If you have missed it, you might, the Republic of Niger isn’t the one that strikes the news. But during last week on the 13th April of 2018, Minister of Defence Djida Hamadou wrote a letter where he wanted to control the social media. This being Facebook, Twitter or Whatsapp, the Ministry of Defence didn’t know how to even to write Twitter, they called it Tweeter. Clearly, they are twats, who doesn’t understand freedom of speech. Not that the Republic of Niger is famous for that either.
Mahamadou Issoufou, the President who has been in-charge since 7th April 2011, now his comrades in other ministries want to directly control the actions online. The Ministry of Defence wants to use the Forces de Défense et de sécurité (FDS) to monitor and control the Social Media. That only means that the army can follow whatever the citizens does online. Something that doesn’t sound like a good idea, unless President Issoufou planning to cease the civil society and the spreading of information within the Republic.
The same government has voted in for the Conseil Supérieur de la Communication (CSC) would get a new mandate and a new organizational structure. Therefore, the government are really working to control and settle content online. This is yet another country, where they are taking the war against democracy online. They are afraid of people speaking and writing what they feel on the internet. We know that, because there isn’t anything positive happening with the Ministry of Defence and the Army monitoring the Social Media.
This isn’t a positive sign, its a sign of that the government are not opening up, but closing even more. That the military and militarism is more important, than ever. We know that the state has issues with freedom of expression, as of today, Ali Idrissa have been detained for 24 days now for his campaign against corruption and nepotism. Clearly, the Military want to silence this voices in the public sphere.
We know that the Republic has issues with this, as they sent the Military to the University of Niamey in the Capital also. Therefore, this regime cannot stomach people writing against them. Issoufou and his henchmen cannot manage critics. They want people to give praise and shower honors. Not question their actions and transparency. That cannot be good, since they want the Military to Monitor Social Media. Just think about how far of a breach of privacy and also freedom of speech that is. That the FDS should be allowed to monitor and follow the public online.
Issoufou, is this the state of mind your in? That soldiers and Generals are monitoring their own citizens and their actions online, what they say and think on the Social Media; Is that so dangerous for them to speak their mind? Why are you so afraid of the Social Media? Do you think it would inspire people to revolution topple your regime and your army? Is that why?
Why do you want to use the army to monitor the Social Media? It is insane, should the same army monitor the talk at the yard, the market and in the schools too? Are they monitoring all communications and taping all conversations on the telephones as well?
Because, I have doubt you care about freedom of speech, expressions of digital content, when you are working on having the army as a overlooker of the Social Media. Peace.
The Capitol Hill report or the Congress Report Service (CRS) who are making studies into wished subjects of the Congress, has recently dropped and made a report into the United States Armed Mission in Niger. Not that it says much and it is shown to be careful with dropping intelligence, as this is a continued mission against Islamist insurgents and militants together with allies of the American government. Therefore, dropping to much intelligence and to much information would spoil the mission themselves. That is why the CRS isn’t saying much new, but shows the state of affairs and the reasoning of United States to interfere on foreign soil. They are even proving the capacity of forces and planned army base in Niger. As they are clearly now cooperating with other armies and camps, where they are based. Since they are building one in the northern town of Agadez. Take a look!
“Following the October 4 attack, DOD officials have publicly cited a larger figure of 800 U.S. military personnel in Niger. 17 These figures presumably comprise personnel stationed in the capital, Niamey, as well as those deployed in more remote areas. Notably, a U.S. Air Force facility is under construction in the northern city of Agadez (Figure 1), which the Air Force has described as supporting U.S. logistical and intelligence capacities in the sub-region, and which U.S. diplomats have described as supporting the Niger government’s capacity to secure its borders” (…) “U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) describes the U.S. military presence in Niger, as in most places in Africa, as a “light footprint,” suggesting that a more extensive and/or conventional military mission could require more extensive airlift, close air support capacity, and contingency planning” (CRS, P: 4-5, 2017).
“Advisory activities in which U.S. personnel are embedded with local security forces, as was apparently the case in the mission that came under attack on October 4, according to DOD officials” (CRS, P: 7, 2017).
