Opinion: Museveni promotes impunity in regard to disregarding court orders..

I would want some amendment to this idea making independence to be a convergence of principles of justice. We should get time and discuss it deeply. Part of the problem they(security agencies) don’t implement court decisions is that they don’t agree(with them). There is need for convergence on what is justice in some of the cases between the courts and sometimes the population. For instance, we have got a problem of land issues especially in Buganda. You have got 5000 people in a parish and a magistrate says all of you must vacate because he has agreed with the landlord. Then the RDC says they must stay on the land. What is the historical position of the Ugandan reformers( NRM), freedom fighters and you the lawyers? If we just accept that court has decided that 5000 people must vacate, the RDC will come in and say they can’t leave. We say rubbish, they can’t go. If you say independence, it is abuse of power. You are making a big injustice to the population which can cause you a security problem” – President Yoweri Tibuhurwa Kaguta Museveni (21.09.2022).

It is really special and unique for a man that has appointed all judges and has all his cronies in the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs. The President has also appointed the Minister of Security and has total control of the National Army. All parts of Law Enforcement is following his command and is imagined in his idea of security. Therefore, the mannerism of what he said is so at fault. His blaming the same people he has trusted with the Judiciary.

The second part which is really troubling is that the President of over 30 years. He has created a new Constitution and enacted dozens of laws, which images what he stands for. The President has had the power and the majority for over 30 years. That’s why the President has the laws he deserves. Museveni knows this and the laws are there because of him. They are there for one reason. He wanted them and he has amended the laws several of times, as his mind has changed or being a President for Life makes it impossible to keep the old articles.

So with that in mind. Museveni should let the Courts judge in according to the laws and their judgements after their interpretations of these laws. Museveni has ensured the Judiciary are living within these limitations and scope of enforcement. The Law Enforcement and the Authorities are bound by the laws and how they are coded. That’s why the Courts cannot order differently or act against certain laws. This is because the President and his majority party has enacted these laws. As long as these laws are active and not repealed. The Courts have to follow them and judge accordingly. That is a very simple reasoning.

A man who has held power for so long and not willing to follow the Courts. It is just disgusting. Just shows the contempt of the same laws that he has enacted. He wants the Law Enforcement and Authorities to be above the law. In such a manner, that the laws are only mattering to civilians, but not the authorities, which are supposed to following it too. This is impunity and a double standard. One law for the people, another law for the security organizations that follows my orders.

The President wants his orders and directives to be more powerful than the laws. It shows that he don’t want rule of law or constitutional order. He wants to rule by his whims and direct orders. That’s what Museveni wants and this is why he defends defying court orders. This he does because it doesn’t fit his political alignment or his tinkering at that very moment.

The President surely defies court orders as a way of punishing his enemies or dissidents. He doesn’t care about not following the law in any concern. Museveni rather have his way than actually following the laws he has enacted. As a President his wording and pompous Head of State who clearly doesn’t value the legislation he himself has ensured or enacted it. In the years in office, he could have repealed or gotten his MPs to write laws that fits his current state of mind. If he had done that, the Judiciary and the Court would have ordered things differently. However, that has never been the issue, because if he did that. He would have higher stakes with the donors and with the ones who is supporting his reign. It would be draconian and be totally disregarding the values he came into office with.

That’s why Museveni is conflicted… and the President just shows contempt of the same laws he has enacted. This is disgraceful and distasteful, but its the epitome of how his ruling the nation at this very moment in time. It is also why he never wants accountability over the “safe-houses”, the drones or any sort of misuse of power. The President wants the fear and intimidation. He wants the ability to order tyranny and use the security organizations to his advantage. That’s why he don’t value the laws or court orders. Peace.

The state ordered to pay in total 400m shillings in damages to 2 URA employees after illegal detention and torture of them in March of 2021…

(i) The affidavit evidence of A1, A2, Capt. Isingoma, AIP Kisa Claire and Mr. Kabagambe when considered in totality look that like a movie. A1 and A2 are arrested through the use of trickery as if they were on the run whereas not. A1 is deceived that he was reporting for deployment on an operation. When he reports at the appointed time and place he is literally abducted. He is made to leave his vehicle unattended at a fuel station as if he was a terrorist.

(ii) A2 was called by a fellow driver at midnight claiming he needed help having got a mechanical problem. He is lured in the middle of the night and arrested like a terrorist” (High Court, 12.09.2022).

