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Archive for the tag “Basongora”

Kabarole Clashes: Guns and Machetes Recovered (Youtube-Clip)

“Security has been beefed up in kabarole district as a joint operation of the police and UPDF continues a search for dissidents believed to be in the hideouts in the hills a day after eight were killed in a shoot out
Bodies of those killed have been retrieved and guns and machetes recovered” (NTV Uganda, 2016)

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Press Release: MRG calls on Uganda government to investigate cause of escalating violence in Rwenzori region (04.04.2016)

Kasese attack

Minority Rights Group International (MRG) expresses grave concern about recent clashes between the Bamba-Babwisi and Bakonzo communities in the Rwenzori region, and calls on the Ugandan government to investigate the root causes of the conflict.   The violence has left at least 33 dead, 10,000 displaced and 366 houses burnt.

The first attacks broke out following the declaration of local council election results on 27 February, although many brushed them off as simply post-election violence. However, despite heavy police and military deployment, the killings have continued, with victims including a 13 year-old in Kanyansiri village in Bundibugyo district.

Addressing a press conference, President Yoweri Museveni told media that although his government had never deployed the army to quell a tribal conflict, he was going to now do so.

‘While we understand the President’s urgency to solve this problem, a military solution treats the symptoms not root causes. There is need for genuine dialogue among communities in conflict, mediated by a team of experts,’ says MRG Africa Office Manager, Agnes Kabajuni.

The events playing out in Rwenzori replicate a scenario in 2014, when violence between communities claimed 72 lives.

According to MRG, the causes of the current conflict in Rwenzori date back many decades.

For instance, to solve the Rwenzururu war, a guerilla campaign waged by both the Bakonzo and Bamba to gain recognition and secede from Toro Kingdom, then President Idi Amin negotiated a settlement to create Rwenzori District for the Bakonzo, Semliki District for the Bamba and Kabarole District for the Batoro.

Charles Wesley Mumbere

The Rwenzururu Kingdom, now comprising Bundibugyo, Kasese and Ntoroko districts has since the 1980s established itself as a movement which has continued to pose a serious threat to central government control. In order to calm the ethnic tensions in the region, the government in March 2008, after a ministerial committee recommendation, endorsed the Kingdom of Rwenzururu as a cultural institution headed by King Mumbere.

However, the decision to endorse Rwenzururu Kingdom was done with no prior and adequate consultation of both tribes in Kasese and Bundibugyo, pre-empting demands for recognition of other tribes like Basongora, Banyabindi and Bamba.

‘It is telling to see two groups, which have long co-existed and intermarried, now fighting with each other. At a political level, the government has to facilitate a genuine mediation process involving the Bakonzo under the Rwenzururu Kingdom and the Bamba cultural institution in order that they may peacefully co-exist once more,’ says Kabajuni.

‘As a long term strategy,’ argues Kabajuni, ‘the government has to address the economic marginalization of the communities in the Kasese, Bundibugyo and Ntoroko Districts, caused by historical injustices relating to land, equality, decision-making and economic opportunities for all tribes.’

Notes to editors

  • Find out more about MRG’s work in Uganda
  • Minority Rights Group International is the leading international human rights organization working to secure the rights of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities and indigenous peoples. We work with more than 150 partners in over 50 countries.
  • For further information or to arrange interviews with our partners in Rwenzori region contact:

Mohamed Matovu, Media Officer, MRG Africa (Kampala, Uganda)

E: mohamed.matovu@mrgmail.org

M: +256 782 748 189
T: +256 393266832
@MinorityRights

Skype: mohamed.matovu

Facebook: www.facebook.com/minorityrights

W: www.minorityrights.org / www.minorityvoices.org

Another look into the #KaseseAttacks and the reasons for the violence in Bundibugyo and Kasese; as the Albertine and Rwenzori Sub-Region have had big loss of lives; while the Government Security Force have used different reasons for the Post-Election Violence; the IGP Kayihura have claimed: “Yira, Militias, Tribal clashes and Criminal activity for the same actions”; What is right Mr. Police Officer?

Museveni Bundibugyo 28.03.2016

’I have not come here because of politics but because of the people losing their lives and property. Whoever is responsible will suffer the consequences,’ President .Yoweri Kaguta Museveni during today’s visit in Bundibugyo” (NBS TV Uganda, 28.02.2016).

Yesterday President Museveni went around in Kasese District and Bundibugyo district where he was in army fatigue and speaking of the consequence of violence, as his militarized politics could lead into aggravated assaults and killings. The deaths that sparked right after elections and have made people flee their homes and land for IDP Camps. This here will show how the government through the security organizations, as the Police Force and the Army who has acted with violence and not with intelligence; as the rhetoric and information to the media does not add-up. Something I will take you through.

