Nepal: Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) – Re: Clarification – Nepal 2022 International Religious Freedom Report (19.05.2023)
I write what I like.
“What happened in Beni?
I found officers from Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence who interrogated me about the Allied Democratic Forces. One of the most painful things I witnessed is someone die out of suffocation and unfortunately I leaned against his dead body for the entire night.
How did you know they were CMI operatives? Were they clad in uniform?
They had army uniform and they introduced themselves to me as such. On the first day, they were two. They asked if I had links with ADF then shortly after said I was coming to link up with the People’s Redemption Army. I told them I was just running away from your brutal regime. On the second day, another set of three CMI operatives came. I remained in Beni for three weeks before I was called for a joint interrogation between Congolese authorities and CMI. They debated if to bring us back to Uganda or hold us in Congo” (Ivan Okuda – ‘I was arrested while fleeing to exile, says Mugumya, 19.12.2015, Black – Journalist, Cursive – Mugumya, Daily Monitor).
You know when are story is too good to be true, it’s most likely not true. The story of Sam Mugumya will be one for the ages. The sudden way he was kidnapped, taken-away in October in 2014 and later found out to be in custody in Beni, Democratic Republic of Congo in November 2014. He also spent time in a prison in Kisangani as well. Before he was transferred from there to Kinshasa and Ndolo Military Prison, where he spent most of the time behind bars until his released on the 21st October 2022.
Mugumya spent 8 years in custody. As he was arrested for involvement in the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF-NALU). As he was supposed rebel with a fictitious name: “Katembo Mukiga William”. There was also additional factors put into play like he was having either “cargo” or “bags of monies”. Which have never been proven or evidence for the public to see. Therefore, a lot of hearsay and never any real given fact.
Now 8 years later in the documents released as his free. They are now claiming he was involved or participated in the Mouvement du Mars 23 (M23). That is in contrast to the reported connection to the ADF-NALU, which was rumoured for years.
Mugumya himself said he was arrested, as he was fleeing to exile himself. The Dr. Kizza Besigye aide was trying to get to freedom, but instead was sent to the slammer abroad. The Observer reported this back in 2014: “The army spokesman, Lt Col Ankunda, said then that Mugumya had been found in possession of dollars and was suspected to be involved in subversive activities” (Edris Kiggundu – ‘Where is FDC’s Sam Mugumya?’ 11.11.2014, The Observer).
There are so many words, but nothing definite. What is likely is that the authorities apprehended him within Uganda and kidnapped him. Because, no one knew where he was and he suddenly disappeared. Later to be find in custody in Beni (DRC) which means the authorities of Uganda did help him cross and get detained there. It happened in such a manner, that he never returned and was a suspected rebel or a militia member.
That’s why you know these stories don’t add up. It is total fabrication and an injustice served Sam Mugumya’s way. He has been a victim of his activism and association with Besigye. If he hadn’t been a part of Reform Agenda and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC). He wouldn’t be here. The authorities targeted him, because the likes of him was the future. We are seeing that happening today with associates of the National Unity Platform (NUP) who are kidnapped and disappearing for the public sphere. Therefore, Mugumya is just a representation of the oppression the government of Uganda is doing. While they where able to use the Courts and Prisons to silence Mugumya for years.
It is a long time to be paying the price for doing the right thing. Mugumya has paid a huge price and it has cost. Back in the day he was ADF and now his M23. You just know the whole thing is made up. That’s the gist of it.
What is tragic is that Mugumya spent 8 years behind bars and only because of political affiliation. He was a target and a means to an end. That’s why he was kidnapped and never returned to Uganda. Mugumya lingered in jail because of who he was affiliated with. That was all the authorities needed and Military Court could find excuses to keep him behind bars too. It took years before he went to trail and now that his released. The story has changed again.