The state sponsored torture story of Robert Asiimwe Akanga (A1) and Kalemba Stevens (A2) is nothing new, but it needs to be told. These two gentlemen won their case against the Attorney General, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA). This case just shows how the state uses torture and keeping people illegally detained without producing them to the courts within the 48 hours deadline. That happened to the people of this case and it is significant, but not shocking.

This sort of case should be spread, because it shows what the state does and how it operates. The authorities are acting like this on the regular. They are allowed to operate like this and it has no consequences. The state is paying damages and costs of the case, but the officers and the authorities will not clean up their act. This is how they are and it’s only a few of these stories that ends up in the Courts. Most of the torture cases are happening in silence and the victims cannot or have no options but to stay silent.

Just read these quotes… and it should make you shiver…

It all started with this: “The allegation is that on the 28th day of February 2021, Al and A2 being employed by Uganda Revenue Authority as a customs officer and driver respectively stole USD 410,000 the property of GAK Express Co. Limited. The two deny the charges” (High Court, 12.09.2022).

So, this all starts with alleged criminal behaviour, which is directly false. The authorities have pinned two men and because of their role in URA. They were easily targets as the work of Customs Officer and a Driver. However, there was never any proof or evidence of this crime.

That didn’t stop the state from doing this to them, which is quotes from the Court Ruling…

About the Arrest and Torture methods used on A1:

In his affidavit in support dated 25th March 2022 A1 stated that on 3rd March 2021, he received a phone call from Paul Karatunga, the In-Charge Operations Team 1 informing him of a planned operation along Entebbe road. Karatunga assigned A1 to lead the team. They met at Total Petrol Station, Kajjansi at 6.30 am. Karatunga was in company of two soldiers namely Captain Charles Isingoma and Captain Winnie Kusiima plus two armed escorts. A1 was instead arrested under gun point and pushed him into a vehicle. He was taken to URA offices where he met other UPDF and Police officials attached to URA. He was handcuffed. Lt. Col Zaakye informed him, the arrest is in connection with theft of money belonging to a Sudanese national. He denied participating in theft” (…) “Col. Cassette Ignatius Wamundu asked him to confess to the theft of money or be tortured by the Joint Anti -Terrorism Taskforce until he does so. That he was denied a right to contact his lawyer or make any phone call. On 6th March 202l at 7 am was picked by a team from CMI, blindfolded and taken to CMI Hqrs at Mbuya where he was subjected to torture” (…) “It was executed by 10 well-muscled men using weapons such as guns, sticks, batons, metal bars, pliers, chains, ropes and electric wires. He maintained his innocence as they demanded for the money he is alleged to have robbed. He lost consciousness due to prolonged torture. He regained his senses to realise he was in a corridor. He was bleeding and still chained. He was taken back to Custody at SIU Kireka during darkness. He could not walk” (High Court, 12.09.2022).

About the Arrest and Torture methods used on A2:

A2, in his affidavit of 25th March 2021 states that on 2nd March 2021 at around midnight, hg received a call from Sekweyarna, a fellow driver at URA, claiming to be stuck near his home and needed help. A2 responded only to find army captains who put him under arrest at gun point. Col Cassette Ignatius Wamundu asked him about the money. He denied knowledge of where the money was. He punched him in the right eye and as he fell down. He was kicked in the ribs at gun-point before his children and wife who cried and shouted. He threatened to shoot him unless he admitted having stolen money on 28th February 2021. Present were Captains Isingoma. Diana Museveni and Winnie Karugwara. They took him back to his home” (…) “That on 6th March 2021 he was taken to CMI offices in Mbuya and taken to a room where four muscled men had assorted weapons including guns, sticks, batons, metal bars, pliers, chains, ropes, electric wires among others. He was undressed. He was badly and severely beaten using the electric cables, hang on hand cuffs up the ring as his legs were tied down and suspended in one position for a whole day as he was being beaten” (…) “He was tortured again on on 8th March 2021. His body became swollen with wounds on the legs, back, hands, ribs and abdomen. He did not receive any medical attention or have access to a lawyer or family members. Further mistreatment went on until he was produced in court after an ordeal of 16 days in detention” (High Court, 12.09.2022).

