DR Congo: UN envoy calls for strategy to address root causes of conflict (30.03.2022)

Civilian losses and displacement of populations have increased because of bloody reprisals by Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militants.

GENEVA, Switzerland, March 30, 2022 – Amid deteriorating security in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the top UN envoy in the country has called for a comprehensive political strategy that includes measures to address the structural causes of the conflicts.

Bintou Keita, who heads the UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), was briefing the Security Council on Tuesday, on recent developments there.

She said that only three months into this year, nearly 2,300 civilian deaths had been recorded in the country’s eastern provinces. “This is proof of the inherent limits of only having security operations to resolve conflicts,” she said.

Armed groups

Ms. Keita said the security situation in the country’s east has deteriorated despite the joint military operations against armed groups by the national security forces, known as the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC), which was joined by the Ugandan People’s Defence Forces (UPDF).

She said civilian losses and displacement of populations have increased because of bloody reprisals by Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militants.

In the past three months, there has been an alarming increase in activities by the M23 rebel movement in North Kivu. On Monday, M23 elements carried out horrific attacks, targeting civilians in communities near Rutshuru.

In North Kivu, the situation has worsened because of the use of improvised explosive devices by the ADF. On 11 March, its leadership renewed its allegiance to Da’esh. MONUSCO has also documented a 10 per cent increase in human rights violations and attacks, since last December.

Helicopter crash: Investigation launched

Earlier on Tuesday, the mission reported that a search and rescue operation was underway, after a Puma helicopter lost contact with MONUSCO and crashed in the restive North Kivu region.

Speaking at the regular noon briefing, UN Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric, said there had been eight people on board, including six crew members – all from the Pakistani military – and two military personnel – one from Russia, and another from Serbia.

They had been on a reconnaissance mission in the area of Tshanzu, south-east of Rutshuru – the scene of recent clashes between Congolese forces and M23.

“An investigation is underway. We will update you as soon as more information becomes available”, Mr. Dujarric said.

“Our thoughts are obviously with the families and friends of those onboard the helicopter, and all of our colleagues of the UN Mission of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”

Civilians increasingly vulnerable

Ms. Keita sounded the alarm in the Security Council over the considerable erosion of the protection of sites for displaced persons as well as frequent attacks against medical services and other civilian infrastructure.

In the face of these security changes, MONUSCO has redoubled its efforts to better protect civilians in Ituri, working jointly with FARDC/UPDF, deploying support units for FARDC to increase the deterrent effect against M23 in North Kivu.

The Mission is also pursuing mobile deployments to protect displaced persons in South Kivu, she said.

However, without a combined approach addressing both the causes and the symptoms, the efforts of both the United Nations and Congolese forces will remain insufficient, she emphasized, adding that in Tanganyika province, the Mission is closely monitoring the evolution of the security dynamics ahead of its scheduled withdrawal in June.

DRC: Joint Press Release from UPDF & FARDC – Sinister plans to discredit Operation Shujja (10.01.2022)

DRC: Joint Press release from FARDC and UPDF on the Operation Shujaa (11.12.2021)

Opinion: Okello Oryem is mocking the wrong partners with MONUSCO

In an Interview with NTV this morning, the minister for foreign affairs in charge of international relations Okello Oryem said Uganda “does not need the help of the UN” which he says they consider as a “useless group” that has allegedly preserved terrorism in Congolese soil. “We have no good words for them, they have been there for long but what have they done? As far as we are concerned, we do not want their military assistance, even if they offer us a cup of tea, we do not need it,” said Mr Oryem” (Ritah Kemigisa – ‘Uganda doesn’t need UN’s help for DRC mission- Oryem’ 02.12.2021, KFM.co.ug).

The hubris and the arrogance is clear as the Minister Henry Okello Oryem who is is now downplaying the role of United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DR Congo (MONUSCO), which is starting their gradual exit strategy from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). MONUSCO is based in the provinces of Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu, which the UN based mission is to stop the militias with disarmament and demobilization of them. In such a way, that the MONUSCO is there to be the civilians’ protection.

