“Mukura is in Kumi District which is in Teso and Teso is in the North-East which Museveni told the diplomats as having been pacified. Why was it that some three hundred young men were imprisoned and locked by the NRA in Railway wagons at Mukura, a pacified area, and then MASSACRED by setting fire under the wagons! The answer can only be that the destruction of the foodstuff of millions of people, the destruction of their homes, the MASSACRES of some three million people and at Mukura were all a deliberate policy to depopulate Uganda so as to provide land for foreigners to farm” (Dr. Milton Obote – ‘THE MUKURA MASSACRE’ 07.07.1999).
This here is a sad story of something that happen early in the National Resistance Movement regime, this was just three years into the NRM regime and after the coup of 1986. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his rebels was “new” in office. Still, this crimes shall not be forgotten, as the innocent lives taken. Should always be a stain on the legacy of the regime. Which never really have taken account or responsibility. The President shows up with military fatigue after the NRA have killed the locals. It is just wrong and doesn’t show any redeeming factor, but showing force instead of humility and willingness to lead.
Even at this point, he had to spring out fear, instead of building the republic. The same he does to this day, as he can have a budget speech in the military fatigue. It is not to long ago since the killings and massacres of Kasese, this here is just an older tale of the murders that is rightfully pinned on Museveni. As he and his Bush-War Generals haven’t taken accountability for.
The Preparation for the Massacre:
“After setting up their detach at Okungulo Railway Station, soldiers of the Pili-Pili battalion embarked on an operation to round up suspected rebels and rebel collaborators. The operation was planned to cover villages and parishes in the sub counties of Kapir, Mukura and Ngora (all located in Ngora county) in which rebels were believed to be hiding. The date chosen for the main operation was July 8, 1989. According to survivors and other eyewitnesses, the operation by the Pili-Pili battalion of the NRA started a few days prior to the massacre with the arrival of many soldiers to back up those already stationed at Okungulo Railway Station in Mukura trading centre. The soldiers were then divided up into several units and sent to different locations to begin rounding up suspected rebel collaborators” (JRP Field Note XII, March 2011 – ‘The Mukura Massacre of 1989’ P: 7-8).
The Massacre itself:
“This paradox of double standard was captured by a reader in a recent letter to the New Vision comparing the action taken against the Inspector General of the Police and his deputy on account of a shooting incident at the Makerere University campus and the notorious “Mukura Massacre” where over 60 innocent and defenseless people were suffocated to death in a train cabin by officers and men of the NRA. We quote from the letter in extenso:” Even more seriously, 69 youths were suffocated to death in train wagons by some NRA solders in Kumi in 1989. More recently some civilians were reportedly burnt to death in a hut in Serere, while others were clubbed to death near Soroti, allegedly by some NRA soldiers. These naked atrocities have practically been swept under the carpet by the authorities. But the Army Chief of Staff did not lose his job because of what his soldiers, who were miles away from him at the time, did. Are these not double standards?” (New Vision, January 3, 1991 :5). It is also useful to remember that none of the soldiers involved in the Mukura incident were arrested, as were those at Makerere. This then is the concrete reality of Uganda today” (OLOKA-ONYANGO, Joe – ‘Governance, Democracy and Development in Uganda Today: A Socio-Legal Examination’ 1992, P: 102-103, Kyoto University).
President Museveni false apologies:
“President Yoweri Museveni visited Mukura a few months after the massacre. Eyewitnesses testified that he addressed the crowd in full military fatigues. He apologized for what had happened and promised a decent burial for the dead plus compensation for the families of the people who had died. He also promised to construct a secondary school in memory of the victims and promised accountability for the soldiers who perpetrated the massacre. According to respondents: He addressed the people at a rally. He was dressed in his military attire. He apologised and said the Government was prepared and ready to give the dead a decent burial. … then he said action would be taken against those who [committed the massacre] and that decent burials for the dead would be organized. He promised compensation for the families [of the dead] and asked our MP [for Kumi], Fiona Egunyu, to follow up the issue” (…) “It appears, however, that the President’s apologies, on both occasions, were not well received by the people. As one of the survivors remarked: The President’s apology was just to appease us, but it was not from the bottom of his heart. This is a man who came with armoured vehicles, a full uniform [of army fatigues] and started talking to us civilians. What could a civilian say in return? We kept quiet throughout. He came in that military attire with his [bodyguards]. So psychologically the civilians kept quiet, and then he started talking and said that “I am sorry for this.” But people just kept quiet. And when he promised compensation for the victims some people faintly clapped, but nobody knew what was going on in the civilians’ hearts and whether they had really accepted that apology. And then he drove off. That was when people began to murmur among each other and that meant there was already a discontent” (JRP Field Note XII, March 2011 – ‘The Mukura Massacre of 1989’, P: 13, 17).