The damages they are getting for all of this:

Taking all these factors into consideration I award A1 as the main target and focus of torture a sum of 200 million as compensation for pain, suffering, and physical injuries. I award another 50 million to A1 as punitive damages for subjecting him to humiliation and embarrassment. I Award a sum of 100 million to A2 as damages for pain, suffering and physical injuries. I award another 50 million to A2 as punitive damages for subjecting him to humiliation and embarrassment. A1 and A2 are also awarded taxed costs of this consolidated application” (High Court, 12.09.2022).

We know the state will only condone but not act upon the mischief. These sort of cases never cease to exist. There is no retribution or stop of the practice. This has been going on since the inception of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and done by the government before it too. The NRM promised to end it, but they never will…

The damages of 400m shillings won’t make a difference in the grand scheme of things. The officers, the men who did the torture and the authorities will not go after the ones who did it. No, the mentioned high ranking officials and others will walk free. The only thing happening is that the gentlemen who was arrested, harmed and tortured will get damages. The system will not change… and that’s how the story goes.

A1 and A2 are reminders of how the NRM and the Authorities are working. This isn’t a one of or an isolated case for that matter. No, this is how they move and allowed to work. It just happens that this one ended up in the High Court. Peace.

A brief look into the Committee on Human Rights Report on Human Rights Violations in the Country from January 2020 to date

Today I will look into the Parliamentary report named: “REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS ON THE STATE OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN THE COUNTRY, PARLIAMENT OF UGANDA, FROM JANUARY 2020 TO-DATE” which is dated in July 2022 and received by the Clerk of the Parliament during August 2022. This report is important, as we know the usage of the authorities against dissidents, activists and others during the campaigns and after it too. So, that should be reflected in the report.

I will take out the quotes and statements, which is showing the true character of the oppression and how the state operates. It would be shocking if there wasn’t some sinister actions reported or information about. The news about these acts and the common knowledge of it should be mirrored here.

The report is bluntly very long and could be taken into plenty of pieces. As there are enough pain and suffering to speak about. I am only taking a little part of the greater picture. Just to show what sort of things the state does to the citizens during the election period. Because, focusing on to big parts it will be becoming erratic. There are so many stakeholders who supplemented the Report as well.

So there could be taken out so much material. However, here is just a small fragment and it still prints a bleak picture. I believe this is only the top of the ice-berg and we don’t know what is underneath the surface. The state would never release the whole picture, but only the cliff-notes. That is obvious here….

A brief overview of human rights violations:

It starts with: “the highest number of complaints reported to UHRC was torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (443), followed by deprivation of personal liberty/detention beyond 48 hours (378)” (…) “The Commission reported to the Committee that some of the law enforcement or security agencies wear civilian clothes, sometimes with their faces covered

in masks, while those in uniforms lack name tags. The identification of perpetrators is further compounded when there are joint operations by the Uganda Police Force, UPDF, CMI and ISO” (…) “The Committee notes that there was arbitrary deprivation of the right to liberty because of wrongful procedure of airest by Police and security agencies. Most suspects were held incommunicado and were not informed of the cases against them” (…) “The Committee noted that UHRC reported 90 cases of alleged deprivation of the right to life. However, the report did not contain any additional information on how each case was handled and the status of said the cases” (Report, July 2022).

Abductions during campaign season:

The Committee was informed that between the months of January 2020 and March 2021, the Uganda Human Rights Commission received 65 complaints of alleged disappearances of persons in the districts of Kyotera, Mukono, Kampala, Wakiso, Mpigi, Pallisa, Bundibugyo and Mityana” (…) “Some of the released persons allege to have been freed from the Special Investigations Unit in Kireka, Wakiso district while others contend they were produced in court and remanded to Kitalya Prison” (Report, July 2022).

HURIPEC reported that from the start of the official presidential and parliamentary election campaigns in November 2O2O, not less than 500 Ugandans were abducted, kidnapped, held in custody without trial or in military facilities and “safe houses”, or killed extra-judicially. HURIPEC

alleged that on November 18 and 191h 2020 alone, it was estimated that over 100 Ugardans were executed on the streets of Kampala in a bid to contain protests that were triggered by the arrest of NUP Party flag bearer Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu” (…) “They further claimed that while a few of the citizens arrested in this onslaught were arraigned before courts of law, an unknown number were found dumped in jungles and other remote places; often in poor health, bearing torture marks. Some women reported to have been sexually violated- These acts have gone hand in hand with a growing practice of trying Ugandan citizens in military tribunals. HURIPEC expres concern that this is against the letter and spirit of Uganda s constitution” (Report, July 2022)

Rt Hon. Speaker, UJA reported to the Committee that several journalists were injured by security during the course of their work; covering the 2021 elections. A survey conducted by UJA, for the period November 2nd 2020 and May 12th 2021, they recorded violations of rights for over 50 journalists in form of physical attacks, confiscation of work tools, vandalism, tear gas and

pepper sprays, unwarranted arrests, detention and intimidation by the security forces and private citizens” (Report, July 2022).

