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.

WANTE NYABO OBA SEBO NAFFE WANO E BUGANDA NUMBER YA 7 ETUGANIDDEKO

Posted on 28th September, 2014

No forceful president of self-styled state republics is going to escape the ICC trials, says Bensouda

On December 6, the International Criminal Court (ICC) commenced the long-awaited trial of Dominic Ongwen, one of the five Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebel commanders the court indicted in 2005. This is one of the LRA African diehards that wanted to create a Religious state of Uganda alongside the Christian 10 Commandments of the Jewish Bible manuscripts.

 

MONDAY DECEMBER 19 2016

ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. PHOTO BY

ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. PHOTO BY TABU BUTAGIRA 

There are 70 confirmed charges against Dominic Ongwen. Do you feel confident to expedite their prosecutions and how much time would you require?

What we are trying to do is to be able to capture as much as possible the criminality that took place during this time when Mr Ongwen has been charged. It is important to say that bringing 70 charges instead of seven charges don’t mean that the proceedings will multiply 10 times.

We try to spread [the charges] to ensure that every victim who has suffered during this period [2002-2005] from the actions allegedly taken by Dominic Ongwen are also covered. [The many charges] do not mean that it is going to slow down the process, [but] show the level of criminality that took place and for which Mr Ongwen stands charge.

How do you feel a day after the start of this important trial?

It’s an important day for the victims who have been waiting for more than a decade. The charges are very serious and the number of victims subjected to these crimes is a lot ... the process of bringing justice for them has begun. We had to make sure that we prepared the case as carefully as possible. This is, therefore, an important day for justice for the victims of [the almost two-decade war in] northern Uganda.

Who will be your first witness when the trial resumes January 16, 2017?

I am not particular [about it], but we will show the crime base. This was a hideous crime that was taking place. [We will] show the context within which those crimes have been committed. In the evidence we shall also bring experts who will give us information not just the on context but also [radio call] intercept evidence.

Our plan is to present to the judges as clear and comprehensive [as possible] the picture [of what transpired during the war]. Our main aim is to bring out the truth of what actually happened and who actually suffered crimes and who should be held accountable for those crimes.

Let’s talk about ICC generally; the African governments have been alleging that the ICC has been prosecuting selectively. What do you have to say about that?

I have always said that this is a wrong accusation because [the allegation is like] talking in the abstract, which unfortunately is being done, and not in the proper context.

If we are making allegations, at least this should be objectively done and based on the evidence on ground. Why are these allegations not backed by facts? I will even go ahead to say that those allegations are just erroneous. Point blank. We are investigating in African countries because African governments have [referred cases to the] court.

They have requested for the court’s intervention and they have the right to do so because they are members of [the] ICC. They are state parties and if these crimes happen on your territory and you are not willing to [prosecute] it, whether because of lack of willingness or lack of capacity, being a member of ICC, you can request ICC to intervene.

Uganda is a member of ICC, a state party, ratified the Rome treaty, and when the crimes we are now prosecuting were taking place, Uganda referred the situation to the ICC.

This dates back to 2003 when they requested that the ICC should step in and investigate the crimes that are happening in northern Uganda after the (then ICC Chief Prosecutor Morino Ocampo) clarified that our interventions are going to cover all the parties to the conflict, not just the LRA.

This was agreeable at the time [to Uganda government] and today’s prosecution of Ongwen is one of the results of those investigations.

The ICC is investigating about 10 cases, including in Georgia, Afghanistan and Palestine. But since 2002 when the Rome Statute came into force, there have been wars in Iraq and Libya led by the Americans, French and British. War crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in these wars and the ICC hasn’t prosecuted the perpetrators. Does this give you the sense that the ICC is being even-handed in administering justice?

Absolutely even handed. You have to look at this as a matter of jurisdiction. ICC is only able to intervene in places where it has jurisdiction whether by territorial jurisdiction because the party concerned is a state party or where there is [a referral] by the UN Security Council.

