekerwa mu maka ga Sheikh Abdul Rashid Mbaziira, omutuuze w’oku kyalo Bwefulumya e Namawojjolo ku luguudo lw’e Jinja ng'ono yali muyeekera wa ADF kyokka n'asaba ekisonyiwo.

 

Omwogezi wa poliisi mu ggwanga, Fred Enanga yategeezezza nti abaana baabanunudde oluvannyuma lw’okufuna amawulire nga March 13 nti waliwo Hajati abasomesa eddiini kyokka ng'embeera gy'abasomesezaamu mbi nnyo, basula ku mikeeka wansi, kabuyonjo tebalina nga n’emmere tebalya emala.

 

Enanga agamba nti, baasitukiddemu ne bagenda mu maka ga Hajati Mariam e Mpoma gye baggye abaana 10 ne babatwala mu nkambi ya poliisi e Nalufeenya kyokka baabadde tebannabatuusa, ne bafuna amawulire amalala ku Sheikh Mbaziira nti naye alina abaana. Baatuuseeyo nga waliyo abaana 14, bonna ne babatwala e Nalufeenya okubaggyako sitaatimenti.

 

Yagasseeko nti abaana baabalaze obumu ku bukodyo bwe babadde babayigiriza obw'okutoloka singa baba bakwatiddwa,  ekintu ekyennyamiza kubanga emyaka gy’abaana gikyali mito nnyo okusomsebwa obukodyo bw’ekijaasi.

 

Abaana abaanunuddwa kuliko; Halima Shadia Namatovu 5, Habiba Waruba 5, Rahma Nabukeera 5, Fatuma Nakitende 7, Anisha Naiga 7, Janat Nakigozi 7, Halia Nazziwa 8, Rahma Nakigudde 13, Aisha Kasuubo 10, Huda Mirembe 3, Zubayiha Nambaziira 2, Fatuma Muteesi 13, Rabia Nambaziira 15.

 

Abalala kuliko;  Humairi Mbaziira 5, Imran ssekenyi 2, Suman Twakiru 6, Zaidi Mugisha 7, Ukhasha Kabaale 4, Saidi Mbaziira 8, Abdu Yusuf 5, Sudir Abubakar Lukayamuzi 4, Dirisa Ssenyonga 12, Hamza Ssekyanzi 11 ne Mohammed Sserwadda 5.

 

Enanga yayongeddeko nti ababadde babasomesa okuli Sheikh Mbaziira, Hajati Mariam n’abantu abalala babiri baakwatiddwa era bakyakuumirwa ku poliisi y’e Nalufeenya.

 

 

Over 8,000 Burundians flee as this African country of Burundi goes for National Democratic Elections.

Publish Date: Apr 17, 2015

 

Over 8,000 Burundians flee  as poll tensions mount
 
               Burundian president Pierre Nkurunziza
 

More than 8,000 Burundians have fled in the past two weeks to Rwanda and DR Congo following mounting tensions in the central African country ahead of a key vote, the UN said Friday.

 

The UN refugee agency said the main reasons according to reports from the ground were the disappearance of people associated with the opposition and alleged forced recruitment by the pro-government militia Imbonerakure, the youth wing of the ruling CNDD-FDD party.

 

"In all, more than 8,000 Burundians have sought refuge in these two countries in the past two weeks, 7,099 in Rwanda and a smaller number in the Democratic Republic of Congo," UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards told reporters in Geneva.

 

Edwards said more than 60 percent of the arrivals in Rwanda were children. The refugees came from the northern Burundian province of Kirundo.

 

Burundi, which emerged in 2006 from a brutal 13-year civil war, holds general elections in May to elect lawmakers before a presidential poll in June.

 

Tensions have risen over incumbent President Pierre Nkurunziza's bid to seek a third term in office, despite the constitution stating a president can only be elected twice.

 

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees expressed concern that the numbers of refugees could swell "with more political tension rising and more acts of violence being reported."

 

It said in Rwanda the refugees were housed in two centres in the southern districts of Nyanza and Bugesera adding that 1,060 Burundian asylum seekers had arrived this month in DR Congo's South Kivu province in the east of the vast country.