“The “golden hour” is described as the first 60 minutes following trauma or the onset of acute illness, where chances of a patient’s survival are considered greatest if advanced trauma life support can be provided. DOD notes that, “historically, wound data and casualty rates indicate that more than 90 percent of all casualties die within the first hour of severe wounding without advanced trauma life support.”58 U.S. military medical support is generally structured to meet this standard of one hour or less” (…) “In the case of the October 4 Niger ambush, at least one Special Forces medic (see below) was present, but he was killed during the ambush. DOD stated the two U.S. soldiers wounded during the ambush were medically evacuated by French air assets to Niamey during the firefight, and that this medical evacuation was “consistent with the casualty evacuation plan that was in place for this particular operation” (CRS, P: 12-13, 2017).
“Niger’s Interior Minister Mohamed Bazoum stated in a media interview on October 19 that those who carried out the attack were “youths under the influence of Abu Walid al Sahrawi” who were based in the Niger/Mali border region. Possibly reflecting the extremely complex nature of militant allegiances in the sub-region, Bazoum also suggested that the assailants were loyal to Iyad ag Ghali, a Malian national who heads the Al Qaeda-aligned JNIM, although some analysts portray JNIM and IS-GS as rivals rather than allies. The Interior Minister indicated in his remarks that Niger’s government had yet to identify the precise assailants” (CRS, P: 16, 2017).
We clearly will not know everything now, but there is openings and questions to be asked. There have already been questions over how long it took to get the bodies of the fallen American soldiers from the place of fire. Also, the aftermath of the ambush opening a lot of questions.
That we will know more with time and hope this get investigated, as there are many leads and many more questions arising, as the Department of Defense should have own intelligence on the ambush and the days before. Since, they are there together with the Niger’s own military and French soldiers, these are all in the Sahel region to clear militant Islamist’s there. Clearly, there are some intelligence that is left our or clearly not studied. Since the CRS report are a stripped report. There has already been reported about the ambushes and local chiefs interfering on behalf Islamist’s in the area. This has been overshadowed in this report.
That this report also not look into the failure of human intelligence, because of this Niger ambushed could have been warned against and the troubles in Tongo Tongo close to the border of Mali. Together with the ambush of motorcycles and other reports, that has been neglected. Proves that the CRS are trying to stifle information or not investigate it at all. Just going by the information of different sources in the days after, you could get more intelligence of it, than by the CRS. Therefore, the report didn’t tell much, just showing what official sources within the DoD. Peace.
Congressional Research Service – ‘Niger: Frequently Asked Questions About the October 2017 Attack on U.S. Soldiers’ (27.10.2017)
Well, there is often now, when it comes to the assistance and the help from United States Army, it is less planned, but more erratic just like their President. The Commander-in-Chief, President Donald J. Trump is behind the mess created and the death, he is the last to order and sanction the violence. If the US Army is behind a mess in Yemen, it is on his hour, if its done bad in Niger, it is still on his watch.
Just like Hillary Clinton was in a mess in Libya, this is a story of how the United States might have inflicted much harm in Niger, without intelligence and backgrounds checks. Clearly, it must have been something gone wrong, when they are ambushed happen and there are conflicting reports of it. We cannot know everything now. Since the investigations of the different security organization will start. As well, as the Trump Administration are in high gear of deflections and trying to silence the story. Because, this is damaging reports. Not only his lack of compassion to the families of the lost soldiers in battle, but also the lack of collecting intelligence before striking at the enemies during conflict.
Here is some of the key aspects we can for now take from the Niger ambush. This is not the whole story, but some pieces of the puzzle, to make sense of the manner, the Special Forces operated and the AFRICOM Battalion that is stationed in Niger. Hope this gives you some sense of it all.
“News reports indicate that the attack occurred near the town of Tongo Tongo (see Figure 1), in a border region where a number of armed groups are active. These include locally-led factions affiliated Al Qaeda and the Islamic State organization, ethnic militias, separatist rebels, drug traffickers, smugglers, and bandits, with the lines between these categories often blurred. (See CRS In Focus IF10172, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Related Groups.) Islamist armed groups regularly conduct attacks against local targets—notably focusing on government officials, prisons, schools, and individuals accused of collaborating with the state or with French-led counterterrorism operations —and against U.N. peacekeepers in Mali. Some analysts assert that the often heavy-handed counterterrorism approach of local security forces has contributed to worsening instability” (Arieff, 2017)
First Official statement:
“On Oct. 4, three (3) U.S. service members and one partner nation member were killed while the U.S. was providing advice and assistance to Nigerien security force counter-terror operations, approximately 200 km north of Niamey, in southwest Niger. Additionally, two U.S. service members were injured and evacuated in stable condition to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany” (U.S. Embassy in Niger, 2017).