I wonder where the “cargo” and where the “dollars” went. If they even existed. Secondly, the UPDF spokesman Paddy Ankunda better have his story straight now. Especially, if his asked about this. It’s all a unique situation and this sort of thing has to be tested.
This is injustice and Sam Mugumya has been scarred, he has been tested and worse, he paid a price of losing eight valuable years. He lost so much time in detention, instead of being free and a voice of reason. His now free, but his story needs to be told. As it is a story on how the authorities targets dissidents. Peace.
“The Commander of the FARDC (Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo) North Kivu Region, Brig Gen Muhindo Akili Mundos has confirmed that forces under his Command arrested Former FDC Leader, Dr Kiiza Besigye’s Political Assistant Mr Sam Mugumya on 21st October 2014. This was during a Joint News conference with his Ugandan Counterpart, UPDF 2nd Division Commander Brig Peter Elwelu following a Security meeting in Kasindi Town of DRC on Tuesday 12th November 2014. Brig Mundos said Mugumya was arrested alongside 02 other Ugandans and 02 Congolese after the entered the country through an illegal entry point near Ishasha boarder. He added that Mugumya was using false names “Katembo Mukiga William” but on interrogation he was proved be Sam Mugumya. He said they suspect he could be involved in dangerous activities likely to hurt the current cordial relationship between Uganda and DRC and as a result he was transferred from his headquarters in Beni, to the capital Kinshasa for further investigations” (UPDF – FARDC confirms Sam Mugumya’s Arrest, 14.11.2014).
Today on the 21st October 2022, it is confirmed that Sam Mugumya is released from Ndolo Military Prison in Kinshasa. Mugumya has now spent 8 years behind bars or a total of 96 months in prison in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Mugumya has gone through a lot. The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) pushed for his release and also being moved to Uganda. However, the authorities in Uganda didn’t want him to return. That why we know his been a political prisoner in the DRC.
He was arrested because of his political affiliation and that he was associated with Dr. Kizza Besigye. That was the reason for his imprisonment. It wasn’t because of his supposed connections to militias or anything. This was the excuses and arguments, which the authorities used to keep him in prison. He was a political prisoner and have paid a huge price for doing so.
Mugumya has suffered in prison. No one can say it has been easy. The man has been torn and could have gotten a broken spirit. Instead he has soldiered on and awaited freedom. He has stood tall in the midst of adversity and shown his strength.
Okello-Oryem did state in fact in 2016 that there was no chance of a fair trail or extradition. That was how this score was settled and Mugumya just had to pay the price. He was a victim of the association and the allies he had chosen. That’s why he was taken into custody and moved to a prison in Kinshasa. All because he was affiliated with Besigye. This was all the authorities needed and they let him suffer for 8 years.
It is good to see the picture of Sam Mugumya holding a note “Free At Last”. Also another picture on the outside of prison. He shouldn’t have been a felon in the first place. He has suffered, paid the cost and should be paid by the state for the injustice. However, we know there will be no consequences to the ones who detained him or held him captive. Mugumya was a victim of circumstance and political activism. That’s all it took.
The price for standing tall and being brave cost him 8 years. 8 years in a miliary prison in Kinshasa. Mugumya deserve not only a heroes welcome, but to be honoured for his bravery. He could have given in and been gone by now. However, he soldiered on and knew deep down it would end. Nevertheless, it shouldn’t have been this hard.
The authorities of DRC failed him and so did the authorities in Kampala. If he had been one of “them“… they would have sent a military attaché and picked him up somehow. However, he was a target and the NRM was happy, that he was out of sight and out of mind. Peace.
This story is a tragic one and it’s never ending. One man is behind bars without charges, indictment or court trial. This being Sam Mugumya, Dr. Kizza Besigye aide and opposition activist who was travelling to Rukungiri on the 16th October 2014 to take care of his family affairs, as his brother had died and he needed to take care of his frail mother. He was also planning to get connected with the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party members in the district.