As the violence of Kasese and Bundibugyo district have fleered up and taken scores of lives. Both by Police and civilians; the Police and Army have targeted specific groups after a troublesome local councilor election in the area. Those have opened up wounds from 2014. The Region have been a place of violence, because of the security organs and the police force taking the handpicked individuals while civilians flee from Bundibugyo and living in IDP Camps instead of their homes. The Rwenzori Sub-Region have been put in flames since the election, and there been over a 120 people died during the last two months and many houses been burnt down to the ground. As the Police and Army have helped the men taking sides in the clashes instead of working to make it peaceful, therefore the killings that even was taped we’re directed at Omusinga bwa Rwenzuru’s security guards that even been delegated to him by the government. That is rare incidence and also showing at what level of violence the government forces goes and therefore the fear in the area. Take a look what the King said about the recent actions!

Charles Wesley Mumbere

The Rwenzuru speaks out:

“Omusinga said, “Kayihura cannot rely on someone who hates the kingdom to investigate and address issues affecting the Rwenzori region” (…)“The problems of Rwenzori region have not been handled well and this explains why people are killing each other. A section of people who are against our cultural institution and those that failed to mobilize for the (ruling) party are taking malicious reports to government that we are fighting government. This is not true.” (…)“These were spreading malicious messages that the meeting I had with Dr. Kiiza Besigye contributed to their defeat and yet they failed to organize and talk to me during the recently concluded campaigns,” (Ainganyiza, 2016).

The King says it is not criminal or ethnical acts that has done the trick this time, but a reaction to the recent election and that there been no direct actions against the government; that is said to counter what IGP Kale Kayihura earlier said after being in Rwenzori Sub-Region and using the intelligence from the Police Force, while also not stating the direct killings that happen to the Rwenzururu Kingdom guards that was shot and killed early. While the President was speaking the people in the Bundibugyo area together with Minister Bataringaya were being BOOED by the public because they sees his actions as lazy, since they doesn’t see him doing anything to stop the violence. Under here is more information about on the matter!

Kayihura Kasese Bundibugyo 24.03.2016

What a Government Official has said:

“Jolly Tibamanya, the Bundibugyo district chairperson, said that 31 people were killed during the clashes and 361 houses burnt. He requested the President to improve the presence of security personnel in the sub county. Tibamanya added that several residents have abandoned their gardens for fear of being attacked” (94.3 QFM Lira, 29.03.2016).

On 25th March the Rwenzori Police Spokesperson said this:

“The Rwenzori regional police spokesperson Lydia Tushabe has said that the police are now treating the attackers in the districts of Kasese and Bundibugyo as a militia group” (New Vision, 25.03.2016).

Something the Police left out to tell:

“On Thursday March 24, Bakonjo elders from the highlands of Bundibugyo District gathered to meet with Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura, who has been camping in the Rwenzori sub-region over the recent weeks to tackle the violence that has so far claimed at least 32 lives in Kasese and Bundibugyo districts. After waiting for hours, the elders were informed that Gen Kayihura had flown away and that they would meet another day. Tempers flared, especially because many Bakonjo look at the police chief as a partisan player in the conflict that has pitied them against the Bamba – Babwisi, Basongora and other tribal sub-groups. Mr Christopher Kibanzanga, the MP-elect of Bughendera County in Bundibugyo, however, says his fellow Bakonjo should not worry anymore about Gen Kayihura’s perceived partisanship in the matter, which he says “has been handled”. Mr Kibazanga says Gen Kayihira’s intention was not to snub Bakonjo elders but had to leave Bundibugyo “immediately. “He gave me a call and explained” (Rwenzururu Times, 28.03.2016).

Museveni Bundibugyo 28.03.2016 P2 River

As the Police and Government continues to spread the information on the matter. “Kirumamutima” or Strong Hearted Youth Group was supposed to be behind the matter, and now even the Police Regional Spokesperson Lydia Tushabe claimed a militia, but did need say who. When Lydia says it is a Militia, than it’s either “Kirumamutima” or the Uganda Saving Force (USF), who was one of two groups claiming to be behind the shooting and stealing of guns at Kapchorwa. Still that does not sound like what’s the King or the Politicians in the area claim. The cross-claims and changing statements from the Police and Army does not look well together with the obvious malicious attack on the Kingdoms Security Guards that was even filmed and created an outrage that got even the IGP out of Kampala to search the area. The Police have stopped discussing the Yira Republic because the Public knows that is an excuse for the Security Force to get rid of the men who is not positive towards the ruling regime and the opposition; as the opposition is strong and didn’t want NRM men in councilor in the sub-counties and Rwenzori sub-region. And the Police did not say or want to say to the world that they are taking sides in a fragile situation; that is well-known since the clashes of 2014 is not far from the minds of the people and the Local Councilor III elections was just the last straw and the Police Force together with the army went all in, not with justice or rule of law, but brutally killing.

