Joint Communique on the Occassion of the State Visit to Uganda by Her Excellency Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, 10th – 11th May 2022 (10.05.2022)

The Gold Refinery in Entebbe get sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury [which is the African Gold Refinery]

gold is gold, and they simply need gold” – Gold Smugglers (UN, 2020, P: 19).

Today on the 17th March 2022 the U.S. Treasury has sanctioned the African Gold Refinery and Alain Goetz. This is hitting the Government of Uganda (GoU) which has been proud of this refinery. They are directly hitting the profitability and ability to trade. As the AGR will be blacklisted and possibly make it harder sell it’s gold.

In the U.S. Treasury statement today, it said this:

Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), sanctioned Alain Goetz, the African Gold Refinery in Uganda, and a network of companies involved in the illicit movement of gold valued at hundreds of millions of dollars per year from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The illicit movement of gold provides revenue to armed groups that threaten the peace, security, and stability of the DRC. Today’s action was taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13413, as amended by E.O. 13671, which targets, among other things, individuals and entities involved in activities that threaten the peace, security, or stability of the DRC or that undermine democratic processes or institutions in the DRC. Our action demonstrates the U.S. commitment to disrupt the illicit mineral trade and encourage mining sector transparency” (U.S. Treasury – ‘ Treasury Sanctions Alain Goetz and a Network of Companies Involved in the Illicit Gold Trade’ 17.03.2022).

Where it further states:

Since 2016, AGR has sourced illicit gold from mines in regions of DRC that are controlled by armed groups, including the Mai-Mai Yakutumba and Raia Mutomboki that are involved in destabilizing activities in South Kivu, DRC. AGR has a refining capacity of 219 tons per year and is considered one of the largest gold refineries in Africa, after refineries in South Africa and Ghana. AGR and Goetz acknowledged that a share of the gold AGR refines comes directly from mines in the DRC and has taken over a significant portion of the market for gold trafficked from the DRC” (U.S. Treasury – ‘ Treasury Sanctions Alain Goetz and a Network of Companies Involved in the Illicit Gold Trade’ 17.03.2022).

The U.S. Treasury isn’t taking this information from nowhere. This has been recorded and proven through United Nations Experts reports over the years. The Entebbe Gold Refinery has been tracked and so has all the illicit minerals, which has gotten to it. It has been taken from conflicts and been a valuable commodity for the militias inside the Democratic Republic of Congo, which trough various of channels has traded it with the AGR. Who again has sold it to the world market.

Back in 2020, there was further proof of how it was operated as:

““The Group established that, on 9 February 2018, African Gold Refinery Ltd sold its shares to AGR International Ltd, a company registered in the Seychelles at Global Gateway, 8 rue de la Perle, Providence, Mahe, Seychelles (see screenshot below). The Group wrote to the authorities of the Seychelles, who confirmed that AGR International Ltd was registered in the Seychelles at the address listed in the Uganda Registration Services Bureau documents” (UN, 2020, P: 107).

So, this corporation will have international implications. It will not only go after Goetz or AGR. This will go even further with time. A Belgian report on the Refinery in 2019 said this:

Sources in government refer to a speech by the Ugandan president at the ceremonial opening of AGR in 2017. Museveni then said that government agencies opposing the refinery would be ‘tackled hard’. ‘Goetz feels unassailable. And not without reason. He clearly has the protection of President Museveni himself’, says investigative journalist Haggai Matsiko of the Ugandan monthly The Independent. ‘Goetz has put a lot of money into its project (AGR says it has already invested $40 million, ed.). The president seems convinced that the refinery adds economic value by turning Entebbe and Kampala into a gold hub.’” (Kasper Goethals – ‘‘Gold is a dirty business, even if I do say so myself’ 20.04.2019, De Standaard).

With this in mind, this is a major blow to the wishes of President Museveni. The U.S. is sanctioning it and setting a precedence of which makes transactions with it questionable. Yes, at this moment it is about trading and association with U.S. businesses and citizens. Alas, the AGR is a prestigious part of the gold adventure Museveni wanted to have.