Violations of the LDUs:

Local Defence Unit (LDUS) personnel were reported to have used excessive force, including beatings and extortion of money from Boda boda riders, food vendors and taxi drivers in Kampala, Wakiso, Entebbe and Jinja purportedly to enforce Presidential Guidelines for the prevention of COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021” (Report, July 2022).

This is grim, but sadly not shattering. We have heard and read similar before… it is sinister that a state can act like this and only show a little of it. They are drip-dropping about it, but never revealing the whole picture. That’s why we know… that there is so much more to it all and so many more cases, which has never been told. This is the real trick of it all.

No one should have gone through this, but there are plenty of more that never gets into print. Peace.

Opinion: Museveni can only fool the blind…

No one can teach me about the subject of human rights because that is what I fought for, to have a democratic society in Uganda. I spent sixteen solid years of my life putting in place human rights observance and correcting what the regime of Idi Amin distorted. When handling human rights issues, be careful, cases of illegal detention, torture, and human rights violations will end, and will not be tolerated” – President Yoweri Tibuhurwa Kaguta Museveni (30.06.2022).

Sometimes… the delusion and the deluded mind thinks they are always correct. Especially, someone who has been in power without any significant challenge or without a proper contest. The elections and the rally for power after January 1986 has been based on who got the guns and the authority. Not on which brother or sister who has the best skills, attributes or policies to change the status quo of the Republic. Because, Museveni has held the army, the police and the judiciary. He could easily navigate and get his will into policy. Therefore, his words to Ken Roth, the Executive Officer of Human Rights Watch (HRW) means squat or nothing.

We know the authorities, the police force and all other security agencies uses means, which violates with human rights. It is common knowledge of the practices performed by the state. The abductions, the illegally detentions and the torture of dissidents. That is well-known, as much as the drones and the usage of army courts to charge and sentence civilians. This is why the President knows perfectly well how his in the wrong.

Museveni continues to speak ill of Amin. However, they are genuinely alike in many aspects. They are using the law to stranglehold the opposition. The authorities are used to arrest, detain and keep people incommunicado. People who defies and resist the pressure of state can easily be found dead after being kept at unknown locations. The state uses ungazetted safe-houses, the army and security details to apprehend and assault civilians who dares to question the legitimacy of the rulers of the republic.

That’s why anyone with a working marble and a little wisdom. Knows that the state apparatus, the imprint of the guards of the republic is to directly violate the human rights. They are proudly following orders, which circumvent their own constitution and principals of equal before the law. However, in the republic you are proven guilty before your proven innocent. This is why people can be behind bars without being produced in court. Neither are there any warrants, indictments or any production of evidence in the cases. The activists, citizens or opposition leaders are just barred from ordinary life. Because they dared to question and stand up for justice.

This injustice is known and shouldn’t shock anyone. The Safe-Houses, the practice of the Special Forces Command (SFC), Internal Security Organization (ISO) or the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) are capable of despicable things and acts, which are wrongly conducted in favour of the state.

The National Resistance Movement has used these techniques since it’s inception. The usage of torture and illegal arrests has been common practice. It has never ceased and the operations has only changed in the nature or by the way the interpret it. That’s why cases are pending in the courts and people challenge the treatment at government facilities, which caused them harm and made them scorned for life.

So, when President Museveni speaks of never doing or will not tolerate it. That is just nonsense and empty words. It is as meaningful as his words about combatting corruption. This is not really happening either and we all know. The President is keeping the fear and intimidation alive. His signalling anyone who dares to oppose him. That they can be touched and be violated. So, that they know who is in-charge and who is staying there.

The anointed one, the high above and the eternal prince of Rwakitura. Peace.