All of these words is signs that this massacre should not be forgotten, as the people who was killed innocently deserves justice. They don’t deserve to be pawns used by Museveni in Campaign Rallies. They deserve that the relatives and the people of Teso/Kumi get what is righteous.
This actions will not be forgotten, the people will remember what Museveni’s troops did in 1989. How they rounded up civilians, claiming to be rebels and killing them in rail-wagons. This shall not be forgotten, also that the President visiting the area came as General and not as a man of Peace. He came for battle and not to damage the hurt. Just came because he had to, but not because he wanted to. Museveni knew what his soldiers did on his command. They did act with impunity and killed the innocent. The President should answer for the battalion attack in 1989 in Kumi District of Teso Region.
These actions done by the NRA deserves to be remembered. Not because it is an event of grandeur or betterment of the Republic. But because it shows the ill-intent of the NRM. This here show the ills of this government and how it will not be accountable for its crimes against humanity.
The ones ordering it, the ones who has been apart of it should answer for it and the leadership today. Should also answer for it, as they are repeating it. They did it recently in Kasese, who knows if they will do it again. Just to answer the public, because they can and the people will not have the power or will to answer back. Peace.
In December 12, 1972 there was a unique phone call between Journalist Murray Marder at the Washington Post and the then National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger under President Richard Nixon. Here we can see allegations from the Washington Post and the Nixon Government warfare in Vietnam. How it is explained and how the sudden approach of Marder get the truth and also get Kissinger to explain the situation, instead of getting angry and stop listening to press. Something, today’s government should learn, since this is not stopping the spin, but explaining the facts. Also, come forward. We are even seeing that Kissinger went to become “government source”, instead of being named in paper. Just take a look!
Let me show you pieces of the conservation between Marder and Kissinger to give some context:
“Kissinger: Yes, Murray.
Marder: Henry —-
Kissinger: Not that goddamn paper deserves a return call –
Marder: Ah, you mean the editorial or me or what?
Kissinger: The Editorial. No you’ve been 80 % rational. But for a newspaper that’s accusing us of not showing enough goodwill; now to accuse us of naivety is almost more than one’s morality can stand. But go ahead, you’re not responsible for the editorial”
He later continues:
“Marder: This is what I wanted to get at because the Press Office response was it was untrue that Kissinger asked for 126 charges. But we said, well, we thought it was too much because that leaves the question: “well, was it 125 or was it anything or was it –”
Kissinger: The last day we asked for none whatsoever. You know, I don’t know how the sons-of-bitches are counting – they might, during the course of 15 days, if they count every word that was ever suggested in these discussions, they might amount to something, I don’t know. We did not – – there were never more than 8 points seriously at issue at any time during the 15 days. All of this is off-the-record”
“Marder: Which I’m not trying to do obviously because of this is the kind of thing you get a sweeping accusation from somebody of 126 charges.
Kissinger: The major issue that was discussed occurred in one place and did not recur through the document.
Kissinger: It is just not true.
Kissinger: You know, it might be hard to accept it. The U.S. Government may be telling the truth and Hanoi may be lying but it’s just barely conceivable.
Marder: No, the question here was just simple the way the way he is slinging the 126 around, it was obvious to anybody following this that there are not 126 charges probably in the entire agreement in any substantive form and he has gone on to say that – –
Kissinger: Look, can anybody really believe that having negotiated the Berlin agreement, the Shanghai communique, the SALT agreement, that one could be so wrong at the end of October as to think that 126 issues could be settled in three or four days?
Marder: No, I would think absolutely not.
Kissinger: Or is it more likely that we raised exactly the issues that I mentioned at the end of October? Issues on the assumption of a decisions to settle are easy. And on the assumption of a decision not to settle become insoluble.
Marder: Yeah, yes. I would have no problem with that”
Later in the conversation:
“Marder: What is not clear to me is do you see a probability of them dumping everything into that record? That would mean a break and everything if they would go that far.
Kissinger: They wouldn’t do that; they wouldn’t look to good.
Marder: I would think there is a limit. The point is that they probably do not want to break off the negotiations but want to register some great indignation and dismay and generate whatever support pressures from China and Moscow to support them there.
Kissinger: I think that’s right. Murray, I’ve got to run but will you write this please by keeping White House or anybody else out of it.
Marder: All right but I must use something – – Administration sources said the charge of 126 has no foundation whatsoever.
Kissinger: That’s right”
“Marder: This is why I called you because the White House thing left that hanging.
Kissinger: Hell, it wasn’t anything like 10. I mean, in fact, only 10 things that were ever seriously discussed.
Kissinger: There may be a lot of things but all of this is basically irrelevant because all of those issues have in fact practically been settled.
