What I will do is to take things side-by-side just to show how ridiculous things can become. Because, this is just showing how things are finessed and done. This is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Shabait) and how the United Nations operate. The lack of coordination and the lack of mutual consent. Which is the reason for this.
We know its getting hectic, when the Shabait response to the whole report has this headline: “Rumors Cannot be Presented as Facts”. That’s how they pop-it off. It sets the parameter and shows their ways. There is no middle-ground, but just throwing everything at it.
We know the Special Rapporteur Mohamed Abdelsalam Babike doesn’t have a nice job either. As he states early this: “given the lack of cooperation of the Government with the Special Rapporteur, who was denied access to the country, he collated the necessary information through alternative means”. Because of that he was forced to: “The Special Rapporteur conducted remote monitoring and held meetings with a broad range of actors, such as diplomats, human rights defenders, civil society representatives and academics. In addition, the Special Rapporteur collected first-hand information from Eritrean refugees residing in other countries, with a view to informing his assessment of the situation of human rights in Eritrea”.
In this regard, the Eritrean government gave him no choice but do things remotely. Still, they are saying this in their rebuttal about the method: “As with previous SR reports on Eritrea, the lack of reliable data, heavy dependence on biased sources, non-verifiable approach, and ignorance of Eritrea’s ground realities renders the methodology and the essence of the allegations tenuous and unacceptable”.
What is funny about this… the government says they want a reliable and another methodology, but dismiss and doesn’t make it possible for the Special Rapporteur to investigate in the first place. So, if you close the borders and doesn’t cooperate. How is he supposed to get the information in the first place? You cannot close the doors and also claim whatever information he collects as wrong. With this sort of look into it. It seems like the objective of Eritrea is to call everything bogus and lies, while not allowing people to look into their works. This is the United Nations and not just a random organization having a mission of some sorts. Therefore, this is just making things more suspicious in the end of Eritrea. That they don’t want information out in the first place…
When things gets really tricky, is when the Special Rapporteur says this: “The Special Rapporteur highlights that, as a member of the Human Rights Council, Eritrea should strengthen its cooperation with all human rights mechanisms. In particular, the Special Rapporteur encourages the Government to strengthen its cooperation with his mandate and engage constructively, and to enhance its engagement and technical cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, which remains ready to assist Eritrea in the three priority human rights areas identified by the authorities, as well as in the implementation of the recommendations from human rights mechanisms, including those emanating from the universal periodic review”.
While Shabait says this: “Like every other country in the world, Eritrea faces challenges. However, the GoSE continuously works to address these challenges and improve human rights standards in the country. Accordingly, there is no “crisis” that warrants the targeting of the nation through HRC agendas and mandates”. When Eritrea answers the UN Special Rapporteur like this. You know the whole thing is bound to fail. The UN Special Rapporteur is there, because the UN appointed him. Not because his job is to undermine Eritrea. That’s just a fact and the government in Asmara clearly don’t want that. However, their hostility and lack of cooperation. Only opens up the questions… why are they hiding and not just giving way, if they have a perfect Human Rights record? Why are they not inviting and showing the greatness of the Republic?
Well… you go figure… right?
Then, you have this one, which is on the origin of the Tigray conflict. The Special Rapporteur says this: “On 4 November 2020, tensions escalated in the region and an armed conflict erupted in Tigray when the Ethiopian National Defence Forces launched a military offensive against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front in response to reported attacks against the Ethiopian National Defence Forces’ military bases in Tigray by Tigrayan forces. The Ethiopian National Defence Forces were allegedly supported by Amhara regional forces and the Amhara Fano militia in western Tigray, and in particular by the Eritrean Defence Forces in northern and central Tigray”. While Shabait answers with this: “Emboldened by some governments, the Western media, and NGOs, the TPLF, by its own admission, unleashed an insurrectionist war in November 2020 after it was ousted from power in 2018 after 27 years of despotic rule in Ethiopia. The objective of this massive, premeditated and unprovoked attack that the TPLF launched on all the contingents of the Ethiopian army in the north was to totally neutralize the Northern Command which possessed around 80% of the EDF’s total arsenal. The TPLF killed several hundred non-Tigrayan soldiers within the Northern Command and its overall plan was to topple the central government once it had pacified the Northern Command”. As Shabait continues: “Subsequent plans included military action against Eritrea to advance its avowed “regime change” agenda as well as incorporation of Eritrean sovereign territories for its long-term, multi-layered, aims and aspirations”.