In all cases in which the ICC intervenes, the court must have jurisdiction. Iraq is not a party to the Rome treaty. That means we don’t have territorial jurisdiction in Iraq. However, the ICC has jurisdiction over individuals who are nationals of state parties.

I in 2014 opened preliminary investigations into the UK forces for their conduct in Iraq during that conflict. This is not well known but this is something ongoing. Why the UK? This is because the UK is a party to the Rome Statute and, therefore, the ICC has jurisdiction over its nationals.

We respect UK forces. We did receive allegations in 2009 about their conduct, mainly focused on detainees’ abuse and torture in Iraq. [We] did not have enough evidence for my predecessor to go on with that examination and (he) decided to close it. However, two years ago I received additional information which even raises the gravity threshold.

We are only able to limit ourselves to the UK forces in this case because we don’t have territorial jurisdiction over other personnel. That’s why the ICC’s action in Iraq is limited. You mentioned Syria. Syria is not a party to the Rome Statute ...and we don’t have jurisdiction in that territory.

However, we were able to learn that there were many [nationals from countries that are parties to the Rome Statute]. The ICC potentially has limited jurisdiction in this case.

Having said that, ICC is not a court of first instance; it’s a court of last resort. It complements a national jurisdiction which means in this particular case, the primary responsibility to investigate the nationals remains with the states themselves whose nationals are involved.

So, unless they would not do it, it’s when the ICC as a court of last resort could come in over those particular nationals. This needs to be clear. Also, we go after the persons bearing the greatest responsibility. I request those countries whose nationals are alleged to be among the ranks of the Islamic State (ISIS) to share information to see how my office will be able to handle this particular situation.

Kenya, Burundi and South Africa have begun a formal withdrawal from the ICC. Other African countries are mulling the same. Won’t this undermine ICC’s work and what should be the new safeguards against likely autocracy and impunity?

Joining the ICC is a sovereign, voluntary act and no state has been forced to join it. Today, the ICC enjoys the membership of 126 states. Talking about the withdrawals, this is a sovereign action that can be taken if the states want to do. This is a treaty.

However, if states withdraw from the ICC, according to the Rome treaty, that withdrawal will take effect one year after the deposit of the instrument of withdrawal with the secretary-general.

Burundi is [still] a state party until October 27, 2017, and this means any process that was taken while still a member will continue and Burundi will still have the obligation to cooperate with the ICC. I opened preliminary investigations in Burundi in April 2016 and this continues.

When you indict or prosecute heads of state such as in the case of Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, it undermines citizens’ confidence in them and could potentially cause anarchy

The international community and the treaty show us that nobody is above or below the law. The issue here is that there can no longer be impunity for atrocities whoever you may be and this goes all the way to the top. It could be a sitting president; it could be others.

The issue is that if there are allegations that you have committed these crimes, the international community is saying that you must be held accountable for these crimes and this is what we are doing. The important thing is the person we are investigating is the one responsible for the alleged crimes and this is why we come before these judges.

So, it’s not a question of being a president or not a president. That is not how my office operates. Given the example of Kenya, Mr Kenyatta and William Ruto were not president and deputy, respectively, (when they were indicted).

Of course we have seen that they have taken advantage of the charges and have been able to draw more support resulting in having to withdraw the charges or the judges declaring a mistrial but it was never any intention or plan or wish by the Office of the Prosecutor that because they are now president and deputy president, we should drop the charges. The charges existed and were confirmed before.

Let’s bring the conversation back to Ongwen’s trial. Uganda was enthusiastic about the ICC when it in 2003 referred the LRA cases. Uganda in 2010 hosted the Rome Statute review conference. Suddenly, President Museveni is displeased with the ICC he says is “useless”. What level of cooperation are you receiving from Uganda?

I must admit that we are receiving very good cooperation from Uganda until now. Even at the time of the surrender of Mr Ongwen (in January 2015) and until when we realised that we need to pick up the file again and look at the evidence to see whether this can stand trial given the lapse of the time (since the 2005 indictments), we had to engage the Ugandan government.

