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Archive for the tag “Allied Democratic Forces”

Opinion: Museveni will use any excuse not to retire…

I would have retired long ago if I was sure that the crucial actors saw the danger that Africa has been in ever since 1453 when the Turks captured Constantinopole, blocked the silk road for the Europeans and forced them to come to Africa on their way to the East. One of the strategic bottlenecks is market and political fragmentation. The medicine for this is economic and political integration. The medicine for market fragmentation and political balkanization is economic integration like the EAC and also political integration (East African Federation or Confederation). Why don’t political actors, if they really care about Africa, talk about these issues in addition to talking about Museveni’s retirement?”Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (Edris Kiggundu – ‘Museveni: Why I cannot retire now’ 28.08.2019).

This is getting old, this is such an old thing. I have written about this countless times for various of reasons. If it is term-limits, age-limit or even promises made, which the President have broken.

President Museveni has said many times before that he would retire. However, Yoweri has never had the intention or the idea to do so. If there isn’t a crisis he has to solve, something he has to eat or even a mare coincidence.

If there is the battle against the Lords Resistance Army (LRA), the battles of Allied Defence Force (ADF) in the Democratic Republic of Congo, his initial sponsored enterprise in AMISOM or whatever he needs as an excuse to stay in power.

The President will use whatever solution to keep himself in power. Now its the East African Community, that is his baby. Just like it in past was to save Northern Uganda. Before that was to kick Obote, Amin and whoever else. If not it was get rid Mobutu too. That is just what Museveni does.

His using the public as pawns, his using yet another narrative to stay in power. Because, there is always an excuse to be at the helm. No one else can solve it or fix it. Only Yoweri who has the capacity and the ability to resolve.

Which is all untrue, because his not the saviour or the man of salvation. His not the only man to rule the Republic, indefinitely.

If he was just saying, he wanted to be a self-styled President for life, a dictator to overrule the public as long as he breathes. That would have been truthful. But his just trying to shift the narrative and the story. So, that his needed and no one else, because his golden fingers is the only one can manage to address things.

That is what his initially saying and continues to say. In addition, finding new excuses. It is getting old. Revising old excuses and arguments, instead of showing real reasons for being there. Peace.

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DRC: Is there an escalation of insurgency in the Kivu’s?

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the interference and sponsoring of rebellions has been steady in the two recent decades. There are now talks of even more brewing trouble ahead. There been killings of peacekeepers lately, also rising numbers fatalities as well, that has been reported in North Kivu. Wouldn’t be surprised if there was similar numbers compiled on the other province too.

Therefore, the recent spark, the recent trend of wondering if there are something new brewing. Is healthy to ask. There are one force who is new in play, that is the Red-Tabara who only yesterday was reported in killing 18 people in and around Uvira. While the Burundian Forces are following their trail inside the DRC. There is no numbers of how many who is part of the Red-Tabara or their possible camps. Just that they are now also a part of the conflict inside the DRC. There has also been clashes between the FNL (Forces Nationale des Liberation), the rebels of the army. Therefore, the are plenty of obstacles already.

While the Allied Defence Force (ADF) is on a rebranding mission from being a Ugandan Muslim Military Operation, whose trying to invade Uganda. To become a jihadi organization for all of East Africa. The size of their operations is uncertain at this point. These has been steady attacking and killing in Beni. Where they have had massacres and working with other local militias to control the area.

While that is happening, the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) have deployed a 1000 of their newly trained and recruited LDU to the Uganda-Congolese Border. This is been done as a measure to secure the border. Clearly, also sending a message about the use of the LDU. Who was supposed to be a supportive unit of urban crimes, but now are an extra brigade for a possible warfare in the DRC. That is not a positive a sign. The first report of larger scale deployment was on the 15th October 2018, this might have been an escalation of that. But certainly hits a pattern.

This is proof of movement from two outside forces within the battle-torn and continued warfare in the region. Which seemingly doesn’t have an end. There are also still Mayi-Mayi militias, also Rwandan backed forces within the region too. There is FDLR-FOCA, whose size is uncertain, but bouncing around after a seismic split in 2016. Where in 2018, the DRC Operations of a militia named Mouvement Rwandais pour le Changement Democratique (M.R.C.D) who parts of it came from the FDLR. Who might also be criss-crossing the border region between Burundi/Rwanda and the DRC.