Here you see that Eritrea isn’t looking into their own actions or as a part of the tripartite alliance in Tigray region. No, they are shifting everything at the TPLF. That is an deliberate act. While the Special Rapporteur is looking at it objectively. That’s why the wording is so careful. The Shabait is going after the TPLF and their actions, but not stating anything about their own. Also, giving a history lesson of the misdeeds of the TPLF. While it is not saying it is currently involved any of it itself. Implying it is all justified and there is no reason to doubt that… While all three parties was preparing and launching the attacks on Tigray. So, they could easily blame the TPLF no matter what it did… and the rest is history and a conflict living on to this day.
What is further striking is this one, where the Special Rapporteur says this: “The Special Rapporteur welcomes the decision adopted on 22 March 2021 by the Council of the European Union, under the European Union’s global human rights sanctions regime, imposing sanctions on Eritrea for serious violations of human rights, including acts of torture, extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and killings in Eritrea. The Council imposed restrictive measures on eleven individuals and four entities responsible for serious human rights violations and abuses in China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Eritrea, Libya, the Russian Federation and South Sudan”. When Shabait retorts with this: “Mention has also been made regarding EU sanctions on Eritrea amid the ongoing discussion to withhold development support in particular in the pretext of the unwarranted and worn-out allegations surrounding National Service and forced labor (paragraph 24) as well as other baseless human rights allegations. Any such pre-condition on development cooperation is unacceptable. Eritrea remains committed to the effective mobilization, higher organization, and creation of national capacity in the implementation of its development programmes. It is, however, equally committed to cooperation predicated on partnership, involving mutual respect and understanding. Thus, it rejects any attempts at intimidation, coercion, or harassment under the veil of human rights and development cooperation”.
Here we are seeing a stark contrast again. What is really significant. That Eritrea is against the sanctions. That’s to be expected, because who wants to be sanctioned and getting retribution. However, instead of letting people in and see that these things doesn’t happen. The Eritrean state is just retaliating. The UN Special Rapporteur only verifies the reports and the surrounding misgivings of the Eritrean state. Something the Eritrean doesn’t prove to be wrong. They just call it baseless, but doesn’t prove anything or say anything in significant in consideration with the alleged human rights violations. Which is the reason of the sanctions in the first place. The EU will have mechanisms where there is a need for burden of proof and evidence before sanctioning a nation. Which in effect has been enacted. Eritrea furthers the victimhood by calling it harassment and intimidation. That just shows they have no intent in changing its behaviour or try to prove their innocence.
The UN Special Rapporteur says: “The Special Rapporteur is concerned that the indefinite duration of military and civil service reportedly remains one of the main causes for the departure of Eritreans from their country. With the end of the state of war with Ethiopia, the Special Rapporteur encourages the Government to outline a timetable for reforms to its national service”. The Shabait answers with: “The causality inference (paragraph 40) suggested in the present report between national service and migration from Eritrea is unjustified and unacceptable. In line with the new development drive, as well as the emerging prospects of viable peace and cooperation in the Horn of Africa, efforts will gradually be made to return National Service to its original duration. Moreover, a significant number of national service members have been integrated into the new remuneration system which improved the salary scale of the civil service”.
This here shows the trouble with it here. As the Special Rapporteur states an issue with the military and civil service in Eritrea. While the Shabait tries to dismiss that. However, there is no way this is explaining the Eritreans fleeing from these state programs, which is causing this. The Eritrean government is downplaying it. This just shows how things are… and therefore, we just know the ideals will not be answered. That was a proof of the beginning.
They are both ending with this, which is interesting. The Special Rapporteur states this: “The Special Rapporteur calls upon the Government to acknowledge the persistence of human rights violations and abuses in Eritrea, and to allow him and other human rights mandate holders effective access to visit all areas of the country and meet with relevant stakeholders, with a view to addressing the human rights challenges that it faces”. While Shabait says this: “It is time for the HRC to break with its 8-years long unproductive approach by terminating the mandate imposed on Eritrea. On its part, Eritrea will continue to expand and consolidate dignified engagement and international cooperation based on partnership and will continue its modest contribution to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Council, while working together with other members to depoliticize the Council and its agendas”.