A Story on how 16 died in Bundibugyo:

“A woman with a baby strapped on her back is found harvesting cocoa (stealing) from plantation that doesn’t belong to her. In a typical mob justice fashion, she is beaten. But with the pang with which she was harvesting the cocoa, she fights back and delivers some cuts to some members of the mob. She is eventually overpowered. She and her child are dead. Her tribesmen come for the man whose cocoa was being nipped. The man (whose cocoa the dead woman was harvesting illegally) is killed by the alleged thief woman’s tribesmen. The thing spirals out of hand and degerates into a tribal clash. And the last time checking? 16 deaths” (Rwenzori Post, 25.03.2016).

Bundibugyo 29.03.2016 IDP Food

As the first sign of peaceful action from the Government:

“Government begins supplying food to the over 10,000 people displaced by tribal clashes in Bundibugyo” (NTV Uganda, 29.03.2016).

The Story is just a sorry reflection of the state of affairs and that the 16 people in the total of death, that died for very little and not even the ballot, but cocoa beans that was stolen. An innocent baby lost the life in those clashes. This proves there are certain animosity in the area and how quickly the melee and violence happens. That kind of actions are local clashes, not militia made, but mob mentality as the Police Force is not in real control of the local policing or violence. As the woman was stealing cocoa, but she deserved to be fined or repay the owner for the stolen cocoa, which would have been the ordinary treatment, not killing her and her baby, together with 14 more people! So it’s sad to know how the killings got out of hand and the clashes is just one out of many in the recent month. If the rest of the killings except for the ones directly going against the kings guards in the Rwenzori Sub-Region, and these killings was neither militia as the woman who stole cocoa was not USF or the so-called “Kirumamutima” so the Police intelligence cannot be that great. First it was tribal, than it was criminal, and not it is militia. So there is either a cover-up or the IGP Kayihura and the local Spokesperson is not speaking the whole truth. We might need a giant Parliament Report as the one that came after the 2014 clashes in the region. This time it fleered up straight after elections and announcement of local councilor in the area. That ended up in clashes and later got fueled into old grievances’ between the tribes in the area as a tool for the Police and Army to try to take more control of the Kasese and Bundibugyo district; as they are in the Rwenzori and Albertine region where also the oil-development is. So the way the NRM-Regime have treated the area and used Machiavellian tactics and now it has backfired.

Bundibugyo 28.03.2016

The worst thing is that President Museveni came in with the tanks and  the Army; while just walking around like a royalty and not asking the locals, but telling people how to be. The Same did the Police Force has done and also not listened or confirmed either with the Rwenzururu King or the Elders of the area. To continue to add further insults to the injury and the killings of relatives. That are now being used for political gain and saying that certain militias or guerrillas are behind it. While the small reports on the ground shows other display or character of violence. Like the Government of Uganda tries to disorganize the Rwenzori sub-region; so they cannot gain anything out of the coming development projects or the planned operations that are in the area. As the Albertine-Region and Rwenzori Sub-Region will have lot to say when coming in the oil-projects, so it seem a little to startling that it happens there and not in other parts of the country. But hey, that is just me. Peace.

Reference:

Ainganyiza, Steven – ‘Rwenzori Attacks: King Wants Independent Investigating Committee’ (28.03.2016) link: http://www.chimpreports.com/rwenzori-attacks-king-wants-independent-investigating-committee/

Updates on the skirmishes in Kasese and Bundibugyo – (3 Kingdoms: one recognized by central government in Kasese District)

Well, if you are still interested in different sources on the Rwenzori – Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu and the Kasese and in Bundibugyo attack. Then I got some more for you today from different articles. After the tragic attack which killed 93 people and here is the new quotes and information on the sad event that happen in Kasese and Bundibugyo.

Kasese District Police Commander Michael Musani Sabila commented to media that Rwenzururu PM Nzaghale is now released from prison. Sabila continues: “We are still holding three other Rwenzururu officers” (…)”There is a high security alert to counter any further threats” (…)”Registration centres for the ongoing national ID project have also been provided with extra security to ensure the process is not disrupted “ (…)”A good number are calling us, expressing their willingness to surrender, saying they were deceived into taking up arms against the State” (Thwaite, 2014).