Uganda: FEWS NET projected food security levels as stressed in the Greater Northern Region and a crisis in Karamoja

Staple food prices have continued to increase in recent months and are higher than prices recorded last year and five-year average levels across most of Uganda. Prices of staple sorghum and maize are now significantly above average in several key reference markets across the country. In Karamoja, terms of trade for sorghum against firewood, charcoal, and goats are below average and worse than last year, significantly restricting food access for poor households. After the first season bimodal harvest in June/July, food prices are expected to decline but are now expected to remain above average given expectations for below-average production, increased net exports, and impacts of the war in Ukraine on global supply chains and prices” (FEWS NET, 06.05.2022).

The Cassava Republic is getting hit hard by not only the rising commodity prices, but the weather. The agricultural production will be slowed down and that will hurt the farmers of the regions in the Northern Uganda and in the Karamoja sub-region. That is very evident and FEWS NET together with the World Food Programme is clearly having an oversight here. This here should worry the state, as it has targeted and had a military operation in Karamoja. Which is not mentioned here, but the burning region of Karamoja isn’t having a better times ahead of it. To the contrary things are only getting worse.

The Cassava Republic is also hit with an impactful war, which is not only hitting the exports of wheat, but in general. That’s why prices of commodities will go up and has gone up over the last year. Things are not getting better there either. Just read the quote below, which is a continuation of the first quote from FEWS NET on the matter.

In general, prices of food and non-food commodities have increased notably since late 2021. The main driving factors include rising transportation costs due to increasing fuel prices, seasonally declining market stocks, and reduced production prospects from the upcoming first season harvest following below average rainfall. More recently, impacts of the Russia-Ukraine crisis have driven further fuel price increases and increased the rate of general inflation of food and non-food commodities, further reducing household purchasing power. In March, retail prices of maize grain and sorghum increased farther above five-year average levels. Retail prices of beans and cassava generally remained below average in March, though prices of beans increased by 9-20 percent across monitored markets from February to March” (FEWS NET, 06.05.2022).

Here is the worrying statement:

However, rising food prices will likely result in some higher selling prices for famers, increasing access to income for those with near average production. For pastoralist households, pasture and water availability is expected to improve in May given the forecast of above-average rainfall. Overall, most households in bimodal areas are expected to access sufficient food and income to meet their essential food and non-food needs, with Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes expected to persist at the area level throughout the projection period. However, given revised expectations for a third consecutive below-average production season as well as rising prices of food and non-food commodities including fuel, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are now expected to persist throughout much of northern Uganda for the majority of the projection period. In Karamoja, availability of food and income is expected to remain seasonally limited as the lean season progresses. Given delays in the agricultural season, the lean season is now expected to last through July, longer than usual by about three weeks. During this time, insecurity is likely to continue constraining limiting income-earning, including from livestock production and sales. When schools reopen for the new term in early May, households will likely experience some improved food consumption due to WFP’s food and nutrition programming for school children, including school meals, take-home rations, and supplementary food for households with malnourished children. However, food prices are expected to continue increasing through around June until the harvest from bimodal areas begins to boost market supplies, with an increasing number of poor households likely to face consumption gaps and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes during this time. Though some seasonal price declines are expected following this, prices are expected to remain above average. For many poor Karamoja households, below-average purchasing power will continue constraining access to food from market purchases. Around August/September, the start of harvesting in Karamoja is expected to support improved access to food from own consumption and income from crop sales and reduce the number of households facing consumption gaps, though Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected to persist at the area level even during the post-harvest period. Overall, widespread Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are now expected to persist through at least September, with worst-affected households facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes” (FEWS NET, 06.04.2022).

We are seeing changes and the next coming months will be impactful to say the least. As the farmers and everyone else will struggle. There will be lack of food and a distress in some parts of the Republic, but it can become really dire in Karamoja. The Karamoja where the army has attacked, burned villages and gone after the citizens. That’s where things are getting worse and where they will have a terrible food insecurity to the levels of crisis. They can possibly get into Emergency, which should worry anyone. This just really speaks of how the state is failing its citizens and things are not getting any better.

The state should act upon this and think of safeguards. Nevertheless, don’t think they will. They rather send more soldiers and have more birthday bashes for Muhoozi. Than being concerned with the lack of food or ability to plough their fields. No, the state is more busy scheming and enterprising for their own. That’s why this sort of news needs to be spread. Because, the citizens of Karamoja and the Greater North will be hurt by this. That is the message from FEWS NET and it should be heard. Peace.