Despite the rhetoric that we were hearing, there was cooperation. And there continues to be cooperation. I must be honest and say that we continue to receive very good cooperation from Uganda.

Under the principle of complementarity, have you received evidence from the government of Uganda about any domestic prosecution of government forces for atrocities against civilians during the LRA war? If so, what are the details?

Under the principle of complementarity if the national governments are taking the efforts to investigate, the ICC takes a back seat. But this does not mean that we don’t continue to cooperate and collaborate and see what level of assistance we can give so that they can genuinely investigate and prosecute.

We have done that with Uganda. We have been working with the government. We have been working with the prosecuting agency and have had in this office, members of (Uganda’s Directorate of Public Prosecutions). They spent time and exchanged ideas.

When Uganda referred the LRA situation, it meant it either didn’t have the will or the means to prosecute it. Why at the time didn’t the ICC investigate UPDF so we would this time be seeing suspects from both the Uganda military and the rebel ranks in this court?

When the Uganda government referred the case to ICC, they talked about the crimes that were committed by the LRA rebels. However, my predecessor made it very clear that the investigations or interventions of the court would require that we look at every party in the conflict and this we actually made it a condition of the referral and this was accepted.

So I am telling you this that from the very beginning that the (ICC) prosecutor’s office was not intending to go for one party, and not the other, because it made it very clear from the very beginning that everybody in the conflict would be looked at.

However, you should remember that this court and my office moves on evidence and the evidence that we can collect, evaluate analyse, and present before the judges.

When these arrest warrants were issued in 2005, we were able to collect evidence of the most serious cases against the LRA and its top commanders. This is the reason why this case was brought first before the judges and does not necessarily mean that we did not look at other evidence that concerns other parties, in this case the UPDF, but we have really been able to proceed based on the massive evidence [against the rebel commanders].

When I went to northern Uganda recently, it [occurred to] me that the people were mainly concerned that government did not protect them when they were in the IDP camps and that exposed them to being attacked by the LRA and the crimes committed against them.

What are the prospects for the arrest of Joseph Kony now that his deputy Vincent Otti, one of the five indicted LRA commanders, is reported dead?

Joseph Kony should be arrested. The allegations against him are there in our warrants. We know [he has committed crimes] in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

So in order to stop these crimes from being committed, one crucial thing we need to tell the international community is to ensure that Joseph Kony is arrested and surrendered to the ICC. This is the only option we have that he can be stopped and enough [damage] has been done already.

In respect to the other arrest warrant, we know [other indictees] Raska Lukwiya and Okot Odhiambo are dead. With respect to Vincent Otti, we also have information that he has passed away, but until now we have not been able to get evidence such as the autopsy report or other documents proving that Vincent Otti actually died. In the absence of that, the judges will not vacate the warrant until they are absolutely sure that it’s Vincent Otti that actually died.

One key concern is that the ICC does not have its own police to arrest suspects. This delays delivery of justice. Does this frustrate you?

Indeed ICC directly does not have a police force, does not have an army and directly an executing arm that would go around and arrest people. But this is how the court was meant to be. This is what the state parties agreed to in creating the court; they did not find it necessary to provide this court with a police force or any form of executing arm that would go around arresting people.

You know why? It’s because every police force, every army or arresting body of every state party is the executing arm of the ICC. ICC was set up as a judicial institution with mandate to investigate and prosecute these serious crimes and the states know that by joining it, they are holding themselves to execute these warrants.

That’s why I continuously keep on calling upon state parties to rise up to that challenge that they have upon themselves by arresting individuals that are wanted by the ICC. It is not our responsibility. Our responsibility is to investigate and prosecute and the responsibility of the states is to arrest and surrender people who are wanted by the court.

Sometimes this takes so long thereby preventing justice to be done or the process of justice and of accountability to be started. I know people are blaming the ICC but it’s not the ICC. It’s the state parties that have that responsibility but they do not always do it for various reasons, including political reasons.

It’s unfortunate because when arrest don’t take place, there is no body in ICC for the case to start. So this is of course frustrating. You have to understand the ICC as a system you should not understand it just as a court.