Marder: Right, right. Just one brief thing, the timing discernible at all on any next move on their part?
Kissinger: I have no estimate on that.
Kissinger: Okay, Murray.
Marder: Thank you, Henry.
Kissinger: Right. Tell ______ that I deeply appreciate his editorial.
Marder: I will”
If you see how the conservation was between the National Security Advisor and Washington Post Journalist. Shows how the political game is played and what efforts being made. How it went from I hate that editorial, to I appreciate it. Certainly, politician will act first in defense and say the papers are wrong. But when he changed and listened to Kissinger, the story got altered and the information being given made sense. So it wasn’t a spin. Maybe, the White House of today could learn from it today.
“No human lips can express the gratitude which I feel to the merciful God who has enabled me to stand in your midst on this day, of which the angels in heaven and creatures on earth could neither have thought of nor known about. Before everything else, I want to tell you and to make you understand that this … is a day on which a fresh chapter of history of the New Ethiopia begins. In this new era, new work is commencing, which is the duty of all of us to perform.
“As We remember the affliction which befell Ethiopia, which had preserved her independence for many thousand years, was attacked in 1888 E.C. (1895-6) by Italy, which had harbored aggressive designs against her for many years and intended to destroy her freedom, her brave sons fought at Adwa and she retained her independence. The Treaty of Wuchale was not the only cause of the battle that was fought at Adwa. It was only a pretext for the ongoing aim that Italy had of ruling Ethiopia. Although the Great European War interrupted her plans for a time, notwithstanding her outward pretensions of friendship, Italy made preparations to invade Ethiopia. Since her defeat at Adwa, she had been irate that justice prevailed against her.
“When Italy began to wage a war of aggression against Ethiopia, although We knew We were not so well armed as she was, We countered with what strength We could muster, because it was Our duty to resist an enemy that had come to seize Our country. But as it was apparent that she was bent on exterminating Our people with poison gas, the use of which was prohibited by international law, We went to appeal to the League of Nations and claim justice. As it was feared that the hostility started by Italy might spread all over the world, and as it was a period when all those who were charged with the responsibility of government were trying to save the world for the catastrophe which has since befallen it, the [leaders] worked to bring about understanding in the world to prevent the spread of the conflagration. At the time our true friend, Great Britain, received Us with sympathy. I remained there working, but in spirit was constantly with my countrymen, whose blood was pointlessly and ruthlessly shed at the hands of the Italians; with the monasteries and churches that were being burned down; with those forced to take refuge in foreign lands; and with those suffering and being afflicted in the wilderness, in the caves and in the forests of their native land.
“How many are the young men, the priests and monks whom the Italians pitilessly massacred during these years? You know that in Addis Abeba alone many thousands perished during the three days following St Michael’s day on Yekatit 12, 1929 [Feb. 19, 1937]. The blood and bones of those who were killed with spades and pickaxes, of those who were split with axes and hammered to death, pierced with bayonets, clubbed and stoned, of those who were burned alive in their homes with their little children, of those who perished of hunger and thirst in prison, have been crying for justice. Everybody knows that this act of barbarism and cruelty was not perpetrated in Addis Abeba alone, but [also] in the provinces of Ethiopia. There is hardly anyone who has not been caught and beaten, kicked, humiliated and imprisoned.
“Now We shall pass on to the new history that is before Us. five years ago on this day the fascist forces entered Our capital city. Then Mussolini announced to the world that he had established a Roman Empire in Our country, Ethiopia. He believed that the land he declared conquered would forever be in his hands. The gallantry of the Ethiopia people is recorded in history. But as We had no ports through which to import armaments necessary for people, we were unable to obtain them. Fifty-two nations condemned Mussolini for his actions. But he boasted of his violent deeds and took no heed of their condemnation. The past five years have been years of darkness for you, my people. But you never lost hope, and in the Ethiopian hills you gradually grew [strong]. The enemy never ventured to come near the mountains on which you were, because, enduring every hardship and affliction, you, the warriors of Ethiopia, safeguarded your freedom during the past five years. But in spite of the fact that he could not conquer the country, he spent many thousands of millions of lire, saying that he was civilizing what he could hold. He spent all that money not because he desired to improve the conditions of the oppressed Ethiopian people or to mitigate the injustice he had done. It was because he wanted to plant a fascist colony in Our sacred land of Ethiopia and to impose on her the rule of oppression which he had planned. He tried to exterminate the Ethiopian race and did not even entertain the idea of giving her the administration of either a mandate or a protectorate, which, in any case, would have been considered a heavy yoke for Our people. But all the money that could be counted by the thousands of millions and all the prepared armaments served a purpose which Mussolini never intended. At the time when Italy revealed her intentions of entering the war in order to be able to snatch from a defeated France as much as she could, the number of soldiers, the amount of money and the armaments she had sent to Ethiopia were enormous. The regular troops she deployed were not less that 250 000, she also had amassed provisions to last many years in case she was encircled. Trusting in, and bragging of , the invincibility of this military force, the fascist government proceeded with implanting dictatorial rule in Our country. But something happened which the fascist government did not take into account–the fighting morale, essential in modern war, demonstrated by you.