Niger Ministry of Defense Statement:
“On Tuesday, October 03, 2017, a patrol of the defense and security forces and US partners operating in the Mali-Niger border zone was ambushed by terrorist elements on board a dozen vehicles and twenty motorcycles. height of Tongo Tongo village located about 80 km northwest of Ouallam. After intense fighting during which the elements of the joint patrol showed courage and an exemplary combativeness, the balance is established as follows: FDS four (4) dead, eight (8) wounded, partners American three (3) dead, two (2) wounded. In this painful circumstance, the President of the Republic, Head of State, Supreme Chief of the Armed Forces and the Government offer their deepest condolences to the families of the disappeared and wish a speedy recovery to the wounded. They welcome the commitment of the American partners alongside our defense and security forces, they reiterate their strong support and encouragement to the entire defense and security forces in their mission of defending the integrity of the national territory and strategic partners for their continued support for peace and stability in the region” (FAN, 2017).
Report in LA Times the day after:
“Officials hoped the missing U.S. Army Special Forces operative might still be hiding in the dense brush, rather than taken captive, and launched a massive search-and-rescue mission with aerial drones and other aircraft, as well as Nigerien ground forces. The death of four Green Berets in remote West Africa marks the worst single loss of U.S. forces under fire since President Trump took office. The president was briefed on the search and the discovery of the body, officials said. The casualties came as a heavy blow to the insular special operations community that increasingly shoulders the burden of America’s counter-terrorism operations overseas. The four fatalities, as well as two wounded Green Berets, were in the 3rd Special Forces Group based in Ft. Bragg, N.C” (Hennigan, 2017).
Chad Pulls out troops:
“The development comes after the US slammed a travel ban on its citizens. Chad defence officials have not given a reason for this action, but it is believed that it could weaken the fight against the insurgents. Residents say the withdrawal of the troops had already impacted on Niger’s Diffa region, which has seen a series of attacks by Boko Haram crossing over from their base in Nigeria” (NAN, 2017).
“Eventually, after talking to the village chief, the troops got into their vehicles to return to their base, a two-hour drive. But less than five minutes after they drove out of the village, the convoy was ambushed by a group that outnumbered them two to one. About 100 armed insurgents, many of whom were on motorbikes — two or three people a bike — as well as others in about 10 sport utility vehicles, surrounded the convoy. They were armed with heavy weapons, including anti aircraft weaponry as well as rocket-propelled grenades, according to a Nigerien official. Soldiers in the joint patrol were riding in military vehicles as well as civilian Land Cruisers from the American Embassy. The firefight lasted two to three hours, the Nigerien official said, until a response unit from the military base arrived for reinforcements. French helicopters arrived to evacuate the dead and wounded as well as other soldiers” (Searcey, Cooper & Schmitt, 2017).
Lack of Intelligence in West Africa:
“That very same evaluation additionally raised concern that solely 20-30 per cent of the US ISR’s intelligence, surveillance and recognition necessities have been met. UU. of the US (ISR). “This limits situational understanding, assist operations and presents no risk indications and warnings,” the command warned, including that the state of affairs is most severe in West Africa, the place the military of states United has roughly 1,000 individuals concerned in a dozen operations in a area of 9 nations. Nigerian officers have stated that the ambush on four October was on account of a “failure of human intelligence.” This useful resource hole “forces our workers to return to pricey and ineffective advert hoc options,” the command instructed lawmakers” (DrFeed, 2017)
I think these clips from different sources say a lot and shows that the neglect and the importance of collecting intelligence. As well, as knowing the intent of the locals and their loyalty towards the insurgents. Therefore, the joint-command brigade was ambushed. There will come more intelligence and more information, that will show the damaging information that is for now left out. Unless, the United States wants to hide their acts. The dead soldiers will not return, not matter what you do, but to see the causes and the reasons for their demise could be learning curve for the military and their operatives.