 

Uganda Peoples Defence Forces explains a scaring military office search done on the daughter of Mr Mbabazi:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The UPDF spokesperson, Lt Col Paddy Ankunda 

 
By RISDEL KASASIRA

 

Posted  Monday, June 8   2015 
 

UGANDA, KAMPALA. 

The army has said a joint security operation with police and intelligence agencies last Friday was not targeting Supreme Security Limited, a company owned by Ms Nina Mbabazi, the daughter of the former premier Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi.

The UPDF spokesperson, Lt Col Paddy Ankunda told Daily Monitor it was an “on-spot assessment” of all private security firms in Kampala. 

Lt Col Ankunda said the operation ordered by the Joint Operations Command had by last Friday covered 15 private security companies and the operation would continue as a result of increased “security concern”. 

“The Joint Operations Command passed a resolution to do assessment of all security companies and if one of them belongs to her, it was a coincidence,” Lt Col Ankunda said. 

Joint Operations Command is a national security structure that combines UPDF, Police, Internal Security Organisation, External Security Organisation and Prisons. 

Pictures of military police at the gate of Supreme Security Limited circulated on social media over the weekend with several commentators, claiming the raid was a siege.

Lt Col Ankunda said the operation looks at how the private security firms store their guns, their armoury and serviceability of the guns. 

However, Nina’s sister, Ms Rachel Mbabazi, said the manner in which the operation was conducted on her sister’s office in Kamwokya, a city suburb, was “scary.” 

“They were asking workers how and where they keep guns. How they recruit guards. Everybody in office was panicking. It felt a bit uneasy. I think they should have done it better,” Rachel Mbabazi said. It is not clear which other offices of private security firms were searched in Kampala. At the time of the search, Nina was out of the country.

rkasasira@ug.nationmedia.com

 

 
Minister Kahinda Otafiire

Government has responded angrily to the European Union’s harsh criticism of its electoral reforms bill tabled in Parliament in May.

Speaking on June 5 during a closed-door meeting with Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, the delegation of EU officials to Uganda led by Ambassador Kristian Schmidt, cast doubt at the credibility of the 2016 general elections and said the government-pushed Constitutional Amendment Bill (2015) does not address substantive electoral reform issues.

In a defiant response on Monday, Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire, the Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister, said government was “sorry” for the European Union if “their own expectations” were not reflected in the bill. He reminded the EU officials that government, like ambassadors, has its own expectations of running the affairs of Uganda.

“We [government] have our own expectations, our own opinion and our own ability,” he said, adding, “If their [European Union] expectations were like that and they did not see them [in the bill], we [government] are sorry.” 

In the meeting, the EU delegation reportedly told Kadaga: “The constitution [amendment] bill did not meet our expectations, but we are outsiders. The civil society, clergy and public made very good suggestions, which were ignored…the reforms presented are cosmetic.” 

“We see this as a missed opportunity. The issue is becoming divisive with some sections of the public saying they are not being taken seriously,” Schmidt reportedly added.

The delegation also included the British High Commissioner Alison Blackburne, Irish Ambassador Donal Cronin, Italian Ambassador Domenico Fornara and German Ambassador Peter Blomeyer. It seemed to speak in tune with Uganda’s opposition party chiefs,  who told the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee that the government bill was “empty and devoid of substance” because it  ignored all the “views” contained in the citizens’ compact on free and fair election. 

Last month, the opposition chiefs tabled proposals in parliament, which included a demand for EC commissioners to be appointed by the Judicial Service Commission, the removal of army representatives from Parliament, and the introduction of a running mate to become deputy president upon election. All these were ignored in the government bill.

Asked whether he was convinced that his bill was all-embracing and able to deliver free and fair elections in 2016, Otafiire said: “It’s not my opinion as Otafiire, but that is what the government [of Uganda] decided to do.”

The diplomats are worried that the electoral reforms bill still gave the president powers to appoint and dismiss commissioners of the electoral commission, meaning he maintained a tight leash on the commission.

“What we believe was the objective criteria in the selection of commissioners. They should be screened by the Judicial Service Commission or another independent body,” said Schmidt.

He also said that they were considering the president’s request for an EU election observer mission because of Uganda’s strategic location in a politically-turbulent region. The delegation asked that enough time be allocated to the consideration of both the Constitution amendment bill and the civil society proposals in order to include a wide variety of views.

On this, Schmidt reportedly urged the speaker to steer the House with an impartial hand.