The three that still arrested:

–          Kingdom Enviroment Officer: Erisaniya Mberemu.

–          Information Minister and Kingdoms Spokesman: Joshua Kalimwithako Baluku.

–          Chairman of the Rwenzururu Esyomango S’Obusinga(Youth Wing): Mitusera Isebayanda

(Thwaite, 2014)

The Inspector of General of Police Kale Kayihura said: “We have different categories such as actors, planners and organisers who will be handled accordingly to their actions against the State. We have reinforced our system, we shall not leave any stone unturned” (…) “We have released on police bond the two kingdom officials as our investigations into the matter continue. We arrested them because they were implicated”.  He also said that he was disappointed with the Obsuninga bwa Rwenzururu (Mugume, 2014).

MPs of all political parties are critical of the ethical dived between Bakjona cultivators and Basongora cattle keepers. Defence Minister Dr. Crispus Kiyonga comments: “some people in our society still hold firm beliefs in witchcraft, can easily be duped into criminality and can be very callous in causing death to their brothers and sisters”. Even UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon says: “we must not be left to utter the words ‘never again,’ again and again” (…)”indeed; the world has yet to fully overcome its divisions, its indifference, and its moral blind spots. For if not checked, ethnic conflicts are contagious and can spread quickly like cancer cells and eat all the progress achieved over the years” (Mugerwa, 2014).

In Kasese district it would be three kings alone in the groups of the Bakonzo, Basongora and Bayabinindi. This would be:

–          Rwenzururu Kingdom of the Bakonzo with Mr. Charles Wesley Mumbere (Only recognized cultural leader by the government).

–          Basongora People has recognized as their cultural leader: Mr Ivan Rukirwa Bwambale (not recognized by the government).

–          Bayabindi People has recognized as their cultural leader: Mr Elisha Mugisha(not recognized by the government).

(Katusabe, 2014)

In Bundibugyo there you have the kingdom of the Bwamba which actually recently got recongnized by the government. This was as an opposite too the Rwenzururu Kingdom. Bwanba is made for the ethnic groups of Bamba and Babwasi, the issue in the district is that is also having a great number of Bakonzo (Katusabe, 2014).

Ms Polly Namaye deputy spokesman of the Uganda Police has recently addresses the matter and about the issue of the king in custody: “free and there has not been any attempt by the police to summon or arrest him under any circumstance”. She also said: “to have the king summoned the police will not desist (from executing its duties) but will do so in the interest of protecting the lives and properties of all Ugandans equally” (Katusabe, 2014).

Mr Mugisha the Bayabindi leader says: “These activities were carried out by the Bakonzo” (…)”We had informed the authorities that such attacks would happen but our advice was not taken seriously. It could easily be discerned from what many Bakonzo leaders had been saying that an attack on us was imminent. We live in fear” (…)”commemorating the deaths of our people who were killed during the Rwenzururu uprising between 1964 and 1981” (…)”we are different from Bakonzo” (…)”For us we are Bantu-speaking people and we don’t have much in common with the Bakonzo. They therefore targeted us because they associated us with the enemies (the Batooro)” (…)”The army and the police deployed heavily to protect our function; we even had people from State House” (…)”had threatened that if our function took place they would fight” (…)”When they failed to stop the function they diverted their anger to state institutions” (Katusabe, 2014).

Mr Bwambale the in-charge project desk at the Justice and Peace Commission in Kasese which isn’t agreeing with Mugisha is saying: “During the Rwenzururu war starting in the 1960s, our fathers knew that they needed guns to fight to break off from Tooro” (…)”So how can you convince me that in the year 2014, the kingdom of Rwenzururu would organise an attack on a military barracks executed by stick-wielding thugs? It doesn’t make sense”  (…)”like his king has argued, that the attack could have been planned by anti-Rwenzururu people to discredit the kingdom. We were unable to establish whether this is one line of investigation the police is following” (…)”Muhindo and all the others should not have died” (…)”it should look at more strategic interventions to address the problem” (…)”There is a danger in the message which the government seems to send to those people who intend to be recognised as cultural leaders” (…)”they seem to be saying that once you fight and win recognition we put you on payroll” (Katusabe, 2014).

Mr. Mumbere says: “Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the institution of traditional leader or cultural leader may exist in any area of Uganda in accordance with the culture, customs and traditions or wishes and aspirations of the people to whom it applies” (…)”It’s natural resources, especially in the lowlands, which is causing trouble in Kasese especially” (Katusabe, 2014).