It is really striking that the Ugandan Minister is mocking and not wanting to work with MONUSCO now. This mission was first established in 1999 as MONUC and got a new mandate in 2010. While in 2020 the mandate changed and they are starting already to back-out. Therefore, the UN Mission is dwindling down. As well, as there are new militias and foreign interference in the region of which the Ugandan army entered yet again.

MONUSCO is partly created by the interference of Ugandan troops within the DRC. Not that the Ugandan armies was alone in these wars or always been welcomed to enter the DRC. The UPDF and Rwandan Defence Force (RDF) have both entered it. As well, as both nations have been involved in supporting militias, rebels and armed groups within the DRC. That is well-known and they re-appear at certain stages. Just like the UPDF have been inside the DRC before on specialized operations towards certain targets.

Okello Oryem is just showing how the Ugandans elites and the ones within the regime is thinking about it. It is their rights to attack and be part of military operations within the DRC. Since, they don’t want anything with the UN or MONUSCO. I wonder, if Okello Oryem would accept similar feelings in Somalia between the Somali National Army (SNA) and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which the latter UPDF is a pat of. I wonder, if Okello Oryem and all of the Ugandan hierarchy would like to be painted in similar fashion. Because, there is two sides to any coin and this is a foolish take.

Yes, MONUSCO isn’t perfect and neither is it’s mission. There has been continued insurgency and lack of territorial integrity, which the Ugandan and Rwandan counter-parts has supported and participated with. That is well-known and is a reason for the illegal export of resources from the provinces as well. Therefore, Okello Oryem should be a bit more humble, but I know that’s too much to ask for in 2021.

Okello Oryem could suddenly wake up and bite the dust. Since, his just showing a lot of flair. Nevertheless, we know the trouble will return and be a real issue. There isn’t only the ADF in Ituri, North and South Kivu provinces. There is several of other militias and guerrillas in the provinces and they are causing massive concern and is a silent war that never ends. They are invested in, given arms and training. This is deliberate and the joint operation will not stop this… sadly…

MONUSCO will not end this and they being gone will not stop the existence either. As long as the head of state and foreign interference for profits continues. The insecurity and usage of militias will continue.

It is like we are supposed to be naive and forget how this all started. The UPDF and RDF is responsible for a lot of the pain. The two nations have used the provinces and the DRC as a treasury chest for them. While using the same means to re-enter again and for some reason the Kinshasa government allows that to happen. This is even happening, as the State of Emergency in this regions are occurring. That is really tragic…

Okello Oryem should think about what he says. Since this could be easily said about the UPDF within the AMISOM. Which the SNA and Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) only creates more problems within Somalia. Alas, he as a diplomat should be more careful, but I don’t expect it to ever happen. Peace.

Opinion: Museveni’s recent address don’t reassure anyone

I’m not your usual president. I speak with action and let me remind you that I’m not going to show any mercy to anyone who is Found guilty of killing my people. We are not here to joke, Uganda is able to protect itself from people who think that they’re better than us. We have already Gunned down several ISIS leaders and now they know that I’m not a man who you should play with. The sheikh who ordered his men to kill my people should run because I’m also ordering my men to go after them, it’s fire for fire don’t confuse power and authority” – President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (20.11.2021).

Everything that General Museveni touches has to be violent. There is no peace and no sort of resolve. That’s how General solves things and not in a manner of which is with protocol. Yesterday he defended extra judicial-killings. He has no issues with it and seems to order it. This is not a warning, but a stern realization that the President believes he has the right of people’s life and death.

This national address on COVID-19 and National Security isn’t anything new. Very little was said that was striking or game changing. We have heard these things before and the state just shows intelligence in speeches, but without further proof. The President just speaks of intent and violent force. Because, that is how you strike fear and not how you generate peace. However, this is all that Museveni have after over 30 years in power. He cannot have love or care, neither concern or ability to read the room. No, he just have to blaze the guns and thinking that this is the manner of which terrorists will fear him.