We cannot know everything now, but we will with time, as the investigations and the revealing intelligence will come to forward. Clearly, the White House wouldn’t touch this in the beginning, because they knew of the their misbehavior and has since tried to deflect it. Especially, since their own President has assaulted Clinton for her actions in Libya, this could be seen as similar and be alike. Therefore, the smear-campaign and questionable acts was taken to Congress in various committees, the same should appear in this case. But don’t expect it, because the Republican are still loyal to their President. However, if that turns and their show compassion and care for their Republic. They would have dozens of investigations and also look into the ambush. The reasons and the orders that was given, also why the people lost their lives in the village of Tongo Tongo close to the border of Mali, inside Niger. Peace.
Arieff, Alexis – ‘Attack on U.S. Soldiers in Niger: Context and Issues for Congress’ (05.10.2017) link:https://fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/IN10797.pdf
DrFeed – ‘Months Before Niger Attack, The US Military Warned Congress It Needed More Resources’ (20.10.2017) link: https://drfeed.com/months-before-niger-attack-the-us-military-warned-congress-it-needed-more-resources/
NAN – ‘Chad withdraws troops fighting Boko Haram in Niger’ (13.10.2017) link: https://www.google.no/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=16&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwi0heD73YHXAhVFEpoKHTj5CMA4ChAWCEswBQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thecable.ng%2Fchad-withdraws-troops-fighting-boko-haram-niger&usg=AOvVaw3ux55sdZINC2y_S7jgE1zH
Hennigan, W.J. -’Missing U.S. commando found dead in Niger desert two days after deadly ambush’ (06.10.2017) link: http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-missing-soldier-found-20171006-story.html
Searcey, Dionne, Cooper, Helene & Eric Schmitt – ‘Conflicting Accounts in Niger Ambush Are Subject of Pentagon Investigation’ (20.10.2017) link: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/20/world/africa/niger-ambush-conflicting-accounts.html
FAN – ‘Communiqué du Ministère de la Défense Nationale du Niger suite à l’attaque des FDS à Tongo tongo’ (05.10.2017) link: http://www.iciniger.com/communique-ministere-de-defense-nationale-niger-suite-a-lattaque-fds-a-tongo-tongo/
U.S. Embassy in Niger – ‘U.S. Africa Command Statement on Situation in Niger’ (05.10.2017) link: https://ne.usembassy.gov/u-s-africa-command-statement-situation-niger/
“Our “Why I Vote” campaign gives artists a chance to share personal opinions on the key issues shaping the 2016 Presidential Election. Along the way, they encourage young people, a traditionally under-represented demographic at the polls, to participate in the political process that impacts us all. Each episode focuses on a particular subject, including immigration, LGBTQ rights, mass incarceration, and education opportunities. We’re hoping to galvanize first-time voters interested in shaping their own future. The latest episode features T.I. telling his own story of growing up in Atlanta at the beginning of the government’s “War on Drugs.” With an uncle going to prison, the young MC had a first-hand look at the way these policies impacted families and communities. The rise of mass incarceration and the privatization of prisons are paramount issues that drive T.I. to vote. He made an impassioned call to use our power as citizens and vote on November 8. From now through Election Day we will air new episodes of “Why I Vote” with American Authors, Kesha and several other artists we’ll announce soon. Watch, share and make sure your voice is heard by voting in the 2016 election. Music video by T.I. performing Why I Vote. 2016” (Vevo, 2016)
“Niger’s opposition coalition COPA 2016 has announced it’s dropping out of the presidential run-off. The coalition’s also called on its representatives to pull out.The run-off between Hama Amadou and Incumbent President Mahamadou Issoufou was scheduled for March 20th. But the opposition is citing unfair treatment and a lack of an official announcement of the results. President Issoufou fell just short of an outright majority, whereas the opposition’s Amadou had to campaign from prison. He’s been in jail, accused of baby trafficking. The African Union election observer mission says the first round was fairly well organised, despite logistic issues and delays” (CCTV, 2016).