Opinion: When a soldier tortures a toddler, then the army can violate anyone…

Residents of Buvuma islands are living under fear after a Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) soldier only known as Robert brutally assaulted a 4-year-old boy for allegedly laughing at him while he was mastering how to ride a bicycle. Robert, who is attached to a detach in Nandala forest, Nairambi sub-county allegedly brutally beat a toddler identified as Najib Iguru, claiming that the boy had stoned him near his home. According to the boy’s mother, Aisha Namugaya, after the battering, the boy lost his body balance, his right leg started swelling while also struggling to breath” (URN – ‘Soldier tortures boy for mocking him, holds Buvuma village at gunpoint’ The Observer Uganda, 01.05.2022).

As long as I can remember and at every given moment, the President, His Excellency, Yoweri Kaguta Musveni has told the wonders of how disciplined his army is. He has spoken about the greatness and how he achieved peace. The President has spoken about how he came with fundamental change and how he revolutionized the Republic. However, things are not how it seems…

To the contrary, the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) and various agencies connected is as vicious, brutal and lacks order like the predecessors. The acts of torture and extra judicial killings is still rampant. The kidnappings and keeping civilians incommunicado persists. The acts of injustice and impunity is never far from sight. There more stories about these vicious acts than what we know. As either people are not allowed to tell, people are bruised or scared for life and many who fears to speak.

We have heard the stories of activists, political candidates and bystanders to campaigns. Now it is happening to kids or toddlers who is not fully grown. Neither should there be any sort of reaction to an action of a toddler. If the soldier felt mocked and hurt by the act of toddler. He should have spoken to the mother and the parents should have punished the toddler they saw fit. The soldier shouldn’t act as the judge, the jury and the executioner. The soldier did take it further and held the whole village at gun-point. Striking fear and avenging everyone know the toddler. That shows what sort of power and what the soldiers believes they are able to do.

The ones defending it… should think that this could be their own cousin or family member. This could happen to any villager or toddler across the Republic. The innocent civilian who isn’t eligible or able to be punished by law was still touched and violated by a soldier. The soldier took the law upon himself and tortured a toddler. Just writing these lines disgust me. The thought of a child being used blunt force against. No matter what he said or did, his reasoning and mental capacity to understand isn’t there. That’s why a toddler isn’t a legal subject, but the parent would be. Therefore, the soldier just shows how he was a brute and indisciplined.

We can just wonder else the soldiers are up too. They are allowed and follows orders of destruction, contempt of law and can act with vicious operations like the ones in Karamoja sub-region. That’s why we know their violence and know they can cause massacres with their bare hands. They can kill and without consideration of the justice or righteous reason to use the firearm. However, they do and the regime applauds it.

That’s why the incident of torturing a toddler isn’t directly shocking, but shows how far the army is willing to go. There is no decency or courtesy even. Just a brutal transgression and act with violence. Doesn’t matter if it is a civilian, toddler or anyone of stature really. As a soldier it is within your rights to destroy and violate someone. That is the message of the story.

The soldier should secure the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic. Meaning defending the borders from invaders. Not being a tool of oppression and injustice. However, the latter is what the UPDF is known for and it shows. Peace.

Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF): Statement on Alleged Torture by CMI of one Mariwos Alexandria aka Esther (22.04.2022)

Opinion: Karamoja is burning over mineral explorations…

A total of 17,083 square kilometers of land in Karamoja is licensed for mineral exploration and extraction activities, according to official data. Twenty-six companies currently have exploratory or mining rights in the region. In 2018, Chinese mining company Sunbelt was given 3.3 square kilometers of land to set up a $13 million dollar marble mining factory in Rupa sub-county. A year later, the company expanded its operations to cover an additional 4.1 square kilometers, ostensibly after a deal with local leaders. Hundreds of families have since been pushed out of their ancestral homes, local officials say. Locals accuse Rupa Community development trust, a community trustee group created three years ago, of conniving with investors to steal their land” (Diana Taremwa Karakire – ‘Mining Rush Threatens Indigenous Peoples in Karamoja, Uganda’ 01.09.2021).

What I feared the most seems to be reason for the joint operation of the Uganda Police Force (UPF) and Uganda People’s Defence Force (UDPF) in the Karamoja sub-region. Which is an continues operation and it is persisting. The state is even furthering it’s investments into it by deploying 6,000 Local Defence Units or LDUs in Karamjoa. Therefore, the burning and bleeding will persist for a long time.

The lack of accountability and transparency is very clear. The obvious reasons for that is the licensed land and territories given to mineral extraction corporation over the indigenous people. The people and the citizens are neglected. They are perpetrators and the unlawful one in the mind of the state, but not by their rights as people.