As he continues…

If ADF had remained quiet and not attacked Gen Katumba we wouldn’t have known them.They are overestimating themselves. They wanted to kill Gen Katumba because he is a big government person to show they are there. Although Jamilu Mukulu was arrested, they wanted to show they are still there (in existence). They also thought that Katumba being the Minister of Works and was to work on road in DRC which is their territory, how dear he” (Museveni, 20.11.2021).

I have heard some arguments about Kirevu and how he was a good person. The attempt to kill Gen Katumba landed them in trap. All these incidents are linked. Our security was lax but when you provoke them, they wake up. We were able to use technology to identify some of them. It is a matter of time we got them” (Museveni, 20.11.2021).

It is strange how these things goes and how these things are connected. As the state claims it is ADF behind it all. While, there is no court trial or any evidence gathered for a court case. No, it is just empty statements in speeches. The Minister and General Katumba should be insulted of being used this way after surviving an assassination attempt and his daughter lost her life there together with his driver. They have not gotten justice or peace. Just like all the people in Kampala who lost their lives in the bombs.

The President is just showing his fierceness, but it is just a flex. This isn’t strength or ability to show control or have systems to ensure people’s safety. Instead it is boosting his own ego and his troops. They are just trigger-happy soldiers and officers who kills. Just like the terrorists does and without proof of alleged crimes or terrorist activity.

We should with certainty… but we cannot be happy with this. The President isn’t showing any sort of character or ability to govern here. Only that he can order people deaths and destroy lives. It is not like can secure or ensure anyone. That is missing here.. and he cannot regain that trust. Since he believes his guns and army can fix everything. That is evident here and parts of it is true. Because, we know he is only ruling because of it. If it wasn’t for the army and the soldiers, he wouldn’t have an office to go to. The President needs the UPDF and Intelligence Agencies to secure his political life. While, that will not give peace to the general public or secure their lives. As the President cannot find ways to make things peaceful and justifiable. If he did, he wouldn’t be speaking like this and be such an inactive person at the same time. Peace.

Opinion: Extra Judicial-Killings will not solve crimes or stop terror

Yesterday it was revealed from the Uganda Police Force that they killed Sheik Muhammed Kirevu. A man who was in their custody and handcuffed. The authorities had him in their midst and still they decided to shoot-and-kill him. That is extra judicial killing. They killed him right in-front of his family and his kids as witnesses.

The authorities are not only the ones who apprehend alleged criminals, but they are the court and the hangman. They are all in-one and they do this on their duty. This isn’t the first time or the last of which the Police Force or any of the state Security Organizations are inclined to use lethal force to stop an alleged criminal or suspect. They are not tried or charged, they are just taken out.

This isn’t the manner of which shows a difference between the state and a terrorist organizations. Since, the ones dropping the bombs is issuing terror and the state is issuing terror with their guns. There is no very to no difference between the parties. They are both sanctioning death upon both innocent and suspects. The state can after the fact claim links and evidence for the suspect. However, that was never proven in the courts or their supposed illegal activity was never tested. Therefore, it is flawed and what if the person was just another citizens catching a stray-bullet? Will the Police or Authorities take this to account and be responsible for the unfortunate death?

I doubt that… and Sheik Kirevu might have been connected to the ADF and might not have. All we know now is that he was in their custody and he ended up dead. Instead of doing due diligence and doing the process. Proving the alleged criminal conspiracy and his involvement in the terrorist organization. He was taken out and we can never know now. The Police Force is coming with hearsay and allegations, which will never be proven. They can say he was monster and a vicious individual, but the man can never defend his innocence either. Since the man is no longer breathing.

This is why the whole ordeal is wrong. The state isn’t doing this right. They are ambushing and hostile. They are not trying to show why they are righteous and have the laws to uphold. Since, there is no indication of difference between them or the bombers. Both are just killing senselessly and doing it for their respective end-game. That is the tragic things here and in the manner of the Sheik. Its his kids that is scarred for life. While the victims and the families of Kampala will forever be touched by the bombs earlier this week. In this way, nobody is getting peace and resolving the hurt. The state isn’t fixing things the right way, but only causing more harm.