Here I will back into the past, as I have done with Museveni directly connected to violence in the past. Here it is more general. Some of this is to refresh the memory of the matter. And when the Government; back in the called all of this rubbish, it must have been some facts that the government doesn’t want into the light. There is certainty that this will shed some lights on matter of Corruption, Oil-Money, Election-Rigging and other saucy tales of the recent past. Enjoy!
Mabira Forrest and sugarcane deal:
President Museveni has gotten tired of multi-party-ism after the dissidence to agreement between Asian business deals to make the Mabira Forrest into a sugarcane farms. Especially President Museveni is tired of FDC and Dr. Kizza Besigye and how he is addressing the matters of Mabira Forrest. Because the NRM is happy with their trade between Government of Uganda and the Metha Group that Besigye and the public who has a feeling that Indian business are getting sweet-deals, but the ordinary workers are getting anything. Certain sources are saying that the Cabinet has made an agreement with the World Bank on the Bujagali Dam, but a part of that deal is to secure the Mabira Forrest. Museveni’s argument for the sale is to get the country into a middleclass county and in that way you have to use all the countries minerals and resources (WikiLeaks, 2007).
The PRA Suspect on bail:
On the 1st March of 2007 has re-arrested the main offenders from the Peoples’s Redemption Army (RPA). These offenders are suspected on both murder charges and treason charges. They we’re given bail, but the police didn’t treat them correctly. The Police beat them with batons and their defense lawyers were injured in the altercation. “Minister of Internal Affairs Ruhakana Rugunda said that the PRA had been released on bail for the treason charges against them, and that the Government respected this decision” (…) “Principal Judge James Ogoola said that he was: “concerned for the Court, for liberty in this country, and for the peace of this country” (WikiLeaks, 2007).
On the 13.06.2007 the High Court judge Caroline Okello granted the brother of Dr. Kizza Besigye bail. He is Joseph Musaizi Kifefe. He was charged at the time for being part of the uprising of the PRA (People’s Redemption Army). Further on he will stand trial for treason against the state. The lawyer for Kifefe has applied for bail on the grounds of medical condition of his client since he has blood cancer and need treatment at Mulago Hospital. On June 18 2007 he was discharged from Hospital after treatment that has lasted for over a month. The conditions for the bail was set for that he has to report to the Kampala Central Police Station, do this twice a month and register that cost $6,000, leaving behind his passport and not allowed to travel without permission. The issue for giving Kifefe bail was that the Government of Uganda feared the smear and loses appeal with the donor nations. Next date that is set for PRA suspects is set for July 16.2007 (WikiLeaks, 2007).
Immunization Corruption Case:
In January of 2006 the President Museveni requested that the Inspector General of Government (IGG) to investigate the former Minister of Health Jim Muhwezi. This was because of the alleged scheming money from the vaccine program of Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunization (GAVI). The funds for this program were instead spent on SIPIDIS – Constitutional Referendum and National Resistance Movement. President Museveni asked First Deputy Prime Minister Eriya Kategaya on how much of these funds we’re used for campaigning in 2005-2006. While the President pushed for IGG to investigate the Fund. Janet Museveni tried to stop this and support Jim Muhwezi. In April of 2007 the Justice Faith Mwondha that the former Health Ministery and other government officials had misused the GAVI funds. These persons were Jim Muhwezi, Mike Muluka, Alex Kamugisha and also the first lady niece Alice Kaboyo was part of the corruption case. The case was for the missing $900,000 from the $4,8M. 4th May 2007 Jim Muhwezi filed a petition against the case to block President Museveni’s case against the Gavi Corruption case. The argument being that it’s an independent institution that shouldn’t follow orders by the President and should get its mandate from the Constitution. The answer from the President came on the 16th May 2007 when he went to Constitutional Court to swear an affidavit that claims the corruption of Muhwezi and Kaboyo. At the same time the President claimed he hadn’t interfered in the investigation of the IGG. 18th May 2007 the arrest warrants on the Muhezi and Kaboyo was sent out. That also Kaboyo was implicated was not something the Ugandan public expected since she had been a part of the household of Museveni. Kaboyo claimed that she did this on verbal agreement with the President. Muhwezi was away when the arrest order came, but he turned to the police in 28th May 2007 from there he was sent to Luzira prison. Mukula and Kamugisha were granted bail on the 25th May 2007. The issue with this case was that the party of people took more money than where authorized to do and didn’t prove what they used that money for. Muhewezi is now seen as “not political responsible”. The Cabinet wanted just to “clip his wings” because they could be implicated by the case. This is something the President Museveni accepted (WikiLeaks, 2009).
