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Archive for the tag “Minority Rights Group Africa”

Kabarole Clashes: Guns and Machetes Recovered (Youtube-Clip)

“Security has been beefed up in kabarole district as a joint operation of the police and UPDF continues a search for dissidents believed to be in the hideouts in the hills a day after eight were killed in a shoot out
Bodies of those killed have been retrieved and guns and machetes recovered” (NTV Uganda, 2016)

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Press Release: MRG calls on Uganda government to investigate cause of escalating violence in Rwenzori region (04.04.2016)

Kasese attack

Minority Rights Group International (MRG) expresses grave concern about recent clashes between the Bamba-Babwisi and Bakonzo communities in the Rwenzori region, and calls on the Ugandan government to investigate the root causes of the conflict.   The violence has left at least 33 dead, 10,000 displaced and 366 houses burnt.

The first attacks broke out following the declaration of local council election results on 27 February, although many brushed them off as simply post-election violence. However, despite heavy police and military deployment, the killings have continued, with victims including a 13 year-old in Kanyansiri village in Bundibugyo district.

Addressing a press conference, President Yoweri Museveni told media that although his government had never deployed the army to quell a tribal conflict, he was going to now do so.

‘While we understand the President’s urgency to solve this problem, a military solution treats the symptoms not root causes. There is need for genuine dialogue among communities in conflict, mediated by a team of experts,’ says MRG Africa Office Manager, Agnes Kabajuni.

The events playing out in Rwenzori replicate a scenario in 2014, when violence between communities claimed 72 lives.

According to MRG, the causes of the current conflict in Rwenzori date back many decades.

For instance, to solve the Rwenzururu war, a guerilla campaign waged by both the Bakonzo and Bamba to gain recognition and secede from Toro Kingdom, then President Idi Amin negotiated a settlement to create Rwenzori District for the Bakonzo, Semliki District for the Bamba and Kabarole District for the Batoro.

Charles Wesley Mumbere

The Rwenzururu Kingdom, now comprising Bundibugyo, Kasese and Ntoroko districts has since the 1980s established itself as a movement which has continued to pose a serious threat to central government control. In order to calm the ethnic tensions in the region, the government in March 2008, after a ministerial committee recommendation, endorsed the Kingdom of Rwenzururu as a cultural institution headed by King Mumbere.

However, the decision to endorse Rwenzururu Kingdom was done with no prior and adequate consultation of both tribes in Kasese and Bundibugyo, pre-empting demands for recognition of other tribes like Basongora, Banyabindi and Bamba.

‘It is telling to see two groups, which have long co-existed and intermarried, now fighting with each other. At a political level, the government has to facilitate a genuine mediation process involving the Bakonzo under the Rwenzururu Kingdom and the Bamba cultural institution in order that they may peacefully co-exist once more,’ says Kabajuni.

‘As a long term strategy,’ argues Kabajuni, ‘the government has to address the economic marginalization of the communities in the Kasese, Bundibugyo and Ntoroko Districts, caused by historical injustices relating to land, equality, decision-making and economic opportunities for all tribes.’

Notes to editors

  • Find out more about MRG’s work in Uganda
  • Minority Rights Group International is the leading international human rights organization working to secure the rights of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities and indigenous peoples. We work with more than 150 partners in over 50 countries.
  • For further information or to arrange interviews with our partners in Rwenzori region contact:

Mohamed Matovu, Media Officer, MRG Africa (Kampala, Uganda)

E: mohamed.matovu@mrgmail.org

M: +256 782 748 189
T: +256 393266832
@MinorityRights

Skype: mohamed.matovu

Facebook: www.facebook.com/minorityrights

W: www.minorityrights.org / www.minorityvoices.org

Latest updates on Kasese-Budibugyo atttack – Rwenzuri militants (not ADF)

 

It’s been movement on the ground. President Museveni has spoken and the Rwenzuru King has also said his piece. First Defence Minister Crispus Kiyonga and then before I tire you, to you sleep. Please continue to read!

Defence Minister Crispus Kiyonga put the actual number of deaths during the siege are now 92(Okello, 2014).