While there is nothing new that there are military movement from Rwanda and Uganda, where there both supply of arms, training and militia men. This being M-23 or other groups who was supported by military supplies from across the border. Therefore, if this would happen again. It wouldn’t be shocking or surprising.

The timing of all of this is perfect again. If it flairs up to extended levels and the government will have to suspend the elections again. So that, the ones running has to post-pone it again. Just in the nick of time to secure more illegal time for Kabila to rule. While so many more lives are taken, just so one man and his cronies can reign supreme.

What is for sure, is that this picture will be materialized and secured with time. What is worrying is the scale and the amount of players involved. As the Burundian forces are now into the mix, the Rwandan with both Ex-Rebels and Militias, who knows what stakes the Ugandan has. Other than adding more forces on the border. All of this is indication of more to come. There will not be silence.

When there is smoke, there is fire. In this instance, I am worried of the escalation and the levels of troops moving. Even as uncertain as it is. Because they have killed peacekeepers, there are foreign supported militias in the Kivu’s and there are tensions in the region. Peace.

32 Years of Recycling: The Vital Moments of Uganda at 56 Celebration in the words of Bosco!

Well, there wasn’t much news or much breaking news in the midst of this Independence Day Speech. However, when it comes to Bosco or Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, he is the king of recycling. I will not even go into that. I don’t have the time or the bother to address it. We want to live and breathe too. Museveni is himself to a T, but that is not securing the state, but solidifying his position. He is really showing his revenge and his wish for all control in this speech. This wasn’t a speech of statesman or a father of a nation. Not that he is either of those, he is the guy that made a coup d’etat and wasted what he inherited by the ones he overcome.

So, with that in mind, Yoseri from Ankoli, what’s up?

A Snippet of the Independence Day Speech:

On the side of stability, I want to assure Ugandans of their security. The country is generally secure and peaceful, save for the persistent threats and incidents as well as violent criminality. Uganda had a lot of challenges even after the NRM took power. Eventually, by 2007, the UPDF totally defeated Kony, ADF, the other rebel groups and disarmed the Karimojong. Some of the terrorists of ADF as well as other criminal elements, seeing that they could not survive in the rural areas, infiltrated into the towns where we had not fully focused in terms of developing intelligence capacity. As a consequence, we had 7 Sheiks assassinated as well as Major Kiggundu, Joan Kagezi, AIGP Kaweesi Susan Magara, Abiliga and Kirumira of recent” (Museveni, 09.10.2018).

That he said he has defeated Kony and LRA is not true, they are just not in his territory. The LRA are still existing to a degree and causing havoc in the Central African Republic. Neither is the destruction of the ADF, which he always blames for crimes and terrorism in the Republic. They are even blamed for the death of Kirumira and who knows for Abiriga, when that comes up. ADF are still in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Therefore, these security measures are not fulfilled, secondly all these assassination and killings are not proving that the Republic is safer, but otherwise. Certainly, no one can say that Operation Thunder in the DRC in 2008 was a success, only if you rewriting history and forget losing a military helicopter over nothing.

An extract of what was said at the CCTV Launch:

These killers must be afraid that Uganda is rising, which is why they are murdering our people to scare us. However, we shall defeat them. People who trust God like me are never shaken by lice. When you want to wage war, you should come and declare. The Killers have touched the Leopard’s tail and the will see. But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water. They came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!”…But He said to them, “Where is your faith?” The killers in town do not have the capacity to fight, but to hide like mosquitoes. This forced us to install cameras, to be our nose, ears and eyes. I was even able to see those who eat sugar canes and litter the streets.” (Museveni, 09.10.2018).