It’s a system that has been created. A system where by this institution created by all the states is given the mandate to investigate and prosecute and all those who create the institution are undertaking on behalf of the institution to arrest and assist the decisions that it takes for it to work perfectly.

But if we continue to do our work and states hesitate or do not do their part, which is arrest and surrender the suspects, then the system itself has a problem.

Which other people are on your wanted list?

Well, right now we do not have a wanted list as such. As I told you, most referrals are by African governments requesting [the ICC] to investigate and prosecute. That is not to say that we do not have other cases outside Africa.

Early this year, I was asked by the pre-trial chamber to open investigations in Georgia. So that is outside Africa. At the moment we are doing preliminary investigations in Palestine. We are doing it in Afghanistan; we are doing it in Colombia; we are also doing it in Ukraine. These are states that are all outside Africa which those who criticise the court conveniently forget to mention it.

If you are looking into the eye of the victims of the LRA atrocities and are right now in Gulu, watching the opening of Ongwen’s trial, what would be your word to them?

Our word to them is that we will continue to work very hard to bring justice to the victims of LRA crimes. That effort is not only for investigating the crimes, but even during the trial.

We will make our best efforts to put the evidence before the judges for them at the end of this trial to come to a decision [to convict the accused]. And as we pledged at the very beginning, I myself have been to northern Uganda, I have met with victims, I have listened to them and the fact that we have to unravel the truth to bring justice is what is informing this [prosecution] process right now.

Transcribed by Lilian Namagembe

 

 

 

Ente ya Museveni muzzukulu wa Baseveni abalwana Ssematalo eyasooka nowokubiri munsi nyingi.

Wano e Buganda

Jjo jjuuzi Omusevi kakati wa myaka 70 nayamba wano e Luwero okuzza Kabaka wa Buganda mukufa kw' Abaganda abangi ddala.

Kibi nyo nti kakati emyaka 30 nga Museveni aganidde mu buyinza okujjako nga entalo munsi ya Uganda ne Buganda zimujjako nga era ffe Abaganda bwe tufa nga tuggwawo.

E number 7 etuganidde ko.

 

The M7 cow of Uganda
African Deaths continue as South Sudan fights on. This unfortunate civil war is causing human catastrophe on the continent of Africa:

Publish Date: Jul 10, 2015

JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN:

A dozen patients have died and dozens more wounded are without care in a South Sudanese hospital after fighting forced medics to flee, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Friday.

 

At least 12 patients have died, while at least 40 wounded or sick are in need of help in the hospital at Kodok in the war-torn northern state of Upper Nile, the ICRC said.

 

The ICRC team of five medics -- who normally provide up to 700 consultations a week -- left after the fighting on July 5 and are now in the capital Juba until security improves.

 

"The hospital is virtually empty of any qualified personnel to provide quality care at a time when it is most needed," said ICRC aid worker Konrad Bark, who was forced to leave. "The situation has gone from bad to worse."

 

The hospital was also damaged in the fighting between rebel and government troops.

 The deaths are the latest in a long list of atrocities that include girls being gang raped by soldiers then burned alive, boys castrated, and the recruitment of armies of child fighters. Hospitals have been deliberately targeted in the war.

 

The world's newest nation was thrust into turmoil 18 months ago when President Salva Kiir accused former vice president Riek Machar of planning a coup, setting off a cycle of retaliatory killings that has split the poverty-stricken country along ethnic and tribal lines.

 

On Thursday, as the country celebrated its fourth year of independence from Sudan, the United States said that  "Kiir and Riek Machar and their cronies are personally responsible for this new war and self-inflicted disaster."

 

National Security Advisor Susan Rice warned the US and international community would "punish those determined to drive South Sudan into the abyss."

 

No official death toll has been kept in the conflict.

 

In November 2014, the International Crisis Group think tank estimated that as many as 50,000 had died, but killing has continued unabated in the meantime, while hunger and disease have added even more to the toll.

 

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