Let us not forget the June 2017 Global Witness Report “Under-Mined” on the AGR, which stated this:

African Gold Refinery is run by a small group of Belgian and Ugandan businessmen, including former government minister Richard Kaijuka, who are managing to ship hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of gold out of Uganda without disclosing its origin and paying very little tax in the process. They are the owners and managers of a newly built gold refinery on the shores of Lake Edward near Entebbe airport. Remarkably, Barnabas Taremwa: brother-in-law to Salim Saleh, Museveni’s most famous brother and Uganda’s de facto number two, told Global Witness that he had helped negotiate the company’s huge tax breaks with the government (corroborated by documents seen by Global Witness) and set up supply routes for the refinery” (Global Witness, P: 27, 2017).

““Alain Goetz, who is also the CEO of the company, a Belgian national, is one of the most famous dealers of Congolese gold in recent history. During the 90s the Alain and his father Tony, who died in 2005, were reported as dominating gold exports from the Congo through their networks to Belgium and later Dubai” (…) “Mr Barnabas Taremwa, who previously worked for AGR is the brother in law of Salim Saleh, the President’s brother. AGR told Global Witness in a letter dated January 2017 that Taremwa’s sister and Salim Saleh had divorced three years ago, seemingly in an attempt to distance themselves from the General. However, Salim Saleh told Global Witness that “Barnabas Taremwa is still my brother in law and it is false and an insult to me for you to state that I divorced his sister.” (…) “Richard Henry Kaijuka is the Chairman of AGR.160 According to an article in Africa Energy in June 2011, Mr Kaijuka is “a childhood friend of President Yoweri Museveni, who fell out with the regime after he opposed a controversial constitutional amendment in 2005 that removed presidential term limits.” (Global Witness, P: 73, 2017).

So, if you know all of this. You know the AGR is hitting home. This will hit the State House and the Presidency. Not only the pride of selling illicit minerals from militias in the DRC. No, he will not earn profit on the tears and suffering of the DRC anymore. At least not at the same scale or have the possibility of trading it to the United States. This is a proof of the possible damage it can do. This is million of dollars of exports that can be hit by this sanction. Because, AGR is a tainted business…

That is the truth here and it is about time. Reports about it from it’s inception should have been the warning sign. Yes, the official date was back in 2017, but it was operating from 2014. So, there been lost years and the AGR haven’t really complied with proof of where the gold came from and therefore, this is well deserved. Finally, a place which is a hot-spot for conflict minerals get hit with sanctions. Peace.

Civil Society Coalition on Oil and Gas (CSCO) – Civil Society Statement on the Announcement of the Final Investment decision for Uganda’s Oil and Gas Sector (07.02.2022)

Ugandan and DRC CSOs’ Communique Rejecting Secret Agreements Signed for the Lake Albert Oil Project in Uganda (13.04.2021)

Joint Communique between the President of the Republic of Uganda and the President of the United Republic of Tanzania on the Implementation of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) Project on the 11th April, 2021 at the State House Entebbe, Uganda (11.04.2021)

Opinion: Kadaga says what everyone knew [A Ugandan VP is useless]

“The Vice Presidency Seat is not a position of decision making, that is why they want me to be appointed there”Rebecca Kadaga (Crispus Mugisha – ‘Kadaga refuses VP job as Museveni calls for meeting’ 29.03.2021, Nilepost.ug).

The truth usually sets you free. The truth can unleash huge potential and change things. Now the speaker of 10 years in the Ugandan Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has told the truth to the public. Not that it’s shocking or anything. No, we knew this, but its nice that the ones holding office feels the same.

The Speaker of 10 years, Kadaga is saying the Vice President is not worth anything. Rebecca is stating that its not a place worthy of being. Since she wants to be at a place where she has some sort of influence and power. A Vice President at this time and age lacks both.

