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Archive for the tag “FRPI”

Opinion: Hon. Kipoi is in a land of trouble, but is the charges justified?

Today Tony Kipoi, the former Member of Parliament in the 9th Parliament in the constituency of Bubulo West. In 2014 he had issues that he had no excuse for not taking part of 15 sittings in the row. Therefore, the Parliament threw him out and had a By-Election to chase him out of his seat. Well, just a year into his term (2012) as MP he was arrested for his connection with rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo, however, that didn’t stop him from serving a few more years, before he was kicked out. Therefore, in retrospect, the issue wasn’t really there, but somehow it became one.

Other than this, there are a Press Release from 24th December 2012, where the Police Force states this: “Yesterday, Sunday, 23 December 2012, the Police with its sister security agencies, arrested Hon. Kipoi Tony Nsubuga of Bubulo East constituency at 10:30 in Matimuku Guest House, Njala Village, Fort Portal, Kabarole district, while he was holding a meeting with some Ugandan security officers and Congolese rebel officers. The Ugandan Officers and Congolese rebels were also arrested. For, some time, now, the Police with its sister security agencies have been closely monitoring subversive activities of Hon. Kipoi Tony in and out of the country. In particular, he has been recruiting personnel from our security services as well as Congolese rebels belong to a Congolese rebel group called COGAI, based in areas around Bunia, Ituri, Democratic Republic of Congo. He had promised to support the rebel groups with fire arms.We also have information, that Hon. Kipoi Tonny has foreign sponsors who at this point it would not be wise to disclose” (Ugadna Police Force, 24.12.2012).

In April 2014, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni expressed this about Kipoti:

You elected a mad man Kipoi and when he got there, he wanted to overthrow the NRM government with guns. We threw him in. But because of the courts which are confused, they released him on bond and he fled to Congo. You have been here for long without any representation” (State House, 14.04.2014). T

What is striking with this, if this fellow Member of Parliament was already monitored and already had an issue with the and had to be arrested one year after becoming MP. Why wouldn’t the Electoral Commission disqualify him and his candidacy in Bubulo West? Since he was already known for his foreign support of the COGAI in Ituri, Democratic Republic of Congo?

The strangest thing, is that there is no direct connection with COGAI or FPRI. Which the state tries to put forward, and when it comes to making such accusation the state has usually delivered easily against detractors. Therefore, I had to look into possible sources and finds very little proof behind the accusation and the actual connection. Other than police in 2012, but nothing else connecting Tony to any warlord in the DRC.

The pure evidence of a Ugandan connection to FPRI or COGAI is this one from the UN Security Council in 2012: “FRPI also sells gold directly to Ugandan armed forces officers posted along the Congolese border. A regular client, cited by Congolese armed forces, militia members and a Lendu community leader, is a former Ugandan armed forces officer, Alex Mugisha. In exchange for gold, he has delivered arms and munitions to FRPI at the Semliki border crossing” (UNSC, P: 25, 15.12.2012).

With this evidence, there are clear indication that the group of rebels connected to Kipoi has traded their conflict minerals or gold with Ugandan counterparts. Therefore, to have middlemen in Uganda seems natural at this point. That is why the Presidents family is involved in this business as well.

But going back in time, the Observer had an article in 2nd November 2014 written by Sadab Kiatta Kaaya which stated: “In November last year, he was arrested by the DRC authorities but was later accorded a guest-of-the-state status, accommodated and protected by the DRC government. “You know he is a crafty man. I think when he got arrested, he told them that he has a rebel group and given the problems we have with them [DRC], they felt he would be of value to their interests,” Ambassador Kinobe said, when asked about Kipoi’s whereabouts” (The Observer – ‘DR Congo refuses to hand over ex-MP Kipoi’ 02.11.2014).

So after the troubles with law, even as a lawmaker and MP. He still had issues, which followed him from 2012 and also with the refusal to show-up in the Parliament. Tony has been one whose been in the spotlight of the President and the NRM. He has been one of many who has been alleged connected with militias and charged with treason. Kipoi isn’t the first one. He won’t be the last. What I wonder is who is connected to Alex Mugisha and does the business with the Congolese Rebels from Ituri. That would answer a lot of open questions.

It is hard to believe the information directly from the state, especially considering how they are not transparent about their looting of Congolese gold to through the Ugandan businesses. These are kept low-key and used to earn vast fortunes on others misfortunes. While supporting militias and insurgency inside the DRC. That is not news, but a fact that has been stated through international investigations and through the system of the United Nations Experts.

I’m just also wondering why Museveni turned on Kipoi and as he made him MP before taking him down. Now he is supposed detained and jailed in Uganda after a being in exile in Botswana. Why is suddenly back in the spotlight and getting into issues. What did he really do, pee on the lawn outside of the State House? Did he offend the buttocks of the Janet Museveni? What did he really do?

Would be nice to get some proper representation of the possible crimes he did, if he did any, since the evidence and the investigations of UPF isn’t representative and the criminal investigations can be turned in favor of the will of the President.

Why I can also question the government, is because the National Equality and Democracy, a liberation party from the diaspora wrote this on the 3rd December 2016: “The red notice meant that the Bubulo county West parliamentary representative Hon Kipoi Tonny Nsubuga would be arrested if found in any of the Interpol member countries. Interpol found that the organisation was being used wrongfully by the regime to pursue its political opponents. The winning of this case is historically a wakeup call and is a sign of injustice that all Ugandans are going through. Innocent Ugandans have been victims of circumstances for years under Museveni Rule. Since 2012 kipoi’s legal team has been battling political cases with Uganda government for an equal society. He emphasized much on Mr [ Museveni ] to do whatever he could in order to assist in restoring democracy, and stop unnecessary constitutional meddling which has lead to political instability in the country. The regime after falling out with him over political differences, he was accused of trying to overthrow the government, Kipoi left to exile in neighbouring DRC. The government continued to pursue him and even sued him under CRB No 1034/2013and secured a red notice 2014/11357 in Lyon France” (NED, 03.12.2016).

So we have the right to question the state, as the facts will not come from this regime, they will play it in their favor, just like they have done with other dissidents. Kipoi is just one of many in line of fire. Museveni isn’t graceful when coming to opponents. Peace.

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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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