Certainly, he pounds on security and today he unveiled the CCTV Cameras and the Surveillance Centre of the state, which was new on Independence Day. It is a nice effort after promising for dozens of elections and plenty of rallies over the years. That he finally could show it off. However, this is not the ones that solves all crimes. If so, in the city of most CCTV Cameras there wouldn’t be crimes committed or even unsolvable crimes, alas, there is and the Kampala Metropolitan Police should co-operate with London Metropolitan Police to learn from their years of experience and how to use the CCTV. Because they are the city with the most cameras.

Clearly, this has all hurt his pride, as he knows these killings are leaving a deadly stench on his hands. As the old sins are buried, but not forgotten, however, easier to get away with. Now, the fresh wounds are in the open and these mechanisms can make him look a bit good, however, that train is a bit late. The flight has already taken-off and his time is over. It is just like he doesn’t accept that, as the President thinks he can still micro-mange things. Nevertheless, he cannot, because he even back-talk what people are doing.

He even talked down people eating sugarcane and if your complaining about littering and garbage in the streets, why haven’t you made a substantial budget, put in the efforts to give money and polices to clean Kampala and secure that the waste is already gone? You haven’t even invested in bins or garbage trucks. So, let this people eat their sugarcane, not like you cared before you watched for a hot minute today on the screens.

Bosco, should get serious, but that opportunity has left us a long time ago. He is just winging it and hoping it doesn’t fail him. Spending on cronies and wasting government funds like there is no tomorrow. Peace.

First Responsible and Conflict-Free Artisanal Gold Supply Chain Operational in Eastern Congo (17.05.2017)

The Just Gold project is the first to successfully trace conflict-free and legal artisanal gold from mine site to export applying regional and international standards.

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, May 17, 2017 –  Partnership Africa Canada (PACweb.org) today announced the Just Gold project has successfully implemented a system to trace legal and conflict-free artisanal gold in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Just Gold project began as a pilot in Ituri Province in 2015. Today’s announcement is a milestone for the project—moving it from the pilot stage—having proven a successful chain of custody from mine site to exporter.

“After almost two years of testing the Just Gold project with an aim to develop a chain of custody and due diligence system for artisanal gold in DRC, we are excited to share news of our success,” said Joanne Lebert, Partnership Africa Canada’s Executive Director.

“The Just Gold project can now move from a period of testing to implementation and ensuring we have a long-term, sustainable and viable solution for traceable, legal and conflict-free exports of artisanal gold from Congo,” said Lebert.  “We look forward to sharing our lessons learned with key actors and to deepening our collaboration with the DRC Government.”

The Just Gold project creates incentives for artisanal gold miners to channel their product to legal exporters—and eventually responsible consumers—by offering fair and transparent pricing and by providing capacity-building, such as technical assistance to miners in return for legal sales. Miners are taught better exploitation techniques and offered Juts Gold project equipment, in return for which any gold produced must be tracked and sold through legal channels.

“Proving that artisanal gold in eastern Congo can be conflict-free, legal and traceable is a major step in responsible sourcing efforts in the Great Lakes region. The government of Democratic Republic of Congo is taking major strides in complying with regional standards and demonstrating how the implementation the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains can contribute to progressive improvements in the sector, supporting artisanal gold men and women miners to enter international markets,” said Lebert.

Partnership Africa Canada signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Minister of Mines Martin Kabwelulu on September 2016, outlining support for the organization’s activities to strengthen natural resource governance. Specifically, the Ministry of Mines recognized the Just Gold project as a system of traceability and encouraged its implementation. Partnership Africa Canada has provided technical support to the Ministry since 2011.

Current activities in DRC include the Just Gold project, capacity building to implement both the International Conference on the Great Lakes (ICGLR) Regional Certification Mechanism (RCM) and the OECD Due Diligence Guidance applicable to high-value minerals, as well as support to civil society for monitoring and reporting on supply chain integrity.

Partnership Africa Canada has also undertaken research and analysis of the artisanal gold supply chain to understand women’s roles in the sector. Through sensitization and outreach, the Just Gold project improves awareness of women’s rights, and their right to access, control and benefit of resources. The project also supports and fosters women’s leadership opportunities through skills-building and training.

Partnership Africa Canada’s work in DRC developed from its engagement as a technical partner to the ICGLR, providing capacity-building to implement the six tools developed by the ICGLR’s Regional Initiative against the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources.