This is how two worlds are colliding. A nation and a sovereign like Eritrea who is saying everything is baseless. While Eritrea isn’t opening up for the UN Special Rapporteur. Therefore, the allegations and the reported breaches of human rights violations aren’t investigated directly, but only proven by eyewitnesses in the diaspora.
The Eritrean state should consider another path, because this sort of retort isn’t safeguarding it. It is just opening up a plethora of questions. As it is not willing to open up. Shabait is just throwing shade. This sort of answer isn’t making any good grounds, but make you further questions the actions of Eritrea.
The UN Special Rapporteur is appointed and gotten a mandate from someone else. Shabait is only defending its state, but its not doing a good job. It is a hit-job, but not hitting the target. Unless, it was to make headlines in local news. Where they can look like they did something, which isn’t true. It did nothing… Peace.
“The NRM has boycotted the meeting of IPOD scheduled for the handover of IPOD seat from Democratic Party to FDC. This as FDC insists the discussion should focus more on the meaningful dialogue and smooth transfer of power in Uganda” (NBS Television 27.11.2019).
Not to long ago, actually for two IPOD Summits the FDC boycotted these, as they did boycott the first IPOD Summit, as an reaction to the police brutality and harassment from the authorities. The second one was because they didn’t want just a photo-op and a friendly greeting with the President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
The IPOD Summits haven’t resolved anything or made any amends with the electoral reform or dialogue between the NRM and the opposition. The IPOD is just a paid journey from the Dutch, to preoccupy the parties on the way to yet another General Election in 20201.
Just a friendly reminder of what NRM said when the FDC boycotted it:
“Kasule Lumumba: NRM is the minority in IPOD. FDC is the leading opposition party. FDC shouldn’t run away from responsibility. NRM remains committed. Come and offer leadership and we work together, Come and show Ugandans that you can lead” (NBS Television, 17.10.2019).
“I have always said FDC is a radical extremist party behaving like a millenarian cult & hostile to dialogue. This was on display yesterday when they boycotted the first IPOD meet. They used to say they would only attend IPOD MEETINGS if Museveni attends. What is their excuse now?” (Andrew Mwenda, 18.12.2018).
“I don’t know why anybody [FDC] who says they are democrats would not like dialogue. I always welcome opportunities for dialogue because when you don’t dialogue, you miss an opportunity to be understood clearly” – President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni at the 12th December 2018 at the Speke Resort Munyonyo
Therefore, I wonder what will be the excuses of the NRM in the upcoming days. One that has already come out, which is unbelievable is that they wasn’t invited. That one is just a lie, I don’t believe that Norbert Mao forgot to send the invitation to the NRM Secretariat. The DP head wouldn’t miss that one out.
It is weird that FDC comes now after boycotting for so long. It seemingly a play for them. It is insincere to take the helm. That it is, after calling out the other parties for being involved in the months ahead of this. The FDC knows this. Yes, this is politics, but the perception of this isn’t brilliant. It is insincere at best.
The FDC should have pulled out, unless it seems they are just in it for the party-funding and possible billions promised after the second summit in May 2019. The environment for the FDC isn’t better. Their party offices has been raided both in Kampala and in the up-country. Not like the FDC leadership is secure and safe for police brutality. Neither is their ability to conduct party activity in general.
What is weird is the NRM who has harassed and diminished the FDC for boycotting from before Christmas last year until the present IPOD takeover. That is very rich of them to not sit in the yellow chairs. Because, its not like the NRM will end up behind bars or get detained for participating. Neither house-arrested nor awaiting court-cases because of their loyalty elsewhere, than the President himself. Since all of them are loyal to him.
I never have believed in IPOD. Just like the Apple IPOD, I believe the relevance is gone and not vital for the changes in the Republic. It is just a tool for the NRM to keep the others in check. The NRM will only use this to settle the score and use the platform to ensure they are following guidelines and supposed protocol. The IPOD will not challenge or have any significant power, as the NRM and the government haven’t given it that.
The IPOD and IPOD Summits are PR stunts and play for the facade. It is weird that the FDC wants to play now. They should have dropped out and been righteous. Instead, they wanted a little spotlight and look decent now. That’s a bit late, but the NRM are totally in the wrong. When they have called the FDC out, but bails out themselves. That proves again the real value of it.