The Uganda Police Force and all the other agencies shouldn’t be proud for doing this. There is little to no difference between them and a average murderer. They both kills, but one has a license like James Bond and the other is a nameless killer. The officers and state agents should be better, than random stranger with a gun. However, in 2021 in the Republic that’s too much to ask. We can beg to differ, but the reality is that this is how they operate.

This is how they deal with criminals, by being their own gang of operatives ready to shoot and kill. The Courts are useless and laws are too. When lives can be taken so easily and without mercy. The idea of an extra judicial killing should be a rare occasion, but in concern to the UPF. It is just to common and so ordinary. That is why this is a cultural way of acting and modus operandi. This is the tragic thing and lives which can never return is taken in the quest for “justice”. However, justice was denied and never served. The ones they are trying to rectify or act for isn’t getting the truth. They are just hearing about more families scorn by the authorities who acts like outlaws themselves. Peace.

Uganda Police Force (UPF): Further Update Surrounding the Bomb Blast Investigation (17.11.2021)

Opinion: Where are the Ministers of Security? [Muhwezi, Otafiire and Muhoozi]

We cannot say that there is a lapse in security. Security has managed to keep this country secure for many years, and Uganda has been one of the safest places to stay”Jim Muhwezi (on NBS Television, 27.10.2021).

Today as the twin-bombs hit Kampala. There are many questions remaining. The Uganda Police Force held their Press Conference and released their Press Release. The authorities sealed of the areas and dispersed the general public from the Central Business District. That was all natural after the incident.

What is striking is the deafening silence of the ministers who are in-charge. These are Minister of Security Maj. Gen. Jim Muhwezi, Minister of Internal Affairs Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire and State Minister for Internal Affairs Gen. David Muhoozi. The mandate of Internal Affairs is: “To ensure and maintain internal security,peace and stability”. Clearly that mission was breached today.

These are the leaders who are in-charge except for the Commander-in-Chief and His Excellency Museveni. Therefore, you have natural expectation that these are in coordination and works to ensure these things to not happen. There are so many security organizations and intelligence gathering units. That the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Ministry of Security should both have a decent overview of the possible threats and who could do these kinds of things.

The United Kingdom warned in the mid-October 2021 of terrorism threats. This warning has clearly not been adhered too or been listened too. They have avoided to act and we have no four possible terrorism acts within a few weeks apart. In the end of October 2021 there was two incidents and today another two, which is well reported on.

We should wonder, if Muhwezi, Otafiire or Muhoozi will do anything about this? Do they have a plan? Will there be a open report and a re-group to foil possible domestic terror in the Republic? Since the authorities seems preoccupied with apprehending opposition activists and leaders. They are not busy finding culprits or gathering intelligence.

These three ministers has a lot to answer for. There is a lot to be desired and the way the security apparatus is organized. In the manner of which, all of the organizations can run and operate. As well, as the various of conflicts of interests in combination with the pressure from the outside. You just know there is to many chefs in kitchen. It will be a mess and a non-edible treat for your eyes to see, which only the unlucky bastards has to eat.

The three gentlemen should go out together and make not only joint statements. These three should make joint investigation and reports, as they can prove their worth. Unless, all three is just paper-tigers and someone else is really running the show from behind them. Because, these folks should have some pride and dignity to prove their mandates and roles. Alas, maybe that’s to much to ask in the Republic.

I am awaiting their returns to the NBS Television and NTV Uganda. However, I am also waiting for a statement to the Plenary Sessions in Parliament. Nevertheless, that isn’t an proper inquiry or such. There is a need or a joint exercise and where there is look at the whole structure. It is a need to see, who does what and where. This will ruffle some feathers … and some will be butt-hurt.

However, when these things are happening and innocent lives are taken. There needs to be consequences for the heads. The heads of government and ministers need to address it. Not only come with flattery and empty words of nothingness. That we have seen so much of. So, where are you? What do you do? The Red Cross can’t always save your asses. There is real implications to this. Peace.