Yes, a VP is the second of government, but we all know that this person at this point is the master of ceremonies and nothing else. The VP can look good on paper and be honourable subject. Even if the VP has no direct influence of parliament, cabinet or even in the NRM CEC. The person is just a token leader and a figurehead of the government without any sort mandate or ability sway lawmakers.

No, the VP in her eyes is a useless and redundant appointment. Where you are just a high ranking official, but with no initial power. That is sort of the dream and been the motivation for appointing Vice President Edward Ssekandi, which has held the office for two term and lost the MP’s election this time around.

VP Ssekandi will not be remembered for legislative victories nor his strides in office. No, he has been ghosting with a fancy convoy. He has been busy tearing up venues and showing his face. To prove that the office exists, but for no apparent reason. The VP has been selected as well, because he has no ambition to overcome or become the heir to the throne. No, his just there to officiate at weddings, burials and openings of roads.

That is all happening, because that is the role assigned by the President. The President could give the person of the VP a more powerful role and have bigger tasks. However, that is not what he has done. The President have given more prestige and more assignments to the Office of the Prime Minister. The OPM have a bigger function in todays cabinet and have more of powerful portfolio in comparison to the VP. That is why Kadaga doesn’t want to become the next VP. As she knows that role is worthless. She has seen it for years and doesn’t want to be in docket with no influence and mandate to her name. Especially, after having the mantle of the Parliament as the speaker for so long.

This is all a reflection of the manner of which Museveni is ruling. If he had faith in his deputies and in his second in command. He would have assigned them with a broader mandate and given them hurdles to pass. However, he rather takes it on himself or if not give it further down the chain-of-command. As they have a longer line to pass to get to him.

Kadaga is just stating the bitter truth and a simple reflection of the reign of Museveni. Museveni have made it like this. It is his decision to make it a Ministry/Office without a Portfolio or a Ministry aka Vice Presidency.

That is the making of Museveni and is in his image. If you know, now you know. Peace.

Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu: Press Statement about the Burning of hte Omusinga’s Royal Residence in Kasese Town 28th January 2021 (28.01.2021)

Soon 4 Years since the Kasese Massacre: Some of King Mumbere’s Guards and Officials to be released… [still no real investigation into the matter]

KASESE – The Government is to start releasing subjects and some of the officials of the Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu who were arrested and jailed following the November 2016 security raid on the cultural institution. During the raid, security forces also picked the Rwenzururu king, Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere. Sixteen security operatives and over 100 other subjects died in the incident” (John B. Thawite – ‘Govt to set Rwenzururu suspects free’ 21.11.2020, New Vision).

Since the 26th November 2016 and the Kasese clashes the Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu Charles Wesley Mumbere have been in exile and charged with two counts of murder, which if he had been indicted and on trial for it. The King of the Rwenzururu could get prison for life. However, the King and his men who has been arrested in 2016. Have never gotten justice, neither all the people who died those pivotal days in Kasese and at the Buhikira Royal Place who was burned down as well.

The charge was put on the King on the 28th November 2016. The case against have never been resolved and he has been put in exile ever since. Only allowed one visit to participate in a burial of his mother. Before having to return back to Kampala.

What is also striking about this, there was never any investigation into the murders and the mass-killings, as the Special Force Command and Flying Squad was participating in attacking the Royal Palace in October 2016. Like the state came with official numbers from 2016 was 62 deceased, but these other nunbers 70 identified dead, another 52 unidentified dead and 14 police officers dead. That is near double of what the says, which was 136 killed during the skirmishes.

The claimed they we’re going after the “Kirumiramutima” or “the Strong Hearted” a militia gathering in the area and soldiering up. Working together with the Kingdom. Alas, the reason for the sudden attack on the Palace and killing civilians. This taking lives of the Palace Guards and others in Kasese. However, what is sadly striking… is that this militia have never surfaced before or after the skirmishes of the state. It is seemingly on the state violence and their operation that created the deaths these days 4 years ago.