The real value of the IPOD is none, except for the Dutch donors who pays for the “dialogue”. Peace.
This upcoming election isn’t about reforms, isn’t about progress or about the ability to go forward. This up-coming election isn’t about the legacy nor the options or selections of candidates. That sort of ship has sailed, as the Age Limit bill enacted into law. Fixing the 1995 Constitution into the image, which the President needed.
We can all fool say, that Robert Kyagulanyi or Dr. Kizza Besigye have a shot this time. We can all joke around and think that the Forum for Democratic Change, Uganda People’s Congress, Justice Forum or the Democratic Party have a possible outreach to challenge the Movement. We can all mock ourselves, thinking that Norbert Mao, Asuman Basalirwa and James Akena will push the boundaries for this up-coming election. However, we all know that is a lie.
It is not that I am again change, not that I am against any of the opposition parties. I am not, but the cynical and free thinking spirit in me is saying, that this election is already pre-rigged, prepared and settled. There are no bounds for victory elsewhere. That is false-hope, which is fiction. It is political suicide to think that you can conquer or even beat Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in 2021.
The only thing that can conquer him at this point is either that the military, the generals and the ones closest to the army are turning against him. If not its his age and his health that will go into default stages because of his advanced age. Therefore, when concerning ballots, campaigning and all the rest is a farce for the façade.
The façade of a democracy and an election of some sense. That the public are in-line awaiting their turn to throw their ballot into the boxes. Where the party and candidates hold rallies and come with manifestoes and pledges. They all can promise new and fresh days, all new roses and chapattis, not to talk about working out the bottlenecks and getting the country into a middle-income nation. However, how much of a mirage that is at this point.
We know they will do this, will come out, guns blazing and fuming with fire. They all will come as statesmen and nobles, stand up tall and smile, glace at the crowds and mysteriously be gone in the next hot-minute after the polls. Because, that is just what they do. They came all in, but forgotten the next moment.
As that is happening, as the 2021 elections are getting prepared. Let us not fool ourselves. We already knows who wins, who will have the margin in the Parliament and who will have the elective officials behind him. Not because he is the best candidate, neither the second best either, but he is the only alternative, because he cannot lose. Since the system is built on his image and his vision. It is all him and everyone else is supposed to bow down to his majesty, the royal king and this is his domain. The Republic and its citizens are his servants and they should be humble and oblige him for another term. Even if that means his eight shot to strike Royal Flush.
Clearly, the Movement, the President and the whole state apparatus will act like it is a fair game, when its not. It’s rigged and settled before even the ballots are procured. This game isn’t changing anything. This election could have been similar in 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 or 2015. Even in 1980, but then there was another master who rigged that election. Now, it’s his time, yet again. Peace.
“Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish.” – Euripides
Today, was the day where the extension of the IPOD Summit 2018 was launched with brazen words from the President and the other partners around the table. Where the glowing lights and media houses was welcomed for the new initiative and the new committee, which is placed under the wings of the State House. As most things this day, another parastatal closely connected with the President.
The Republic has already the aforementioned Inter Party Organization for Dialogue or the IPOD. Which will by next year, been there and going in whatever pace it is since 2009. That is decade and the first summit was this year. So, when Mr. President says he is all about Dialogue, he is lying, but that is tradition in his blurred vision.
That the President proclaims dialogue and talks now, is that he see that his figure abroad is distorted and that his allies is starting to question him. Not only that he is a weapon-brother, but that he keeps shady friends. The President is scheming with Sudan, North Korea and anyone coming his way. As long as he gets the cash, even Equatorial Guinea is a friendly haven.
That is why the dialogue is so important, because when he was opposition himself. It wasn’t vital or important. It was even needed, the other parties was criminals and looters. Now he is the one who has eaten and ate for so long, he forgotten the time he even was freed by soldiers in prison in 1980. However, at this point, that is water under the bridge.
That the President is starting a National Dialogue Committee at the State House in 2019. Is a bit late, is very late in the time of the Presidency, it is too late to be serious from someone who never retires. Never gives way or even surrender to his own narratives and going against his vision. The President has always to get on top and win. The others has to be his minions, if not they have to be useful tools in the box. That fix his issues and get it done. So he can bask in the glory. This would certainly be wish of this committee.