Uganda Police Force (UPF): 3 Ugandans Dead, 3 Suicide Attackers Killed, 33 Victims Injured, 5 Critical, from Two Deadly Suicide Attacks (16.11.2021)

Kampala Twin Bombs: Insecurity is a real problem in the Republic

Today’s twin bombs in the Central Business District of Kampala continues after two incidents in October. On the 23rd October a pig-joint or restaurant was bombed. Days later a suicide bomber hit a Swift Bus. Therefore, what is happening today is a continuation of the insecurity in the Republic.

Today in the CBD, the was first a bomb at the Kooki Tower across from the Central Police Station on Buganda Road not far from the City Square or Constitutional Square. This is really hitting the central and just being of from the Kampala Road. To hit a place like this says it all. This is a deliberate attack. Not a random pork-joint like the one in Komamboga in Kawempe Division in late October.

The second target today was Jubilee House or Jubilee Insurance Building off Parliament Avenue. It is nearer Kimanthi Avenue. A small stroll up “the hill” to get to into the Parliament. So, this is in the middle of it too.

The Police Spokesperson CP. Fred Enanga has in a press conference already claimed that the Allied Defence Force (ADF) is behind the twin bombs. The CCTV cameras has caught one suicide bomber at the CPS and two other who drove boda-boda’s on Parliament Avenue to detonate themselves there. That’s the knowledge we have for now, but just what we know.

Fatwe Solutions reports in addition to this:

Confirmed bomb threat in Katooke B, Nansana municipality. The suspected bomb was abandoned in a house by a man currently known as Mowzey. Eye witnesses say the man was shot ‘abandoned plan’ assailants sped off and he rushed to hospital abandoning bomb in a house” (Fatwe Solutions, 16.11.2021).

So, there might easily be more. When the state goes this early claiming it’s ADF. It is worrying and spreading fear. While the authorities claimed it was ADF in October 2021 too. However, only arresting people, but later releasing them. As they had no evidence or case against these possible people. That’s what usually tend to happen…

This insecurity should worry anyone. The people should be worried how quickly the Uganda Police Force went out with knowledge and stating who is behind it. Yes, the public wants to know and needs to know. Nevertheless, shouldn’t there be a longer investigation and find out who is behind it. See the evidence, the bomb technicians and detectives, if not the intelligence community and Joint Security Taskforce should be on this. However, why do they need to be? When the UPF already know right after the incident.

That is why I would be concerned here. Yes, the ADF or ADF-NALU isn’t an organization or militia that is innocent. No, they are guerrillas who has killed within the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). They are Islamists and claims to be connected to ISIS. Therefore, they are a viable target and connected to a international terror organization.

Still, with that in mind, it is not like Enanga or the UPF is trustworthy source. Recent statements from the same source was intelligence of planned riots and demonstrations by the opposition. That follows the same patterns of the opposition burning down petrol-stations. So, just days after those stern warnings…

The ADF attacks and it just a couple of weeks apart from the Komamboga or Swift Bus bombs. Now, three more suicide bombers have attacked Kampala. This time in the CBD and within the spectrum of power. That’s why the CBD become closed off and people dispersed from the area. The buildings hit is just 15 minutes walk apart of 6 minutes by a vehicle.

This is worrying and we should be. These levels of insecurity isn’t a sign of peace or strength. The Joint Security Taskforce should be vigilant and not only ask the citizens to be the same. The authorities should use the same amount of energy to secure the liberty and freedom of the people. As they are using their manpower to apprehend opposition activists and leaders.

We can only pray now and hope the truth will come out. Innocent lives was taken today. Plenty more was hurt and damaged by the bombs. Lives ruined and some people who will forever be touched by what happened. This is tragic and no one should ever live through this. No matter who is behind it. It needs to be addressed and justice being served to people targeted by them.

There is a need for a investigation, trials and charges on the people behind the suicide bombers. That is what the state needs to do. They need to prove the allegations of ADF and also catch the ones who did the operation and organized the missions. This is what the citizens needs and then the authorities actually does their work and not only monitor the movements of Bobi Wine. Peace.

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