Here is his statement to this Thursday in Parliament:

“The characteristic  of the events that unfolded show that some people in our society still hold firm beliefs in witchcraft, can easily be duped into criminality and can be very callous  in causing death to their brothers and sisters. The attacks took place on Saturday 5th July between 2 PM and 4 pm in the districts of Bundibugyo, Kasese and Ntoroko. The main targets were police and army positions, wananchi in the case of Kasese, the palace of the Obundingya wa Bwamba and sSanbic bank in Bundibugyo. The attackers were mainly armed with spears, pangas sticks and some guns with the main objectives of getting guns and money. The places attacked in each of the affected districts are; In Bundibugyo the places attacked included; Kanyamirima barracks – 5 kilometers from the town of Bundibugyo, Bundibugyo town where the stanbic bank and the palace of the Omundigyawa Bwamba were key targets. Kirindi shrine,Ntandi and Katumba. In the district of Ntoroko the attacks were at the trading centre of Kibuuku and the police station in Karugutu town council. While in Kasese, the places affected are; a weighbridge opposite KCCL factory on the highway from Kasese to Bushenyi and the villages of Bigando and Ibuga. An estimated total number of 92 people are reported to have lost their lives which include, four police men, three soldiers, three wananchi and 68 attackers in Bundibugyo district, in Ntoroko, one soldier and one wananchi were killed while in Kasese district, 13 people were killed, one police man, one soldier and 11 wananchi lost their lives” (Okello, 2014).

Rwenzuru king Charles Wesley Mumbere statement:

First the Rwenzuru Prime Minister Noah Nzaghale and Minister of Tourism Erisa Mwincubere were taken by the Police at 9 AM at the Office of the Kingdom in Kasese.

The Kings statement: “that the people who attacked on Saturday should be part of his Kingdom’s enemies who did not want him recognized and that they may be looking for means of having the government abolish the institution”(…)”warned government from being biased in handling cultural issues in the Rwenzori region but rather take the task of leading or mediating the reconciliation process”(…)”the decision to arrest the Prime Minister and other officials was hash because no one in the Kingdom including himself is willing to be interviewed at peace as police continue hunting for the wrong elements”(…)”He does not recall agreeing with the president over the matter because his subjects are across the region” (Red Pepper, 2014).

Kings friend Tom Stancy comments: “the United Nations had granted the Bakonzo a state called the Yira Republic. Yira is another name for Bakonzo. On this Mumbere said that document was authored by some of the people who have for a long time opposed the Rwenzururu Kingdom” (Red Pepper, 2014).

Minority Rights Group Africa (MRGA) responds to the attacks:

“Condemns the weekend attacks in Ntoroko, Kasese and Bundibugyo districts in Rwenzori region in Western Uganda which claimed the lives of at least 72 people, including numerous civilians, two soldiers and three police officers”(Matovu, 2014).

Jolly Kemigabo MRGA Office Manager says: “We all know there are historical injustices suffered by some ethnic groups like the Basongora who lost land, but the government has failed to resolve their issues”(…)”The government, with the involvement of all stakeholders, has to push for peaceful co-existence while addressing deep-seated inequality and discrimination leading to the political and social exclusion of minority ethnic groups”(…)” Such steps should include resettlement or compensation for evicted communities, and the economic empowerment of marginalized groups” (Matovu, 2014).

President Yoweri Museveni blames security agencies:

“Fortunately, today Uganda has got a capable State that is able to deal decisively and expeditiously with such schemes although, of course, there was a failure of intelligence. How did these people weave such a scheme without being pre-empted? What were the GISOs doing?” (Kasasira, 2014). Veteran Security Chief David Pukol commented: “What had become of our intelligence agencies? May be everybody is looking at Kyankwanzi resolution, President Museveni’s fifth term and they have forgotten about Al-Shabaab? This intelligence failure has baffled us. It sends a wrong message” (Kasasira, 2014).

I will keep you more updated when I see more news or reports on the matter that fits.

Peace!

 

Links:

Kasasira, Risdel (10.07.2014) – ‘Rwenzori attacks: Museveni blames intelligence organ’ (the Citizen.co.tz) Link: http://www.thecitizen.co.tz/News/Rwenzori-attacks–Museveni-blames-intelligence-organ/-/1840340/2378786/-/qvgdu8/-/index.html

 

Matovu, Mohammed (10.07.2014) – ‘To calm ethnic tensions in Rwenzori region, government has to address specific needs of ethnic minorities’ (Minority Rights Group)

Link:http://reliefweb.int/report/uganda/calm-ethnic-tensions-rwenzori-region-government-has-address-specific-needs-ethnic

 

Okello, Dickens Honeywell (10.07.2014) – ‘Kiyonga: Why Rwenzori Militants Attacked Defence Installations’ (Chimpreports.com)

Link: http://chimpreports.com/index.php/mobile/special-reports/23361-kiyonga-why-rwenzori-militants-attacks-defence-installations.html

 

Red Pepper (10.07.2014) – ‘Rwenzururu King Speaks Out On Rwenzori Attacks’ (Redpepper.co.ug)

Link: http://www.redpepper.co.ug/rwenzururu-king-speaks-out-on-rwenzori-attacks/

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