Still, there have been no investigation or look into the amount of killings. Only a dark and grim day of burring unidentified in a ceremony by clerical persons. Doing it while the army was monitoring the events. Therefore, we know the lives taken was quickly buried and hoped that no one question it.

While the King is charged with murder and has also charged with treason. There has never been any evidence of this. Neither has the militia the state claimed appeared and was dangerous haven’t been seen since the skirmishes four years ago. If that isn’t sign. Nothing really is.

That is why the state has to release these “suspects” because they are pulling things out of thin air. If there was anything. The state would have had a case and found them guilty of conspiring and doing criminal activity. Alas, that is not the case. The same should happen to the Obusinga as well. Since, they have no claim to hold him. Other than loosing their pride.

The ones that need to challenged and questioned for their actions in November 2016. Is the leadership of the SFC and the Flying Squad. This being Presidential Advisor on Security and former leader of the SFC Maj. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerubaga and army commander Gen. Elwelu who both was in-charge that day. However, these two gentlemen has since then promoted and not suffered any consequences over their actions. While the victims of it has faced the law with no proof. This is why they are getting released. The Kings Guard that was arrested shouldn’t only be released, but get punitive damages and get vindicated. Since, this was injustice and making them guilty before being innocent.

What happened in Kasese and the aftermath is the sort of act, which no Government with sense should do to their citizens. Alas, it did happen and went down, a tragedy and massacre. A state sponsored enterprise with no efforts or no investigation into how it did happen. As well as any indication or proof of the supposed intelligence to spark the attack on the Palace in the first place.

Therefore, the injustice and impunity of the state is so viable. The wounds are still fresh. This didn’t happen a decade ago. It just happened months after the previous election. It is therefore vital that this doesn’t go away, but is a reminder of what the state does to its own. How little life matters and little consequences there is taking lives. If it had consequences and had effects on the ones taking the lives in Kasese. They wouldn’t walk free and without any cases against them. These folks in the Flying Squad and Special Force Command wouldn’t be allowed to carry guns. They would be charged with murder and manslaughter themselves. However, that is not the case and it doesn’t seem to happen with this regime. They rather hope people forget and only hopes the families of the lost ones moves on in silence. Peace.

Opinion: Brig. Deus Sande follows a long line partisan army commanders

“They will not hand over power to ideologically bankrupt Politicians” – Brig. Deus Sande

There been so many National Resistance Army (NRA) Generals who has dismissed the opposition. That Sande is going after the National Unity Platform (NUP) and Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine.

The Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) is supposed to be non-partisan. However, they tend to usually sway in favour of the National Resistance Movement (NRM). The army is working for the ruling regime and the President. That the will never hand over to anyone who they doesn’t deem fit. Usually they dismiss the opposition in a heart beat.

The Army Commanders and Officers also intimidate and say they will ensure the continuation of the Republic. The UPDF will never leave the Presidency to a doctor or a colonel. This they used to say about Dr. Kizza Besigye. He was never enough or good enough. He was an upstart and not even a good medic. A person who would never be the commander-in-chief of the army.

When they do that Besiye. How do you expect they react to a musician like Bobi Wine? Expect them to just give way and not speak out. These people are used to it and has done so for over a generation.

That is why there been countless of high ranking officials within the UPDF who has dismissed the opposition and their leaders over the years. The same with former Generals who are serving in the Cabinet and who are “elected” Members of Parliament (MP), which are there too. They are all doing the same as Sande.

It is not like his alone in this and speaking out like he did. No, his one out of plenty. There been so many saying these things. That it’s not shocking anymore, but more ordinary fashion from the NRA Historicals, UPDF Commanders and retired army commanders appointed to high ranking roles within the NRM. They are always throwing shade and saying they would never accept a civilian or somebody who is not anointed by them.

Now they are going after Bobi Wine and NUP. In the past it would be the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and Besigye. However, we are in 2020 and Bobi Wine is the main target. Peace.

Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF): Operation to pursue escapees from Singila Government Prison in Moroto (17.09.2020)

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