“You have the powers to steer the House; we entrust this to you, you have our full support and pray for you,” said Schmidt.

In response, Kadaga didn’t hide her disappointment with the executive for tabling the Constitution amendment bill towards the end of the 4th Session of the House, depriving parliament of enough time to consider it. She said parliament needs at least six months to properly study the bill and a lack of quorum would affect its consideration.

“The bill should have been presented at the start of the 4th session or during the 2nd or 3rd session. 2015 is a political year, I do not see serious work done this year,” Kadaga said.

Kadaga, however, said that all wasn’t lost because civil society and political groups still have the opportunity to present their views to the committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, which is now considering the bill.

 

Nb

This sort of political dithering is like children playing a bit of football. President Amin was a man of very few words. He got hold of his Military Council to announce on Radio Uganda by decree his life Presidency so that the Ugandan Politicians and those international countries that put him into power could understand better his Political Road Map.

 

This is not Museveni I knew – A grown-up Luweero Bush War reporter recalls:

Dr Nelson Okuku was chief political reporter with The Star

newspaper at the peak of the NRA war that brought the current

regime to power.

PHOTO BY ABUBAKER LUBOWA 

By Eriasa Mukiibi Sserunjogi and Ivan Okuda

 

Posted  Sunday, July 19  2015 

 

Dr Okuku, we have read about this man who was a reporter and linked up with the National Resistance Army (NRA) rebels. Please take us through this journey briefly.

I worked for a daily newspaper called Star/Ngabo. Drake Ssekeba was the editor-in-chief; the news editor was Henry Gombya who went to London and Victoria Okoth Nalongo Namusisi. After my Senior Six, I was taken on as a trainee reporter. The Baganda were associated with Democratic Party which was anti-Obote. Okuku coming in was very good for the newspaper so wherever Obote had an event, I was assigned and the soldiers associated with me.

We had chaos all the time. So I was on the frontline all the time, doing the stories till I infiltrated NRA. To go from Kampala to Wobulenzi wasn’t easy but I went deep to Nakaseke and the first person I met was Ahmed Kashilingi, he took me to meet Salim Saleh, James Kazini and Benon Biraro. That was 1984 when I came face to face with the rebels. Kazini convinced me to remain but I was more interested in the stories.

What was your impression when you met the rebels for the first time?

Obote used to call them bandits, a description associated with thieves, but to my surprise these were well informed people and some were graduates. They engaged me in deep conversation and I concluded Obote was misusing the word bandits. 

From that time we were recruited by the rebels to be spies; that is why journalists are dangerous at times. We used to meet around the Independence monument near Grand Imperial Hotel and deliver information to the rebels from there. I did this so secretly that not even my bosses got wind of it.

Was there financial reward for it?

We were fed up because as a journalist I was severally intimidated and beaten. We had to change the system. By 1984 it was that bad. You write news, leave office late and by 6pm, the old park was empty with soldiers roaming and if they saw you 100 metres away they would shout at you and even cane you. So whether there was a reward or not, it was out of conviction, we couldn’t continue that way.

Before we lose your first meeting with the rebels, what was your impression of Salim Saleh?

I had heard about him when I was taken to cover one of the MPs in Mubende and an Obote intelligence officer who didn’t know of my presence came around explaining to the people how they had shot and killed Saleh. 

I pictured Saleh to be an Arab coming from the coast till I met him. There is a picture of Saleh in the bush that I took, I was the first to show the world what he looked like; slim, tall with military fatigue. We talked and I interviewed him.

How did you leave Star newspaper offices and get to Nakaseke where you caught up with the rebels?

Drake had trained me so well from a trainee to chief political reporter. The byline ‘By Okuku’ was selling like hot cake. So around 2pm, I was at the office. A Chinese diplomat driving a Mercedes Benz with diplomatic plates came around and interested me in accompanying him. We drove to Nakaseke but what shocked me was that the rebels had pathways for cars in the rough roads. 

As we entered their territory we could see rag-tag boys with guns peeping from the thickets. We saw Kashilingi, he talked to us briefly, went back, consulted and returned to accompany us to where Saleh was, he was driving a small Suzuki car and looked suspicious, possibly fearful that we were covering things they didn’t want us to report about. We met Kazini who assured us, “you are now safe” and then Saleh.