We don’t know what happened since then, but we do know he resurfaced suddenly in the Democratic Republic of Congo and been arrested there with other civilians too.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform the general public that the Uganda Ambassador to the DRC met the Administrator General of the National Intelligence Agency of the DRC who confirmed that 5 individuals of Ugandan origin were arrested in Eastern DRC on October 21st 2014. The arrested individuals have since then been transferred to Ndolo Military Prison in the outskirts of Kinshasa. On 4th December 2014 Amb. Kinobe was allowed to visit the Prisoners and confirmed the following individuals:
1. Sam Mugumya, aged 35 years, son of Tukahirwa stanley, who called himself “Mukiga William” at the time of arrest.
2. Mugisha Steven 35 years, son of Tibanyeba John of Buyanja, Rukungiri
3. KamukamaAggrey, 30 years, son of Kagurusi Eliab of Buyanja, Rukungiri
4. Kamugisha Joseph 28 years, son of Mugisha Justus of Buyanja, Rukungiri and
5. Bright Nathan 20 years, son of Kwesiga John of Buyanja, Rukungiri” (Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Press Release, 10.12.2014).
Besigye in the beginning of it all, believed the state would use these kidnapping and arrests in the DRC as a shield and means to claim the opposition was starting ‘rebel’ activity. In a manner of which could be used to hurt Besigye’s future political campaign ahead of the General Elections in 2016. Besigye have had such charges against him and his brother too. So, it wasn’t without any reasoning that Besigye spoke about this in November 2014. A month after the arrest.
The party his been affiliated with has with time paid for and serviced a Congolese Lawyer for the case of Mugumya without any luck. That was done in 2016. We know that the Government of Uganda will not repatriate or secure his home-coming either. While his stuck in prison all these years.
Oryem-Okello said this back in 2016: “Government says Mugumya was engaged in subversive activities and was arrested with dollars and sensitive documents State Minister for Foreign Affairs Henry Oryem Okello told parliament this afternoon that due to lack of an extradition treaty between Uganda and DR Congo, the Congo government has declined to send him back” (Uganda Radio Network – ‘Sam Mugumya Will Not Be Extradited- Govt’ 01.12.2016).
In May 2021 he was able release a poem called ‘We refuse to be victims’ which goes like this:
To bear defeat’s humiliating standard.
Pitiable, helpless, crushed and confused.
That is victimhood’s pathetic face
It soots our effulgent souls
Comrades, pity not us prisoners.
Treat us not as victims
We are proud resolute recusants.
Soldiering on with a smile.
Never pious before the devil.
Pity and contemn the despot.
Our chains condemn his conscience.
Injustice jails the jailer’s humanity.
Drench him in your tears.
Hearken marley’s revolutionary voice bellowing.
Of the despot he said
Pity those with thinning chances.
They have nowhere to hide
The despot is the victim .
The slave of his power.
Branded by debauchery’s hot iron.
Before we become his victims ,
Freedom’s matyrs we shall be.
Shed not sorrowful tears comrades.
Please shed tears of joy.
On victory’s tide we sail .
To a future of freedom.
I just got to say. This man deserves justice. His been served injustice for years and punished by association. Because, he dared to associate and be part of Besigye’s campaigns. He was one of the trusted individuals within the FDC. That’s why he have been serving time and somehow the Ugandan government made an agreement with the Congolese government to keep him in prison.
They have not let him out and neither has Ugandan authorities accepted him back. They will not extradite him back and that is very clear. MPs tried to do this in 2020 and 2021. However, there is no extradite agreement between the DRC and Uganda. Therefore, there is now will to engage or secure this. That is just common knowledge.
It have not mattered that Mugumya have suffered with COVID-19 and other issues as a prisoner. This political prosecution is never ending it seems. The proofs of the allegations haven’t happened and his kept as a civilian in a military prisoner indefinitely it seems.
