Rwanda: GAERG – Commemoration of the families wiped out during genocide against tutsi (20.06.2020)

The Dark-Side of the British Empire: Revived with tearing down the Colston statute

That statue is now under water, which is a piece of historical irony because undoubtedly people would’ve been thrown off the sides of the ships during that journey and there would be many African bodies on the bottom of the water” – Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees

There are certain aspects that remains, the legacy of the British Empire and the role United Kingdom played in the world. It is not the “free world” was that free, neither has the way the United Kingdom gotten wealth been the most humanitarian nor righteous. The United Kingdom wealth came from thieving, looting, destroying and conquering huge parts of planet earth.

That several of person used their station, their lives and their missions in destroying humanity for profit isn’t surprising. One of these fellows was Edward Colston. His legacy, which a vital part of the history of United Kingdom is filled with death, destruction and the despair. The damage and the hurt caused by men of Colston’s stature is hard for us to imagine. As he build his wealth and reputation around selling slaves, African slaves to Europe and the other colonies. The blood of Africans enriched this man.

The ones who wants to cherish this legacy because of his giving ways. That was tokens of silver coming from a man who sent thousands of innocent lives into the sea. A man who profited and worked with selling people like cattle. That is what he did and how he did it. Therefore, the ones brining it down. Only did a merciful thing and let drown like the man did several of unknown men, woman and children across the sea. Yes, vandalism isn’t a good thing, but neither is trading people like cattle. I prefer challenging the acts of betrayal of humanity over the destruction of monument of atrocities.

With that in mind. Here is some short clips of information on the man, that the Bristol City Council had made a statute and a plaque to commemorate, celebrate and have in the midst of the town. A man of such significance, that he was overlooking the town. Just read it and see for yourself.

Short history on Colston:

Colston’s business empire at its height included more than 40 ships which in total are thought to have transported around 80,000 slaves. Around 20,000 slaves likely died during the Atlantic crossing on Colston’s ships. Colston eventually became deputy governor of the Royal African Company, an institution backed by Charles II that was granted a monopoly of the British slave trade. It was through this company that Bristol gained much wealth with Colston’s dealings contributing to Bristol becoming the hub of Britain’s slave trade. Later, Colston would come to directly deal with the royal family and sold stock in the Royal African Company to king William III. By the 1690s Colston ended his involvement in the slave trade and instead became a money lender, granting loans to the government on several occasions” (Epigram – ‘Histories of Bristol: Edward Colston’ 26.06.2018).

Maximizing space in the slave ships:

To maximise profit, his ships divided their hulls into cramped holds, so they could transport as many slaves as possible. They were stripped and chained in leg irons – the women and children were caged separately and were frequently victims of sexual abuse. Unhygienic conditions, dehydration, dysentery, smallpox and scurvy meant mortality rates for the eight-week crossing were as high as 20 per cent. Slaves who died or refused to eat were thrown overboard” (Mike Gardner – ‘Edward Colston: The father of Bristol’s slave shame’17.06.2014).

So with that in mind and that perspective. It is easily to see that this man isn’t noble at all. His the soldier of fortune, his the merchant of death and so fourth. A slave trader and a man who had no scruples to ensure profits. This is the sort of man the United Kingdom trusted and appointed as part of the Royal African Company. Therefore, even as despicable as his actions was. They are connected with the whole United Kingdom. He served own interests by all accounts, but also directly as a public servant in the state owned enterprise.

That is why the Colston affair is a United Kingdom affair. It is darkness, the grim realities of the British Empire and how it brought wealth to the English people. This bloody enterprise earned him fortunes, glory and prestige. That is why the Bristol City Council at some point put up the statute, named a hall and schools after him. Because, in their eyes he was a noble man. Nevertheless, that doesn’t make it true, even if he used some of the spoils on some good causes. The business making it possible was devastating. 

Edward Colston was a merchant of death. That is the only way I can see it, maybe not with guns, but with the way he traded humans. This is the legacy he leaves behind. The charity that someone points out is pointless, as the blood-money used for good doesn’t equate the bad. The ones pointing at that does that to shift the narrative. Instead of looking at the core of his business model. A place where there are no redeeming factors. Only blood, sweet and tears.