Mr Mugisha gives his thoughts on why they should get recognized: “We will stop being marginalized” (…)”we have a very big problem with land; our people have been sidelined. Look at me, I am the king of the Banyabindi but I live on a small plot” (…)”Ibuga Prison farm has a lot of vacant land” (…)”let the government take some of my people there” (Katusabe, 2014).

Rev Can Cornelius Matte the dean of St. Paul Church where he discusses the issues of the Bakonzo. Mr Matte says: “problem of resources is getting worse” (…)”We have had land conflicts in the area for some time but we never predicted that this thing would become this dangerous. We are living in a corridor between national parks, prison and mountains. People are now desperate and something very small causes a very serious reaction. People are now like hungry dogs” (…)”Every year we send people to theological colleges and we have some other opportunities. We ensure that we send a Munyabindi and Musongora. This year the only one we have sent to university is a Musongora” (Katusabe, 2014).

Dr. Kizza Besigye has new comments on Rwenzururu:

“This is not tribal violence as government claims. Why is it only the Police and UPDF being targeted as if they are tribes? It’s because people are fed-up and feel that these are agents of the bigger problem up there” (…)”This situation in western Uganda cannot be detached from the problems in the whole country. The causes are not a local dynamic as it has been reduced but rather a political time bomb government is sitting on”. He describes President Museveni as “king of sectarianism”. Besigye is also addressing Kiyonga actions: ““Kiyonga was there when they carved out Ntoroko for the Batuku from Bundibugyo for the Bamba and have plans to further divide Kasese into four other constituents for the Basongora and other small tribes they want to create” (Musisi, 2014).

 

Links:

Katusabe, Ruth & Mukiibi Ssrunjogi Misari Thembo Kahungu, Eriasa – ‘Inside the melting pot of Rwenzori region’ (13.07.2014) Link:  http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Inside-the-melting-pot-of-Rwenzori-region/-/688334/2381740/-/wckx5vz/-/index.html

 

Mugume, Colleb &  Ninsuma Enid – ‘Police to screen Kasese, Bundibugyo attackers’ (13.07.2014) Link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Police-to-screen-Kasese–Bundibugyo-attackers/-/688334/2381922/-/fvvkg0/-/index.html

 

Mugerwa, Yaslin – ‘MPs unite against Rwenzori attacks’ (13.07.2014) Link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/OpEd/OpEdColumnists/YasiinMugerwa/MPs-unite-against-Rwenzori-attacks/-/878670/2381556/-/us815oz/-/index.html

 

Musisi, Fredric & Tumwine, Albert – ‘Govt to blame for Rwenzori attacks’ – Besigye’ (13.07.2014) Link:http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Govt-to-blame-for-Rwenzori-attacks—Besigye/-/688334/2381860/-/dvi3k0z/-/index.html

 

Thwaite, John B. – ‘Kasese attacks: Rwenzururu premier released’ (12.07.2014) Link:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/657452-kasese-attacks-rwenzururu-premier-released.html

Latest updates on Kasese-Budibugyo atttack – Rwenzuri militants (not ADF)

 

It’s been movement on the ground. President Museveni has spoken and the Rwenzuru King has also said his piece. First Defence Minister Crispus Kiyonga and then before I tire you, to you sleep. Please continue to read!

Defence Minister Crispus Kiyonga put the actual number of deaths during the siege are now 92(Okello, 2014).

Here is his statement to this Thursday in Parliament:

“The characteristic  of the events that unfolded show that some people in our society still hold firm beliefs in witchcraft, can easily be duped into criminality and can be very callous  in causing death to their brothers and sisters. The attacks took place on Saturday 5th July between 2 PM and 4 pm in the districts of Bundibugyo, Kasese and Ntoroko. The main targets were police and army positions, wananchi in the case of Kasese, the palace of the Obundingya wa Bwamba and sSanbic bank in Bundibugyo. The attackers were mainly armed with spears, pangas sticks and some guns with the main objectives of getting guns and money. The places attacked in each of the affected districts are; In Bundibugyo the places attacked included; Kanyamirima barracks – 5 kilometers from the town of Bundibugyo, Bundibugyo town where the stanbic bank and the palace of the Omundigyawa Bwamba were key targets. Kirindi shrine,Ntandi and Katumba. In the district of Ntoroko the attacks were at the trading centre of Kibuuku and the police station in Karugutu town council. While in Kasese, the places affected are; a weighbridge opposite KCCL factory on the highway from Kasese to Bushenyi and the villages of Bigando and Ibuga. An estimated total number of 92 people are reported to have lost their lives which include, four police men, three soldiers, three wananchi and 68 attackers in Bundibugyo district, in Ntoroko, one soldier and one wananchi were killed while in Kasese district, 13 people were killed, one police man, one soldier and 11 wananchi lost their lives” (Okello, 2014).

