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Archive for the tag “Human Rights Violations”

UPDF Press Statement on Boda Boda 2010 (29.01.2018)

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UPDF: “Arrest of Murder Suspects” (21.01.2018)

Opinion: Should we be worried about the power-struggle between IGP Kayihura and CMI’s Gen. Tumukunde?

We can think of the recent days as a visible power struggle between two loyalist to the Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. This weekend has filled with stories and captures of the men and woman behind the Boda Boda 2010 syndicate. A Syndicate and organization who has followed orders of the Inspector General of Police Edward Kale Kayihura. He has supported them and used their services. That is why the leadership of Abdallah Kitatta felt safe, not only as a NRM Chairman of the Lubaga (Rubaga) Division in Kampala. So he had connections to power.

Still that power was not enough the visible actions, the violence it followed has been questioned and people have struggled to believe the reason for having outlaws running the law. That was sanctioned from the IGP. Now, this weekend its enough for some reason. Chief of Military Intelligence and General Henry Tumukunde have now gone in and settled the case with the Boda Boda 2010. Kiatta has even been interviewed after the arrest by Intelligence Security Organization (ISO), therefore, the organization supported by Kayihura is now publicly dismantled.

If this is sanctioned by the State House, then Kayihura should really worry. As well as all the men and woman who is Crime Preventers too. They might be the next group that the state is dismantling through arrests and investigations. Because, this has all been useful tools of the Police Force to quell demonstrations and rallies. Both, has been used for that and the NRM could need to save the costs of having them. Instead of using political means, they could use CMI and ISO to silence them.

Gen. Tumukunde are now using his power to silence the extra organizations of Kayihura. This is happening in broad daylight and Kayihura cannot do anything about it. The men and woman of Boda Boda 2010 that has been used to enforce orders from Kayihura is now going away. We can just wonder if the CMI or the Police Force who knows who really killed Andrew Kaweesi or the one behind the murders of innocent woman in Entebbe last year. Since none of the murders has been solved, they are just a left stain on the Security Forces.

We know now that Boda Boda 2010 has killed for cars and equipment by the released information during this week. Who know what else crimes that has been sanctioned by this criminal syndicate. It is far from criminals to police officers, that is maybe a reason why the courts are extra botched. They cannot see the difference between criminals and the police. That isn’t a sign of hope or of peaceful society. That is destroyed security organization, that has to use military enforcement to stop criminals.

Gen. Tumukunde might win support over this and also shows his strength towards a man he despises. That is known and there been criticism of each other in public, with spats in the papers and even on TV between the men. It is well-known. These men has disputed and also questioned each others methods. Tumukunde is using his good standing with Sarah Kagingo, the NRM spokesperson of some sort, who owns the Soft Power Communications LLC and the Softpower.ug, to spread the positive message of the arrests and actions of Tumukunde. Just check the track-record, the friendliness of Softpower to it all is staggering.

We can know that these sort of stories will make the actions of Tumukunde sound like masterpieces of intelligence, even if the CMI and ISO are doing this as retribution for something Kayihura has either said or done. Because the Boda Boda 2010 was not an for Tumukunde in 2016 or 2017. But suddenly became so in 2018. We know that this is a sign of power-struggle between the two leaders under Museveni.

We will follow this and we should worry if this escalates, if Kayihura will try to take allies and leaders close to Tumukunde for something criminal. Even establish sort of monitoring over his men like he did to Besigye. We never know. Kayihura is surely blocked and under fire. As his supportive group has been taken down by the military and their operatives. Peace.

Issa Arinaitwe Furaha letter to President Museveni – “Re: Threats on My Life by Gen. Kale Kayihura and Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame through Rwanda Inteligence Operatives and their Embassy in Uganda because of my Exposure of their Deadly Actions against You, Ugandans and Rwandan Refugees (04.01.2018)

Eritrea: Press Briefing note on Attacks/threats by States against UN Human Rights Experts (21.11.2017)

Eritrea: Statement of ELS on the Protest of October 31 (02.11.2017)

The Eritrean Law Society (ELS) is closely observing developments that have led to, and that have followed after, the unprecedented civilian protest of 31 October 2017, which occurred in the heart of the capital city of Eritrea. The protest was prompted by the announcement of a drastic government decision that affected the status of educational establishments administered by Eritrean religious institutions. Another major motive for the protest is the arbitrary arrest of respected elders and spiritual leaders, notably Haji Mussa Mohammed Nur, who strongly opposed the government decision.