The Government and the Authorities are coming in as a colonial government. They are occupying and violently removing people. The state is blaming the cattle rustling, but it is obviously more too it. Because, it is not like the government would create so much and damage over some livestock. However, it would do so over the mineral extraction and possible gold-rush in Karamoja.

We know they have given this state operation the name of “Usalama Kwa Wote” to disarm and take away illegal guns, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it was an alternate motive. A cash enterprise and a possible profit objective of the state. As they know the values of the land and what it possesses. When knowing that… they might find it easier to scare people away and not take ownership of land. Make them displaced and ensure their fear to return. As the mineral exploration and exploitation can start. In such a manner, that the government and the companies can start their trading.

The unfortunate families, villages and the Karimojong is just dying. While they are defending their land and we don’t have any idea about the amount of fatalities. As the GoU, the State House and UPDF doesn’t release any sort of update on their Joint Operation there. Only in the beginning and stopped when the public outcry ceased to exist.

The Karamoja sub-region continues to burn, be looted and is destroyed by government entities. While they are blaming old cultural factors and blaming the herders. That just shows their sinister motives. Because, we are not supposed to know about the vast licensing agreements and the planned mineral exploitation, which has been sanctioned without the concern of the locals or the Karimojong in general. They just have to accept the loss of land, livelihood and where they have lived for generations.

Because, that is the “steady progress” and “securing your future” means for Karamoja these days. The state don’t mind violating or destroying, as long as it has a prosperous future ahead of it. Peace.

Opinion: Karamoja is bleeding and nothing is being done…

The Karamoja Sub-Region has been burning and bleeding of late. This has been as a result of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Force and Uganda Police Force, which are doing a joint-operation to stop cattle-rustlers, but clearly acting out of their means. As the 7 Karamoja districts are hurt as a result.

These districts are Kaabong, Kotido, Abim, Moroto, Napak, Nakapiripirit, and Amudat. All of them are touched by the state sponsored violence and savage killings. People are becoming internally displaced. Houses are being burnt and people are forced to flee. The amount of fatalities are unknown, as the UPDF have only dropped one update and the numbers from there is certainly an understatement.

The Joint Mission Update was what the authorities had done between 19th and 29th March and we are now on the 3rd April and the violence is still occurring at an uncertain rate. The verified 309 people must have add-ons as people are seeking shelters in mosques and elsewhere. Karimojong are really under fire here.

There are even a viral video clip of some soldiers in Abim district who killed an alleged cattle-rustler and burned the remains. While showing the skull in one of the hands of the soldiers as the burning fire of the remains was continuing in the back. That sort of video clip is haunting and show what sort of sinister acts that is going on.

We know that Commander of Land Forces Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerubaga has promised them “hell” and his serving that on a plate. They don’t need to wait for the after-life to be in danger or meet the devil. The forces of Muhoozi is the agents of the Hell is already there and to get away from them would be like heaven.

As before in the month. There been speculations of mineral resources, findings of petrol and wider implications of foreign investors possible getting viable land. If not there is also reports of possible heists of livestock and thieving cows from the sub-region. As well, there is also reports of poisoning of goats there.

Whatever the reasons why it’s happening now. The citizens and the ones that dies… it happens without due process and without the courts of justice. The civilians are guilty before proven innocent in Karamoja right now. This is injustice and extra judicial killings. With the murder of over 300 people. Some might easily say massacres is going on and we don’t know to what extent. Since there is little to none reporting on the actual actions going on. The fatalities is therefore totally hidden and the bloodshed is happening in darkness.

The justification for the amount of death and it’s scale should be really crucial. As these amounts of deaths would be close to war or skirmishes between enemies of a civil-war. Alas, the state is behind a huge operation, which is causing harm that will linger on in the sub-region for decades. The fatalities and the insecurity isn’t becoming better, but worse. The devastating results will linger on and the damage cannot be mended. The souls taken and the land scorned will not be viable quickly. The needs for dialogue and peace. There isn’t a need for war or more guns. It is only causing more fatalities and more death.

That seems to be the devil in Muhoozi. He comes with death and thrives on the burning region of Karamoja. That’s the devil in the details… and how it can be perceived. Peace.

Uganda: Ministry of Defence & Veterans Affairs – Uganda Peoples’ Defence Force (UPDF) – The Situation in Karamoja is Under Control (29.03.2022)

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