Rwenzuru king Charles Wesley Mumbere statement:

First the Rwenzuru Prime Minister Noah Nzaghale and Minister of Tourism Erisa Mwincubere were taken by the Police at 9 AM at the Office of the Kingdom in Kasese.

The Kings statement: “that the people who attacked on Saturday should be part of his Kingdom’s enemies who did not want him recognized and that they may be looking for means of having the government abolish the institution”(…)”warned government from being biased in handling cultural issues in the Rwenzori region but rather take the task of leading or mediating the reconciliation process”(…)”the decision to arrest the Prime Minister and other officials was hash because no one in the Kingdom including himself is willing to be interviewed at peace as police continue hunting for the wrong elements”(…)”He does not recall agreeing with the president over the matter because his subjects are across the region” (Red Pepper, 2014).

Kings friend Tom Stancy comments: “the United Nations had granted the Bakonzo a state called the Yira Republic. Yira is another name for Bakonzo. On this Mumbere said that document was authored by some of the people who have for a long time opposed the Rwenzururu Kingdom” (Red Pepper, 2014).

Minority Rights Group Africa (MRGA) responds to the attacks:

“Condemns the weekend attacks in Ntoroko, Kasese and Bundibugyo districts in Rwenzori region in Western Uganda which claimed the lives of at least 72 people, including numerous civilians, two soldiers and three police officers”(Matovu, 2014).

Jolly Kemigabo MRGA Office Manager says: “We all know there are historical injustices suffered by some ethnic groups like the Basongora who lost land, but the government has failed to resolve their issues”(…)”The government, with the involvement of all stakeholders, has to push for peaceful co-existence while addressing deep-seated inequality and discrimination leading to the political and social exclusion of minority ethnic groups”(…)” Such steps should include resettlement or compensation for evicted communities, and the economic empowerment of marginalized groups” (Matovu, 2014).

President Yoweri Museveni blames security agencies:

“Fortunately, today Uganda has got a capable State that is able to deal decisively and expeditiously with such schemes although, of course, there was a failure of intelligence. How did these people weave such a scheme without being pre-empted? What were the GISOs doing?” (Kasasira, 2014). Veteran Security Chief David Pukol commented: “What had become of our intelligence agencies? May be everybody is looking at Kyankwanzi resolution, President Museveni’s fifth term and they have forgotten about Al-Shabaab? This intelligence failure has baffled us. It sends a wrong message” (Kasasira, 2014).

I will keep you more updated when I see more news or reports on the matter that fits.

Peace!

 

Links:

Kasasira, Risdel (10.07.2014) – ‘Rwenzori attacks: Museveni blames intelligence organ’ (the Citizen.co.tz) Link: http://www.thecitizen.co.tz/News/Rwenzori-attacks–Museveni-blames-intelligence-organ/-/1840340/2378786/-/qvgdu8/-/index.html

 

Matovu, Mohammed (10.07.2014) – ‘To calm ethnic tensions in Rwenzori region, government has to address specific needs of ethnic minorities’ (Minority Rights Group)

Link:http://reliefweb.int/report/uganda/calm-ethnic-tensions-rwenzori-region-government-has-address-specific-needs-ethnic

 

Okello, Dickens Honeywell (10.07.2014) – ‘Kiyonga: Why Rwenzori Militants Attacked Defence Installations’ (Chimpreports.com)

Link: http://chimpreports.com/index.php/mobile/special-reports/23361-kiyonga-why-rwenzori-militants-attacks-defence-installations.html

 

Red Pepper (10.07.2014) – ‘Rwenzururu King Speaks Out On Rwenzori Attacks’ (Redpepper.co.ug)

Link: http://www.redpepper.co.ug/rwenzururu-king-speaks-out-on-rwenzori-attacks/

President Museveni’s statement: On the recent attacks by some schemers in Kasese and Bundibugyo

Statement

by

H.E. Yoweri K. Museveni
President of the Republic of Uganda

on
The recent attacks by some schemers in Kasese and Bundibugyo

7th July 2014

Nantabulirwa yasabala na bwabbumba:  Whatever a man sows that is what he will reap.