“You were able to destroy the enemy who were superior to you in numbers and equipment, because you are a people of bravery and mercy and because you cooperated and knew the strategy of war. The British troops, who were fighting for human rights on other fronts…needed time to get ready to come to the assistance of Ethiopia. and free her. But you, warriors of Ethiopia, harassed the enemy by cutting his communications [and] by restricting him to his fortifications. In spite of the great numbers of troops in which he put his trust, he realized that the Ethiopian people from one end [of the country] to the other hated him and his rule. He understood also that it was impossible for him to live in such a country and in the midst of such a people. Even by using poison gas and bombs and by [committing] atrocities. he could no longer hope to enjoy overlordship in a country where he was terrible undermined. He realized that the soldiers who surrounded him were adversaries more powerful than he was. He spent his daring and money to meet his adversaries. Then he looked around, if perchance he could find somewhere where he could take shelter in Ethiopia, but he could not find even one place.
“When the time came, Our great ally, the British Government prepared to launch a proper attack against Our enemy. As soon as I knew this, I left for the distant land of the Sudan, which borders us the west, and entered central Gojam. In Gojam Our enemy had strong fortified positions, powerful troops, airplanes, and artillery. On comparing the number of Our soldiers with those of the enemy, We found that We had one soldier for every 20 of his. Moreover, We had no artillery or aircraft at Our disposal. The fact that I was found in the midst of my warriors at once attracted many thousands of men. And the fear and anxiety of Our enemy increased. While my soldiers were harassing and cutting off the enemy’s communications and , after having driven his troops across the Abay river, were pursuing them towards Shewa and Begemdir, I heard the good news that British Imperial troops had, with incomparable speed, retaken Our capital city and were pushing towards Dese in the north and Jima in the south. In the same way, the troops who started from the Sudan destroyed the fortress at Keren with brilliant force and utterly defeated the enemy. And as the time came for my return to my capital, I mustered my soldiers who were scattered in every direction in pursuit of the enemy… I am exceedingly happy that I have been able to arrive here at the head of my soldiers, the enemy who was found on my path having been defeated, and to break the power of the common foe. I am deeply thankful to Almighty God that I stand today in your midst in my Palace, from which the fascist government has fled.
People of my country, Ethiopia!
Today is a day in which Ethiopia is stretching her hands to God in joy and thanksgiving and revealing her happiness to her children.
“This day , on which the people of Ethiopia are freed from the oppressive foreign yoke and eternal servitude and on which I am enabled to rejoin my people, whom I love and have yearned for, will be honored as a holiday to be commemorated annually as a Great Ethiopian Anniversary. On this day we shall remember those heroic warriors who, determined not to surrender the great charge passed on to them by their fathers, became martyrs, shedding their blood and breaking their bones for the freedom of the land they loved and for the honor of the Emperor and their flag. Their heroic deeds will remain recorded in Ethiopian history.
“The tribulations and afflictions, which befell us during the past five years and which cannot be recounted and enumerated in detail, will be a great lesson to us all and, with industry, unity, cooperation and love engraved in your hearts, will be a great incentive to your to be my helpers in the construction of the Ethiopia which I have in mind. In the New Ethiopia I want you to be a people undivided and endowed with freedom and equality before the law.
“You will have to join me in my efforts for the prosperity of the country, for the riches of the people, for the development of agriculture, commerce, education, learning, for the protection of the life and resources of Our people, and for the perfection, on modern lines, of the country’s administration.
“It is my firm wish and purpose to merit the blessing with which God in His mercy has visited on Us, first, by showing Our gratitude to Our allies, the British, by the release of the Imperial troops to fight the common enemy on other fronts, and by supplying them with troops whenever they may be needed; secondly, to do work beneficial to the people and the country by establishing in Our Ethiopia a government which will protect Our nation and make it respectable by guaranteeing the liberty of the people and freedom of conscience.
“What I would finally announce to you, my people, is that today is a day of rejoicing for us all. Today is the day on which we defeated our enemy. We shall see that our enemies are disarmed and sent out the same way they came. As St George who killed the dragon is the Patron Saint of our army as well as of our allies, let us unite with our allies in everlasting friendship and amity in order to be able to stand against the godless and cruel dragon which has newly risen and which is oppressing mankind. I charge you to consider [our allies] as brothers and friends [and] show them kindness and consideration.”