Although the details of causalities are not yet fully known, ELS is concerned by the fact that brute force, including live ammunition, was used to suppress the protest, which was nothing more than a peaceful demonstration against a drastic government measure affecting the lives of thousands of people. In our view, the protest signifies one fundamental reality. In today’s Eritrea, citizens have no choice of whatsoever nature in pursuing their individual and group aspirations, life plans, goals, and purposes. Eritreans do not also have access to independent and impartial institutions, including courts of law that can safeguard their fundamental rights and freedoms in the event these essential entitlements are wantonly violated by government authorities.

History dictates that no population can be ruled forever under the yoke of unbearable authoritarianism. There is an urgent need in Eritrea for a full return to a system of governance based on constitutional order, the requirements of democratic accountability, and respect for the rule of law, including the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms of the Eritrean people. ELS would like to take this occasion to make a call on the international community and those who can play a role by pushing for a full return to a democratic system of governance in Eritrea.

Meanwhile, the following reminder is also important for all peace-loving and justice-seeking Eritreans. We shall stay the course and remain vigilant against all sorts of divisive and cheap political machinations orchestrated by the authoritarian regime in Eritrea, its brazen apologists and messengers. It is always important to remember that the regime will make continuous recourse to methods that promote its narrow political agenda as well as frustrate the momentum ushered by the protest of 31 October.

Eritrean Law Society
Executive Committee
November 2, 2017

Tired of President Museveni’s “1986”!

I know I am born in 1985, but I am tired of the year of 1986 and the year National Resistance Army (NRA). The now National Resistance Movement (NRM) and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. The liberation movement that has run the republic since 1986. This war lasted from 1981 to 1986, the NRA went out of the Milton Obote II government after the illegitimate election of 1980s. Which from then on has been used as the scapegoat and the ones to put to blame for ever since.

The 1986 is the magical year that Museveni entered into supremacy. The Supreme kingpin and mastermind of all it. Sowing the mustard seed and creating a newer safer Republic. The one time the peasants was supposed to have their say in government and make the republic a democracy. The Republic of Uganda was going from strong-men and big-men to run the Republic. Instead, it has been now three decades with manufactured democracy in-line with the vision of Museveni.

President Museveni have used all techniques to fix election results, paying villagers and making new government forms to fit his paradigm. Instead of releasing his promises he has built elite around him that is loyal to his brown envelopes or public fearing his security organizations. This is a special coming from the man promises all the possible governance and government structures needed, if he got into power. Instead, he has done the opposite.

It was supposed to get into a middle-Income Country instead of the Less Developed Country, which is the state is in now. The LDC that Uganda now is because of the state of government that President Museveni has created around him. That can be seen with amounts of debt, the massive overspending on the State House and the pledges around the President. Government of Uganda, GoU have been built around Museveni, instead of institutions and procedures. Therefore, the state are following the orders of the President and his Presidential Handshakes.

That is why, every-time in a speech at any sort of occasion the President will mention 1986 and how the state used to be. As of today 1 out of 5 in the Republic or 21% are between 15 to 24 year old. And by 2016 there we’re only 2% who are older than 65 years old. Which means that the President are part of a minority age bracket. President Museveni 30 years old rule are older than many of the youths in the Republic. They should also wonder what is so special about the years they never we’re living and about governments they never lived under. There are big proportions of the population who cannot remember or has been apart of the first years of the NRA or the civil-war during the 1980s.

They would be like me, they would feel the same fatigue of the NRA and Museveni rule, the extension of the liberation from Obote and Amin. The ones that Museveni mention whenever he needs someone or somebody to blame. Certainly mention 1986. The 1986 that are the most important year since independence, therefore, the NRM Day, the 26th January 1986, liberation day. Instead of the Independence Day 9th October 1962. That one is not so often mentioned by the President, since he didn’t get them out of the British Empire and not be a British Protectorate anymore.

Still, the 9th October 1962 doesn’t seem to be important for Museveni, the 26th January 1986 is the most vital one. The one that sets the standard, the day that changed everything and gave him total access. Therefore, the celebration of 1986 is so key and be levied at any occasion, and at any speech. President Museveni praises his overthrow of Amin, Obote, Okello and Biniasa.

They all just had to be overthrown, he had to make coup d’etat and make folklore out of it. So his name can ring out and be praised. Let it be clear, the President sings 1986… 1986… 1986… like a jingle never stopping. Peace.

UN Special Expert report of June 2017 reveals the hardships of the citizens in Eritrea!