Funding for the Just Gold project and Partnership Africa Canada’s work in the Great Lakes region is provided by Global Affairs Canada. Additional funding for the Just Gold project is provided by USAID through the Capacity Building for Responsible Minerals Trade (CBRMT) project and International Organization for Migration.

R.D. Congo – Bas-Uele, Haut-Uele, Ituri & Tshopo : Note d’informations humanitaires no 1 (5/1/2017)

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RDC: “Les députés nationaux de l’Ituri membres du PPRD suspendent leurs cotisations & s’en prennent à Amb. Henri Mova” (26.12.2016)

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RDC: Declaration sur les Massacres prepetres par les Presumes ADF/NALU du 17 au 26/12/2016

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RDC: “Detournementes des fondes des menages destines aux policiers de le Leni/Beni (31.10.2016)

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Communique de la Septieme Reunion de haut niveau du Mecanisme Regional de suivi de l’Accord-cadre pour la paix, la Securite et la Cooperation pour la Republique Democratique du Congo et la Region (26.10.2016)

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OHCHR Report 2016: Proven Human Rights Violations in the DRC!

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The newest report from Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) together with United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) dropped a report about Human Rights violations this October. These shows the violations of human rights, killings and rapes that have happen over a certain time period.  The reports themselves say enough about the extent of how the Government and their Security Organizations does, plus the guerrilla warfare and the results of that in the DRC.

The reports are vivid and direct from political prisoners to rape incidence… the words themselves of what they did to the civilians there. Take a look!

Initiatives and public advocacy conducted by the Congolese authorities, with the support of the international community, have resulted in the conviction of State agents for sexual violence in conflict in at least 231 cases, during the period under review. Also, according to information made available to the UNJHRO, at least 447 soldiers of the Congolese National Army (Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo – FARDC) and 155 agents of the Congolese National Police (Police nationale congolaise – PNC) have been convicted for acts constituting human rights violations during the period under analysis. Despite the remarkable efforts made and considering the structural and financial difficulties facing the judicial system, this is a very low number compared to the 4,032 human rights violations committed by State agents. This, in addition to other factors, also shows that lack of effective prosecution contributes to the commission of other violations” (OHCHR/MONUSCO, P: iv, 2016).

Conflict Areas of Congo:

“During the reporting period, the six provinces affected by the conflict in eastern DRC, namely Ituri, North Kivu, South Kivu, Haut-Uélé, Bas-Uélé and Tshopo provinces registered the highest numbers of 5 human rights violations and abuses, which were mainly committed by combatants of more than 30 different armed groups. Between 1 January 2014 and end of March 2016, among the armed groups, the combatants of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) committed the largest number of abuses (685), followed by the Front for Patriotic Resistance in Ituri (FRPI) (662) and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) (424). These abuses were mainly committed during attacks launched on villages, in a bid to control territories rich in natural resources or in reprisal against some individuals suspected of cooperating with parties to the conflict” (…) “. State actors have also committed human rights violations in eastern DRC, in particular FARDC soldiers and PNC agents. These State actors, mainly FARDC soldiers, committed human rights violations or violations of international humanitarian law during military operations against armed groups” (OHCHR/MONUSCO, P:4-5, 2016).

Political Prisoners:

“In the current electoral context, concern has been expressed in relation to actions taken by the judiciary and viewed as Government interference in the justice system. For example, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders expressed concern about “the arbitrary detention of three human rights defenders, Mr Fred Bauma Winga, Mr Christopher Ngoy Mutamba and Mr Yves Makwambala, which seem to be related to their legitimate and peaceful human rights activities” as well as “allegations of illegal obtaining of evidence, procedural flaws and unfair trials”. The Special Rapporteur further “voiced his concern at the difficult situation in which human rights defenders exercise their right to freedom of association, of peaceful assembly, of opinion and expression, in the DRC” (OHCHR/MONUSCO, P:9, 2016).