We know with certainty that the government doesn’t care or concerned. Because Oryem-Okello stated the same facts in 2020 and wouldn’t have him on trial or had a chance of extraditing him. With the same response as before, no agreement so nothing to offer. The diplomats of the Republic in Kinshasa isn’t bothered about it either it seems. Since, his there to this day and they haven’t lifted a finger. This is why his still a jail-bird and no proof of the alleged incriminating behaviour of which he was arrested in 2014.
We are now in November 2021 and his still in Ndolo Military Prison. Mugumya is still behind bars and nothing is done about it.
We need to shed a light on it, because if not… everything goes dark and men like this doesn’t get justice. They don’t get liberty or the freedom they should have. This is injustice and his a political prisoner. His a prisoner of conscience. That is it and it’s pathetic of the Republic to not do anything about it. Try to ensure and secure his passage. Make arrangements with the Congolese and even let him have a fair trial or courtship with his case. Because at this point, his not even proven guilty. His just a commoner behind bars for no apparent reason. A man who went missing in Uganda and suddenly was in custody in another republic. Peace.
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 tenth anniversary of the outbreak of the uprising and the popular movement in Syria this year is associated with the third anniversary of the Turkish occupation of the Syrian region of Afrin, in which the occupation was as basis to undermine the chances of achieving the goals and purposes for which the Syrian people uprised a decade ago.
Turkey through its army and mercenary factions, has been practicing aggressive policies and plans against the indigenous people of Afrin for three years, after the displacement of more than 80% of its population, the systematic Turkification of the region, the distortion of its identity, the disruption of its demographic composition and its isolation from its Syrian surroundings, in addition to the expansion of daily violations and illegal sabotaged activities in occupied lands of Afrin.
During three years ago, Turkey allowed to the mercenary factions to abuse and practice the most horrific violations against the original Kurdish population in Afrin, confiscate their properties and restrict them by placing extremist factions that obey their orders and implement Turkey’s expansion plans in the Syrian territories.
Despite the documented reports issued by UN agencies and human rights organizations that documented what was happening in the Afrin region in terms of ethnic cleansing and its transformation into an incubated environment for extremism and terrorism, the international community remained unable to make a decision that consistent with the United Nations charter and international resolutions calling for the preservation of human dignity and respect for state sovereignty.
We are as members of the Syrian Democratic Council, affirm in this regard that Turkey’s justifications in the excuse of preserving its national security in the region will not be achieved through its repeated flagrant violations of its obligations in international humanitarian law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, but rather by its full commitment as an occupying power, and its expression of its serious political will towards the real peace in the region.
We call on the United Nations and the International Security Council to adopt the position of the European Parliament and to acknowledge that the Turkish presence in northern Syria is an occupation that must be ended and restore the situation to before the occupation of Afrin in 2018 and to oblige the Turkish state to retreat from its hostile attitudes towards the Kurdish people and to be obligated to implement in accordance with Article 25 of the charter of the United Nations.
We also call on the Secretary-General of the United Nations to form an independent international investigation committee to investigate the crimes committed and still are committed by Turkey and its mercenary factions in the Afrin region, uncover the fate of more than seven thousand forcibly disappeared civilians, work on the safe return of its original inhabitants and compensate them, remove all aspects of occupation.
And based on our belief in the unity of the Syrian territories and our total commitment to preserve the country’s unity and liberate it from all forms of occupations, we call on all the Syrian parties to unite their forces to expel all occupiers, especially Turkey, which has undermined efforts to solve the Syrian crisis and exploited the plight of the Syrians to turn them into mercenaries and soldiers on demand in the service of its expansionist interests in the region.
We seek to be our call as a beginning for the best solution to settle the crisis and end the tragedy of the Syrian people, which is through the solidarity of all Syrians and the focus on the common factors and the unity of destiny without discrimination or alignment, and through the actual implementation of the comprehensive Security Council Resolution 2254 and saving the country from tyranny and divisions.
March 18, 2021
Syrian Democratic Council