The government of Eritrea is usually keeping it low-key and not telling their stories. The nation which has since liberation from Ethiopia since 1993. Therefore, the long-term stay of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) and their President Isias Afwerki, who is still in power. His use of the power and keeping it all close, is the reason that the state of Eritrea is like it is. The oppression of their own citizens and total control. That is the reason for the fleeing Eritreans, as well as the military service and tight-control of the industries. It is all in service of the Central Leadership in Asmara. Which doesn’t concern the citizens, they are being used by the EPLF and their needs. Therefore, every time a United Nations report comes out, it reveals new aspects and shows by the admission of the diaspora who are telling the stories that needs to be told. Since the media, the government and all parts of society in Eritrea is silenced by the President Afwerki. Take a look!

Support of Al-Shabaab and North Korea:

In 2009, the United Nations Security Council imposed an arms embargo on Eritrea, primarily in response to Eritrea’s suspected support for Al Shabaab in Somalia. In its most recent report, the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea stated that it had found no firm evidence of Eritrea’s support for Al Shabaab. It also described the use of Eritrean land, airspace and territorial waters by the Arab coalition supporting the anti-Houthi military campaign in Yemen, as well as the construction of a permanent military base at Assab International Airport and a new permanent seaport adjacent to it.3 In November 2016, the Security Council noted the finding about the lack of evidence pointing to Eritrean support for Al Shabaab, but expressed concern for ongoing Eritrean support for other regional armed groups and lack of cooperation with the Security Council; it extended the arms embargo on Eritrea” (…) “February 2017, the Panel of Experts supporting the Security Council Sanctions Committee on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) accused Eritrea of violating the arms embargo by buying military communications material from the DPRK. On 21 March 2017, the United States imposed sanctions pursuant to the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act (INKSNA) on the Eritrean Navy and any successor, subunit, or subsidiary thereof for prohibited transfer to or acquisition from DPRK of goods, services, or technology controlled under multilateral control lists” (Keetharuth, P: 5, 2017).

Arbitrary Arrests:

During the reporting period, the Special Rapporteur continued to receive reports of new cases of arbitrary arrest and detention. The reasons for the arrests appear to be those previously identified by the Commission of Inquiry, namely attempting to evade military service or trying to assist a family member in doing so; trying to leave the country; practicing an unauthorised religion; or offending a high-ranking Government or official of the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice, the sole political party in the country. The Special Rapporteur has received no official communication indicating that the Government has released arbitrarily detained prisoners or that it has provided information about the fate of high profile individuals subject to enforced disappearance” (Keetharuth, P: 6, 2017).

Food Supplies:

While some interlocutors told the Special Rapporteur that they had witnessed an active economic life during visits to Eritrea, with thriving markets and well-stocked shops, she heard from Eritreans in the diaspora that their relatives back home are struggling to meet their basic needs. While they confirmed the availability of food, they indicated that many households were unable to afford adequate and sufficient basic supplies, and were trying to cope with acute water shortages, especially in Asmara. As noted above, the recent UNICEF report confirmed this, indicating that half of the children are stunted. Reportedly, increasing numbers of people are leaving drought-affected regions in search of better living conditions. The ability to purchase food and other basic items has also been hampered by cash withdrawal limits which are still in place following the Nakfa currency exchange programme introduced by the Government at the end of 2015” (Keetharuth, P: 8, 2017).

Internet Freedom:

Since October 2016, reportedly, internet cafes must now require that customers register before being permitted to use the internet, allowing for the tracking of their browsing history. If confirmed, this new regulation would have an impact on the conduct of internet users and further restrict freedom of expression. In addition, frequent power cuts and very slow connections interfere with the use of internet” (Keetharuth, P: 8, 2017).

I think this things says a lot. The admissions and the connections to rouge elements prove the issues of Eritrea. This are just a few of them, there been more admissions in the past of the breaches of Human Rights, the lack of transparency and justice for the citizens. This proves the grand-issues of the Eritrean government and how they violate their own people. Peace.

Reference:

Keetharuth, Sheila B. – ‘A/HRC/35/39 – Eritrea’ (07.06.2017)

Joint NGO letter on Renewing the Mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Eritrea (05.06.2017)

Geneva, 5 June 2017

RE: Renewing the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea

Your Excellencies,

We, the undersigned civil society organisations, write to urge your delegation to co-sponsor a resolution renewing the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea at the forthcoming 35th Session of the UN Human Rights Council. In view of the ongoing crimes under international law, including torture, enslavement and enforced disappearances, and violations of fundamental freedoms committed in Eritrea, the Special Rapporteur’s mandate remains an indispensable mechanism to advance the protection and promotion of human rights in Eritrea.