That I have little faith is that the IPOD has done little or anything. The coalitions of the opposition has done nothing to overcome the hardships of political landscape. None of their actions, none of their partnership into the elections has made significant progress. Not that their partnership or coalitions would matter, when you have an Electoral Commission and ruling regime rigging the results for their benefit.
If the President had cared about the IPOD, which has been there since 2009, than he would have looked into the The Democratic Alliance (TDA) in 2015/2016 or the Inter-Party Cooperation (IPC) in 2010/2011, also the Group of Six (G6) from about 2004 to 2006. That is three Opposition Coalition, who haven’t feared well, as the NRM has done it their way.
The Forum for Democratic Change has done more dialogue and talks, than the NRM has. As they haven’t been interested in that, they we’re never interested in Multi-Party Democracy in the first place. Therefore, Museveni is lying saying he has done talks since back-when. That was to solidify his position and strengthen the Movement System. He didn’t want anything else. Because he couldn’t control the outer bodies. That is why he has made laws he gets notified of other parties activity and public meetings. So, that they have to get verified and allowed to do so. If not they are breaking the law of the Republic, if they are crossing his laws.That is the initial act of the Public Order Management Act of 2010. That was a year after the 2009 launch of IPOD.
Now in 2018, he launches a National Dialogue Committee at the State House, like it will make a difference. As the IPOD never has achieved that, neither has the G6, IPC and the TDA. None of them have made enough progress or had the ability to make anything fruitful. Even if their initial idea or message was good. That because Museveni never been honest about elections or dialogue, as it has to only benefit him. If it doesn’t he will tarnish and destroy you. Don’t expect the new committee makes significant steps, they are a front and the wold should know it. Peace.
Sometimes, you wonder if the big-men think they are fooling themselves, with grandeur, with splendid facilities, with amazing statements, but however, there are no fruitful declaration or anything significant to prove of the gathering. Other than a few photo-ops and smiles from the attendees.
The IPOD Summit on the 12th December 2018 seems like that today. As there are no concessions, no proof of any movement, the Movement is at a standstill and the Opposition Parties that did show up. Was seemingly there for leverage and not for any political gains. As there are none to prove after mere hours of attending.
That James Akena of the Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) hailed the process, is fine in itself, but what use has process, when there is no outcome? Why was Norbert Mao blazing at the FDC, when his Democratic Party (DP) is split between the “Good DP” and “Bad DP”. Who knows what Asuman Basalirwa (Justice Forum) was up to really, other than switching sides from People Power to align himself with the NRM.
The only one earing on this affair is the National Resistance Movement and the President himself. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, who got them on a string. He got most of the opposition at his bay and playing by his rules, without giving away anything. That is the reality of yesterday. There was nothing given by the NRM.
He held a meeting, hold a Presser and spoke about his vision as he usually does without an proper outcome. That is how empty the affair was, that is why the NRM and his minions are attacking the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) for not attending. What was it to attend? To show loyalty to Bosco? To show that he matters and rules supreme. Because he has no plan of stopping to rule.
I find it amusing that the talk of the town is that FDC didn’t show up. Since that shows the weakness of the process, of the delivery and of the platform created by this Summit. If the summit had mattered, if it had any consequences or any sort of result. They would have shown that, that would have been manifested. Instead, they doing the opposite. Blaming the fella that stood them up. Because he knew this was fake dialogue and knew there was nothing real to talk about. As proven with the insults and statements thrown that way.
Why was there none about the Farmers Party, People’s Progressive Party, Conservative Party, Uganda Federal Alliance or the People’s Development Party, because none of them was attending or said to show up with delegates? Is it because they are irrelevant at this point? One Man shows with no standing?
Because they bitch about the FDC, but doesn’t comment about the five parties also missing at the Summit. They gathered the big-shots, but the biggest opposition didn’t show. As there was no reasons to be there and that is now proven.
Time for the Movement to reconnect and digress their deceptions. It is time for the public to open their minds and asks questions. Because they have been, spoon-feed by the NRM. They continue to that, but the Movement are not proving anything. Especially, this IPOD Summit is a proof of that. Since they cannot even show a Joint Declaration or a MoU of some kind. Because there were none in the first place. Peace.