Uganda started off her Independence, in 1962, on a very weak foundation.  This was, mainly, because of bad politics pushed by opportunistic sectarian groups and manipulated by external interests.  The sectarianism, as we have pointed out many times, was based on religion, tribes and gender chauvinism (marginalizing the women).  There were only three women that I remember in the Independence Parliament of 1962 to take one example.  Within four years of Independence, the then Prime Minister had to abolish the 1962 Constitution because of the contradictions that were getting ever sharper.  Earlier on, there had been the conflict on the “lost counties” of Bunyoro.

A lot of blood was shed in the 1966 crisis, resulting in the abolition of the Kingdoms.  Eventually, Amin made a coup detat in 1971 and more sectarianism was generated and much more blood was shed between 1971 and 1979.

The late Mwalimu Nyerere, writing about Uganda, said of that period as follows:  “If the Ugandans thought they were on the frying pan under Obote, they found themselves in the fire proper under Amin”.  That was the perfect description of that time.

Some of us have the advantage of having been old enough to know and understand everything that was going on and yet we were young enough to live for long after 1962 as we have done.  Initially, we, as youth, belonged to those sectarian parties ─ I being in Democratic Party (DP) and some of my colleagues being in Uganda Peoples’ Congress (UPC) and Kabaka Yeka (KY).  However, by 1965, we had started developing grave doubts about the direction of that blind, irresponsible, opportunistic sectarian politics. As students, that is how we founded the nucleus of the third force ─ a non-sectarian student body.  That student Movement, during Amin’s time, metamorphosed into FRONASA that was part of the coalition that fought Idi Amin and, eventually, evolved into NRM.  Right from the beginning, we opposed and despised sectarianism because it was illogical and, obviously, run counter to the interests of the people.  As we have said, repeatedly, the core interests of the people are prosperity and security for each individual family and for the entire society.  When we talk of prosperity and security, we mean prosperity through production, not through parasitism.  When we talk of security, we mean security in pursuing one’s legitimate interests.  Legitimate interests mean working, utilizing our legitimately earned assets and enjoying the fruits of your labour.

There are, of course, other interests such as cultural, spiritual, etc.  However, the core ones and on which all the other interests depend, are prosperity (especially economic) and security of person and property.  Prosperity through production means producing and selling what you produce.  Your allies in that battle are the people who buy what you produce.  The recent insecurity in South Sudan showed the importance to producers of markets.  Many businesses suffered.  The prices even went down.  The insecurity in Eastern Congo or Kenya usually has similar effects on the producers’ prosperity. Recently, I was in Kanungu and found there prospering farmers because there is now, again, some security in Eastern Congo.  Even before colonization, there was interdependence among the tribes ─ as far as the forest of Congo, South Sudan and the East African Coast.  It was only some of the tribal chiefs that were inconveniencing this trade as was observed and recorded by the early European travelers ─ John Speke and Henry Stanley.

Therefore, those who have been in the habit of pushing for sectarianism are the real enemies of not only security but also the prosperity of the African Peoples, the Ugandans inclusive.  It is this firm belief of ours that propelled us to sow the mustard seed of non-sectarianism that, eventually, became the mighty tree of NRM/NRA and the present peace in the whole country.  It was on account of our non-sectarianism and always working for the unity of the people that, starting with a small force, we were able to build a very powerful force.  That force enabled us to win all the wars we fought, bring democracy to Uganda as well as peace and development.  In bringing democracy, we also restored the rights of the different cultural groups in Uganda, if they so wished, to restore the traditional cultural institutions or even create new ones on condition that they did not meddle in partisan politics, administration and legislation.  Why did we insist on this?  It was for two reasons.  First, in a democracy, the population govern themselves ─ through elections.  They are not governed by anybody else except themselves.  Yet, when you hear some of the spokesmen of the cultural institutions that we restored speaking, they speak as if it is not the people that govern themselves.  Worse still, some of the cultural institutions have, for some time now, been acting counter to our message of non-sectarianism.  They have been actively fomenting sectarianism and tribal chauvinism ─ acting and talking as if the only thing that matters are certain tribes to which the respective traditional leaders belong.  Yet, the NRM, the Bible and the Koran as well as common sense hold that all people are born equal and must be treated as such.  We have repeatedly and politely pointed out this point.  Yet, some elements among the cultural institutions have also been repeatedly uttering sectarian and chauvinist words and also acting in that manner.

This now brings me to my two statements above ─ the Luganda proverb that says: “Nantabulirwa yasabaala na bwa bbumba” and the Biblical statement that “whatever a man sows, that is what he will reap”.  The Luganda proverb refers to somebody who defied all the advice and decided to use a clay canoe to cross a body of water.  The consequences were disastrous for him and for those who travelled with him in the clay boat.