The mandate of the Special Rapporteur was established at the 20th UN Human Rights Council Session in 2012 to monitor the human rights situation in Eritrea. From June 2014-June 2016, the mandate was also represented on the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea (CoI). The mandate of the Special Rapporteur was extended in July 2016 to follow-up on the recommendations of the CoI. It has been instrumental in monitoring the dire situation on the ground, highlighting on-going violations and the failure to implement the recommendations of the CoI and in providing a crucial platform to help amplify the voices and concerns of victims.

The findings of the CoI and UN Special Rapporteur reveal that the Eritrean authorities have continued to impose a broad range of unwarranted restrictions on fundamental human rights, precipitating mass migration, including of unaccompanied children. Despite commitments by the State to reduce national service to 18 months, indefinite national service and forced labor persist throughout the country. [1] Persons who attempt to avoid military conscription, take refuge abroad, practice an unsanctioned religion, or who criticise government officials continue to be arrested and imprisoned for lengthy periods. [2]

The absence of an independent judiciary means that victims of these human rights violations have no recourse to justice at home. As a result, in Eritrea impunity persists and those who have been subjected to enforced disappearances remain unaccounted for.

In light of these concerns, we respectfully request your delegation to co-sponsor a resolution during the 35th UN HRC session that renews the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, provides the mandate holder with all necessary support, and urges the Government of Eritrea to cooperate with the mandate holder including allowing unencumbered access to the country.

Sincerely,

Africa Monitors
Amnesty International
ARTICLE 19
Citizens for Democratic Rights in Eritrea
CIVICUS
Connection e.V
DefendDefenders (East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project)
Eritrean Diaspora in East Africa
Eritrean Lowland League
Eritrean Law Society
Eritrea Focus
Eritrean Movement for Democracy and Human Rights
Eritreans for Human and Democratic Rights – UK
FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights)
Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
Human Rights Concern – Eritrea
Human Rights Watch
Information Forum For Eritrea
International Fellowship of Reconciliation
International Service for Human Rights
Network of Eritrean Women
PEN Eritrea
People for Peace in Africa
Release Eritrea
Reporters Without Borders
Stop Slavery in Eritrea Campaign
War Resisters International

Opinion: President Museveni said “I am tired” and want to indirectly reinstate the Movement System!

It is just one of these days when the President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni reveals that he wasn’t in favor of the Multi-Party Democracy, even if he claims to be elected and have credible elections abroad. It is always his vision and his perspective that matters, the others should just follow and listen to the high and mighty Musveni. No-one else has a vision like him and his party, which bow their knees, gets Presidential Handshakes and also kisses ring when they have too. That is something the Opposition MP’s doesn’t do, except for the “Good DPs” and the level-headed UPC MP’s. Still, he has something obvious to say today!

President Museveni addressing Bulago Primary School in Buyengo Sub-County in Jinja District:

I am tired of wars. I want you to vote for pro-NRM members of parliament like our party flag-bearer, Mr Moses Walyomu.” (…) “I don’t want to go back to the bush to fight again. Don’t send me people who will disagree with me in parliament. I fought in 1986 and I am tired.” (…) “He said people who are not of his party fear to discuss with him matters that are pertinent to the development of the country. And for that to be avoided, he will need Members of Parliament who share his ideals and vision for the country” (…) “He threatened that should Kagoma voters vote for an opposition candidate, their wish for good roads and other crucial utilities such as power will be no more”(Kirunda, Nakato & Katabulawo, 2017)

He is clear, if you disagree, that means war, not negotiations or discussions to find a level middle-ground. Since it is only one-man with a vision in Uganda, and that is the President. The Wonderful Dictator who is on his 7th Term, not 5th, even if he is rigged in 5 times in row. There was still a decade that gets shaved off in the calculation. I will write that until my ending. Since he deserves to count all years from 1986 and not only from 1995. While we are on that. Under President Museveni, there wasn’t always Multi-Party Democracy.

Three years after the Coup d’etat:

As already noted, the 1989 elections were held under strict anti-party rules since the NRM government had suspended all political party activities. Indeed, the Resistance Councils and Committees Elections Regulations, 1989, forbade all use of party symbols, sectarian appeals, and threats of force, the offer of food or drinks and the display of candidates’ posters. The absence of open campaigning made it impossible to discuss policies” (Bwana, 2009).

So as President Museveni forbade other parties and their political parties after taking power. He created together with the NRM/A a Movement System to control the local party politics and have structures that he could have oversight of from the State House. This was not a Multi-Party System. A special system that are now overturned into the Local Government system, still it is inherited by the RC system, that the party unleashed in the end of 1980s and tried for a long while. Explained by this Scottish student in 1993!

