“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.