Prions:

“Weaknesses in the penitentiary system have been raised on multiple occasions during 2015 Etats généraux de la justice, and identified as a major obstacle to the fight against impunity. The UNJHRO has documented the escape of 2,604 people from detention centres in 2014 and 201526. Mass escapes take place on a regular basis throughout the countr” (…) “One illustrating example is the mass escape of 18 October 2014 of 326 out of the 433 detainees (130 condemned persons and 196 people in preventive detention) from the prison of Butembo, North Kivu province, following an attack on the prison by four men armed with AK-47 trying to free nine detained soldiers who turned out to be absent from the prison. To this day, only about a hundred of those escaped persons have been found” (OHCHR/MONUSCO, P: 10, 2016).

ADF Violence:

“From 1 October to 31 December 2014, at least 237 people – including 65 women and 35 children – were killed by suspected ADF combatants. At least 47 civilians were wounded, 20 were abducted and two were victims of sexual violence. During this period, suspected ADF elements have attacked at least 35 villages, using machetes, hammers and knives, amongst others, and carrying out summary executions of civilians. During the same period, the UNJHRO also documented the destruction and looting of houses. From 28 February 2016 to March 2016, civilians were targeted by suspected ADF combatants in several villages on both sides of the border between North Kivu and Ituri, in Bambuka-Kisiski (Beni territory, North Kivu province) and Bandavilemba (Irumu territory, Ituri province)” (OHCHR/MONUSCO, P: 12, 2016).

FARDC rape in Goma 2012:

In November 2012, after the capture of Goma by the M23 armed group, FARDC soldiers withdrew to Minova, in South Kivu province, where they committed mass rapes and other human rights violations during a period of 10 days. On 5 May 2014, the Military Operational Court of North Kivu delivered its verdict on this case and sentenced 26 FARDC soldiers to prison terms ranging from three years to life imprisonment for crimes against humanity. Thirteen other soldiers have meanwhile been acquitted” (OHCHR/MONUSCO, P 14, 2016).

Musenyi:

“From 20 to 22 September 2015, FARDC soldiers assigned to 33071st Battalion under the leadership of Colonel Jules Dhenyo Beker reportedly committed several human rights violations in Musenyi village, in the vicinity of Maibano, Kalehe territory, South Kivu province, during an operation to track down Rayia Mutomboki chief Mweke Atobaibwa. Civilians were arrested and taken to a school used by the military operation’s leadership. A 16-week old baby reportedly died following a beating. Nineteen women were raped (or gang-raped in some cases), 31 people were subjected to cruel, inhumane or degrading treatments and arbitrary arrests while 78 others were subjected to looting and/or extortions. The next day, a high ranking FARDC official reportedly visited the scene of the incident and ordered the population not to report what had happened” (OHCHR/MONUSCO, P: 32, 2016).

Kavumu:

“Since May 2013, at least 20 children under 12 and thirty children aged between 12 and 17 have reportedly been abducted, raped and subjected to genital mutilations in Kavumu, 35 km from Bukavu, in the groupement of Bugorhe, Kabare territory, South Kivu province. The victims were reportedly abducted in their sleep without any witness and returned home or near their residence after being raped or mutilated. According to judicial authorities, these crimes were reportedly perpetrated in the context of initiation rituals and fetishist practices. Reportedly, these rapes and abductions also sought to terrorize the local population. On 17 March 2016, in Kavumu, a human rights defender who had spoken out on cases of rape against children in Kavumu and denounced the implication of a local leader, as well as the inaction of judicial authorities, was summarily executed by armed men wearing PNC uniforms.” (OHCHR/MONUSCO, P: 33, 2016).

For the ones that hasn’t followed the nation, the FARDC and the Guerrillas in the DRC will this be eye-opening, for others this is old news. Still, the reports prove certain aspects of life in regions and parts of DRC… This is more to show the dirty and nitty gritty that too many civilians and people of the DRC have lived through. This is what you can call a stern warning that people should care about the senseless violence against humanity in the DRC. Peace.

Reference:

OHCA/MONUSCO – ‘Accountability for Human Rights Violations and Abuses in the DRC: Achievements, Challenges and Way forward’ (1 January 2014 – 31 March 2016) – October 2016

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