Importance of Movement System:

Two statutes, the Resistance Councils and Committees Statutes 9 (1987) and the Resistance Committees’ Judicial Power Statute 1 (1988), codified and expanded the system of local Resistance Committees that had sustained the NRA in its war against the second Obote regime. The genesis of the Resistance Committee system can be traced to the Mayumba Kumi (or ‘Ten Houses’) experiment of the UNLF in the early 1980s, which in turn was linked with the Tanzanian Ujamaa philosophy (Oloka-Onyango, 1989; Baringo, n.d.).” (…) “The RC statutes divided each of Uganda’s 34 (now 38) districts into 5 administrative zones; village (or ward in towns and cities), parish, sub-county, county and districts” (…) “The extent to which the RC system offers the levels of popular participation claimed by the NRM/A also requires consideration. The RC Electoral system operated in 1987, 1989 and 1992 of direct elections only at RC1 level means that the population is excluded at every stage from choosing candidates for higher office. This limitation on direct popular participation in the RC system recurs at a higher level where the links between RC4/RC5 and the NRC and government ministries become rather uncertain. By 1992, there existed no power of recall for members of the NRC beyond elections day itself” (Smith, 1993).

With all this in mind, the tiredness of having opposition. It seems that the President is ready to control the Parliament, the Local Government and have only local cadres that are his. The ones that he knows he can bribe and have under his structure. That means he wants to back to late 1980s and early 1990s when the Movement System and Resistance Councils were the thing. Where the Ministry of Local Government could fire a Resistance Councilor or others, if they didn’t follow the direct orders of the President and his State House. This seems real now.

This seems like the thing, as he wants to take away development and public service if they doesn’t follow his orders in the By-Election in the Jinja District. That proves the lack of democratic values and wish to honor the ballot. But hey, he has for 30 years rigged himself in and made sure his cadres has gotten positions, why else would Gen. Kahinda Otafiire still be a Minister? Not because of his brilliant intellect, but for his loyal assets and following orders of the President.

That President Museveni wants to have men and woman who listens to him and doesn’t challenge him. Therefore, he is telling in Jinja District, that he didn’t go to war in 1986 to have people questioning his rule. His legacy now will not be that he re-released the Multi-Party System, neither that he Constitution delivered a fresh start, as his lingering time in power. Proves that he has gone backwards and become alike the men he overthrew. There isn’t anything different between Dr. Milton Obote distrust in Institutions and Political Affiliations, the only difference is the names and the times. The misuse of army and police to harass the opposition is not different either. The use of government resource in elections are also facilitated for the Movement to counter the opposition. Therefore, the wonderful dictator is alike predecessors, only difference is his ability to overstay!

President Museveni is tired, because he cannot understand that people still question him. That people still doesn’t believe in his vision. That is because he forgot to deliver, he didn’t care to deliver and wanted all along to control it all from the Okello House. There wasn’t with prompt and glory that the Multi-Party Democracy became law, it was two elections and amendment of the constitution that the President didn’t want to deliver. President Museveni wanted it all inside the Movement and the Resistance Councils, which he could assess and control. So now he had to allow other people create their own parties, where they have their own guidelines and programs, not his! They doesn’t have his vision. That is so tiring for him. Therefore, he now want to return back in time, to the Movement System and the Resistance Councils.

He wants total control and he says it, because he is tired of men and woman who doesn’t accept his vision. The vision of looting, dismantling and disorienting the citizens for the wealth of the Museveni family. The rest is history, as the value of currency, the added state debt, the lacking of transparency and patronage is extensive. Therefore, he doesn’t want it question of his state and his system. It is all what he created and made over the decades as the supreme executive. Certainly, the glory days and the days of hope is gone. Just like the days stalwart Besigye would help the old-man creating the Resistance Councils as well. Peace.

Reference:

Bwana, Charles – ‘Voting Patterns in Uganda’s Elections: Could it be the end of the National Resistance Movement’s (NRM) domination in Uganda’s politics?’ (2009) – LES CAHIERS D’AFRIQUE DE L’ N° 41

Kirunda, Abubaker; Nakato, Tausi & Katabulawo, Andrew – ‘I don’t want opposition in parliament, says President Museveni’ (09.05.2017) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/I-don-t-want-opposition-in-parliament–says-President-Museveni/688334-3919496-71atniz/index.html

Smith, Justin McKenzi – ‘Breaking with the Past – A Consideration of Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s National Resistance Movement, and of social and Political action in Uganda during its government’ (1993) University of Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom.

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