Last Sunday, a group of people in the Rwenzori region carried out coordinated attacks against security forces and civilians.  Altogether, they carried out 13 attacks as follows:
(i)    At 3.00 pm, they attacked policemen at the weigh bridge, killed 1 policeman, injured another one and took 2 SMGs;
(ii)    At Bigando, a UPDF soldier that was on leave, was killed and all his family burnt in a house;
(iii)    In Bigando, they also killed 6 Basongora civilians;
(iv)    At Karugutu Police post, they injured one (1) policeman and took one (1) SMG
(v)    At Kikyo Police post, they took one SMG;
(vi)    At Kirumiya Police post, they took 1 gun;
(vii)    At Ntandi they took 2 SMGs from Uganda Wild Life (UWA) personnel;
(viii)    At Kibuku, they ambushed soldiers who were taking re-enforcements to Bundibugyo, killed one of them, and took 1 SMG but 3 of the attackers were killed including their so called commander;
(ix)    In Bundibugyo town, they attacked Bundibugyo Police Station, killed the OC station and one policeman and took one SMG;
(x)    They attacked Stanbic Bank but three of the attackers were killed;
(xi)    They, then, attacked, Lakwena style, the camp of 39BN at Kanyamirima, injuring one Captain and killing one soldier but 45 of the attackers were killed and the attack was repelled;
(xii)    Attack on the Palace of the Bamba King saw one gun being taken and one policeman being injured; and, finally,
(xiii)    The attack on the shrine where 2 soldiers were killed and one gun was taken.

This means that 8 members of the security forces were killed and 51 attackers were also killed.  This is a total of 65 Ugandans killed last Saturday by the schemes of some confused or selfish bunch of people.  Fortunately, today Uganda has got a capable State that is able to deal decisively and expeditiously with such schemes although, of course, there was a failure of intelligence.   How did these people weave such a scheme without being pre-empted?  What were the GISOs doing?  However, their main effort, which was to enter the camp of 39BN was decisively defeated.  In their limited thinking, they thought it was a light matter to attack UPDF.

How did all this start?  It started with Mr. Charles Mumbere, now HH Omusinga of the Bakonjo, coming to see me some years ago.  He is the son of the late Isaiah Mukirane who, together with Kawamara, the father of the new cultural leader of the Bamba and Mupalya who died recently, started the Rwenzururu Movement in 1962 against the Batooro domination.  Mukirane, eventually, died in the mountains and left his young son Mumbere.  When Mr. Mumbere came to see me, he wanted to be the King of the Rwenzururu.  I told him that the Rwenzururu had been a Political Movement for equality.  Why did he want to turn a political resistance movement into a monarchy?  His group, however, kept on insisting on the issue of monarchy although there was a big group in Kasese that also opposed the idea.   Eventually, in order to create harmony, we withdrew objections to Mr. Mumbere becoming Omusinga especially after people like Dr. Kiyonga and a large group of people who were opposed to the idea of monarchy, withdrew their objection.  However, the Bamba leaders of Bundibugyo were totally opposed to the idea of the monarchy.

In agreeing to Mr. Mumbere being Omusinga, we, therefore, agreed that that cultural institution should operate in Kasese.  Those of Bundibugyo and other areas that were interested in the Obusinga could go to Kasese.  Even within Kasese, there are other indigenous groups that did not support these ideas.  These are the Basongora, Banyabindi and BagaboWe encouraged HH Omusinga to have dialogue with these groups.  I do not know how far that dialogue has gone.  I have, however, been hearing of some chauvinistic positions from some of those who claim to be supporting Obusinga.  They seem to insist that the Omusinga, apart from the Omukama of Tooro in his area, should be the only cultural leader in the Rwenzori region.  Yet, there are other ethnic groups in the Rwenzori region: Bamba, Basongora, Banyabindi, etc.  They have different ideas about this issue and have, in several meetings with me, made this categorically clear.

On account of those chauvinistic ideas being banded around for so long, it seems some groups hatched this criminal scheme that has caused the death of so many people.  Apart from killing 51 of the attackers, we have captured 65 others.  We shall get to the truth and will punish those involved.  In the meantime, the country should not get anxious about this scheme.  It was defeated right on the first day of its execution even before the full potential of the UPDF has been mobilized.  This scheme is doomed to total failure.  It is amazing how wrong ideas coalesce into wrong actions.  Nantabulirwa ya sabaala na bwa bbumba.  Whatever a man sows, that is what he will reap.

I thank you.

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Gen (rtd)
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA

Link:

http://www.mediacentre.go.ug/press-release/president-musevenis-statement-recent-attacks-some-schemers-kasese-and-bundibugyo

 

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