Colston fate deserved this. The relic of a despicable enterprise should be destroyed. If not like Keir Stramer said that it could be put into a museum. As a poof and symbol of the slavery, which is a part of the history of United Kingdom. Therefore, it is not shielding it or forgetting it. However, not at the same time glorifying it and having it as a part of city life. It deserves to be put in a historical context at a museum. Because, the public should look up to heroes and not merchants death. Peace.

Statement by H.E. Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, on the 26th Commemoration of the Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda (Kwibuka26) – (07.04.2020)

Fellow Africans

Youth, Ladies and Gentlemen

Today we commemorate the 26th Anniversary of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda (KWIBUKA26), under the theme: “Remember-Unite-Renew”.

This is the twelfth year since the African Union started the annual commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. However, this year our commemoration activities have been limited due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Although we will not be formally gathering at the African Union Commission for this event as usual, I encourage you to commemorate this day from wherever you are.

This annual commemoration affords us an opportunity to reflect, and continue the fight against genocide, its ideology, denial and impunity with a view to ensure that never again shall Africa experience such a heinous crime against humanity.

In this regard, I would like to pay tribute to the leadership and the people of Rwanda for consistently working towards “Never Again” and for emerging through resilience and unity from the terrible past and putting Rwanda on a development path that continues to inspire many countries on our continent and beyond.

Fellow Africans;

Between April and July 1994, the world stood still in awe as more than a million people were killed in a space of one hundred days in Rwanda. As we remember the fallen mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters in Rwanda, we should not be oblivious of the fact that genocide is always well planned, deliberately executed with impunity, yet genocide is also always followed by denial.

We should, therefore, redouble our efforts in fighting genocide ideology, its denial as well as impunity. If genocide ideology persists, its denial will continue unabated and impunity will reign. This task should not be the responsibility of the leadership and people of Rwanda alone. It is the collective responsibility of the African Union, Regional Economic Communities/regional mechanisms and all Member States, CSOs, the youth organisations, the women’s movement, Media and Academia. We should collectively combat genocide ideology, impunity and denial working hand-in-glove with the international community and all other stakeholders.

Fighting impunity should equally be at the heart of our collective efforts as AU member states as well as the international community by arresting, prosecuting or extraditing indicted fugitives. Last year at its 836th meeting held on 3rd April, the AU Peace and Security Council called upon countries to arrest, prosecute or extradite fugitives accused of genocide. It is imperative that countries move towards implementation of this decision.

This commemoration should remind us of a past never to be repeated. It should challenge us to deal with the present and the future in our efforts towards achieving peace, reconciliation, accountability, justice, social harmony, constructive management of diversity and the respect for and protection of human and peoples’ rights on the African Continent.

Our Commemoration of KWIBUKA26 this year assumes a special significance given the AU Theme for this year (2020) “Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development”. I wish to seize this opportunity to call on all Africans to renew our commitment to promote peaceful and inclusive societies that will silence the guns for the attainment of socio-economic development and structural transformation and provide a firm foundation for building the Africa We Want and the Africa we Deserve.

Let us “Remember-Unite-Renew”.

I thank you.

Zimbabwe: Text of an address to the Nation by the Prime Minister Elect, Mr. Robert Mugabe on radio and television on 4th March, 1980 (04.03.1980)

Zimbabwe: APA’s Statement on Heroes Day (11.08.2019)

Zimbabwe: Greater Whange Residents Trust – Press Statement on Kamandama (06.06.2019)

African Union Marks The 25th Commemoration of the Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda “REMEMBER-UNITE-RENEW” (07.04.2019)

Burundi: Presidence de la Republique – Communique du Gouvernemental l’Occasion de la Commemoration du 57ene Anniversaire de l’Assassinat du Prince Louis Rwagasore (13.10.2018)

EFF Marks Mandela Day (18.07.2018)

Lest We Forget: The Mukura Massacre in Teso Region on the 11th July 1989

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.