From journalist to rebel: how did this come about? 

After getting to know them, I was attached to their press man, a Captain Songolo who was their photographer. He persuaded me so much as they needed a reporter. Always as I crossed the road going to the bush, this name Okuku helped me so much because Obote’s soldiers associated with me though they knew the newspaper I worked with wasn’t friendly to them. I played the role in linking media with the rebels.

Whenever you wrote, did government get to know that you met the rebels for instance and how was the reaction?

Drake Ssekeba was arrested once and detained in Luzira over some story. What happened is that we could come with the story but the government didn’t want us to call the rebels thus, they preferred the word bandits. 

I made sure the rebels understood our dilemma. One time they called complaining to Namusisi our editor. At a personal level I didn’t care because we had seen enough of the government, I kept churning copy. At the press conferences the negative attitude from the government was evident against Star newspaper but they needed publicity too.

Did you get any problem with the rebels, may be at one time thinking you are crossing them?

No, they needed publicity and not only that because they could also assign me and ask me about Kampala and Obote. I reached a point where I recognised the rebels more than Obote’s regime. In them I saw a future for the country if they got an opportunity to rule. I was only sceptical and kept asking, ‘will these people reach Kampala?’ until the chance came with the overthrow of Obote by Tito Okello.

There is this talk that perhaps Museveni and his forces had no capacity to overthrow Obote, in fact they were retreating to Rwenzori region. 

To be frank with you, Museveni couldn’t have made it, he wasn’t strong enough to overpower those guys, let’s not lie about that. If he was opening bases in Rwenzori they were mere rebel cells. He didn’t have the strength to overpower Obote.

Okay, you were still telling us about your choice to become a rebel.

Yes, when they overthrew Obote, because by that time chaos was at its peak, Okello brought “Anyanyas” and even those I knew in Obote’s regime had vanished. It was more of a survival decision for me to officially join NRA. It was anarchy in Kampala my dear.

When did you first meet Museveni and what stood out in your interaction with him?

One thing: fundamental change. These guys were determined, they were no joke. You felt once they get chance to rule, Uganda will be new. I supported them and wrote; I boosted their efforts and became the mouthpiece of the NRA.

Tell us about the NRA fight from Lukaya to Busega, how did it go for you?

I was in the frontline under Matayo Kyaligonza; we had Patrick Lumumba, Herbert Itongwa and Pecos Kutesa. The battles were fierce. It reached a point when I thought UNLA were going to push the NRA back. People died. Someone asked Kyaligonza, “Are we making it to Kampala?”

That was the point I dropped the notebook and handled the gun. I was trained. I had to handle it. By the time we reached Busega, as we were advancing, we encountered a helicopter attack and it harassed us. On January 24, Museveni came closer to the military. The previous day on January 23, we had had a strategy meeting at night of commanders at 2am chaired by Museveni. We discussed how to take over Kampala. 

There was a feeling that if we encircle Kampala, we might blow up the city so we left Jinja road open for the government soldiers to flee. After the meeting, Museveni slept at a place near the gate of Trinity College, Nabbingo.

At night I went to the frontline to check what was happening. Lubiri barracks was creating strong resistance; to cross from Nateete to Ndeeba was like the mother of war. Around 4pm, ‘Kyaligonza became Kyaligonza,’ he was very tough. We came near Lubiri and as we were crossing from building to building, the group in front of me crossed.

As I was running, a man was levelling to shoot me. A peer called Mwesigye saved me, he shouted, “Okuku go down.” One of the bullets struck my hand. To my surprise Makindye was quiet and we thought they had fled. 

On January 25, I was in the frontline, as we crossed to the roundabout of Katwe and Kibuye, there was heavy gunfire. You couldn’t stand at that roundabout, we lost boys. Our medical team was at a fuel station around there and it received all sorts of casualties. At 10am Museveni came, Kampala hadn’t fallen yet. He came on foot. We went on foot to Bulange, (Republic House) but at the gate there is a building on the right side, that is where Museveni first stayed as we entered Kampala. 

A report came that a group had taken over Radio Uganda; there was an APC under UNLA whose mode of identification for one another was removing one arm. I can’t recall the commander but the soldiers of high command were taken from there to take over Radio Uganda. That is where I played the best role. I knew Radio Uganda well.

 

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