4th November 2008 there was held by-election to fill the seat of the Kyaddondo North of the Wakiso District. “NRM candidate and son of Kibirige, Robert Kibirige Kasule, won the tightly contested race with 8,183 votes – just 60 more than DP candidate Regine Bakittee. Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) candidate Pallyne Nakabuye finished a distant third with 1,900 votes” (…) “Allegations of electoral malpractice, including ballot stuffing, bribery, multiple voting, and violence were widespread. In one confirmed incident, a polling station’s presiding officer and other officials were found at the site before the polls opened with a number of pre-marked ballots already in the box. The police and Electoral Commission Returning Officer were called in and the presiding officer was later arrested and the ballot box confiscated” (…) “DP Legal Advisor and Kampala District parliamentarian Erias Lukwago told the press that the election was not “free and fair” and vowed to seek legal redress” (…) “DP Secretary General Mathius Nsubuga contacted members of the diplomatic community to encourage missions to observe the election on December 4. Nsubuga expressed concerns about increased Ugandan military deployments in the area in the days leading up to the election and reported increased incidents of intimidation. He reported that Bakittee’s campaign manager had been knocked down in a hit-and-run car accident involving a government-marked vehicle” (WikiLeaks, 2008).
Media is bribed to write certain stories:
“De Temmerman expressed deep concern over the state of Ugandan journalism. “What is happening in the Ugandan press is pure exploitation and fabrication,” she commented. De Temmerman said that journalists are often paid to write stories aimed at destroying political rivals or advancing private economic agendas. She pointed to coverage of the recent National Social Security Fund’s questionable purchase of land belonging to Security Minister Amama Mbabazi and approved by Finance Minister Ezra Suruma (reftel). She said that a “considerable amount of money” exchanged hands as Parliament’s probe moved forward and that a number of her journalists had been offered bribes to “hit Mbabazi hard.” (…)”“The Red Pepper is 90 percent fabricated,” De Temmerman affirmed (Note: The Red Pepper is a salacious tabloid that is used by the government and private individuals to malign enemies. End note.). She expressed concern that the paper’s readership was rising and that some Ugandans might actually mistake it for factual journalism” (WikiLeaks, 2008).
Local Council elections in 2009:
On 21th May of 2009 was there held in 79 districts that will fill the new seats in local councils and sub-country level. Observation teams saw this: “Voter turnout was low and there were very few contentious contests. However, there were a number of irregularities and concerns that in a larger, more controversial election could be cause for conflict or possibly a rejection of the results. Observation teams reported that several polling stations opened late due to tardy polling officials, missing or delayed voting materials, and rain. Observers also recorded problems with the voter identification process, including multiple voters without voter identification cards or other identity documents, missing names, un-alphabetized voter registries, and conflict between polling officials and party agents over the identity of undocumented voters (Note: There were allegations that the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party’s officials brought people to the polling stations without identification to vote in the place of deceased individuals still on the list. End note)” (…)”Monitors reported inconsistent ballot box sealing procedures, mostly believed to be the result of poor training rather than fraud. In some instances, polling officials mistakenly used regular ink instead of the indelible ink to mark voters’ fingers. In at least two cases, individuals responsible for marking voters’ fingers were absent from their posts. Many polling officials, party agents, and Uganda Police Force (UPF) constables appeared to lack a strong understanding of their roles and responsibilities in the voting process and thus failed at times to properly enforce electoral laws. This, combined with limited voter education and information, often led to confusion and in some isolated instances verbal confrontation. In one district, observers reported a more serious case of ballot stuffing. Although observers reported these findings to the District Electoral Registrar, the results from the station were still considered valid and were included in the final count” (WikiLeaks, 2009).
“On October 22, Uganda’s main opposition newspaper published excerpts of an internal NRM report accusing core EC officials of conspiring with opposition parties to place “ghost” voters and “phantom” villages on Uganda’s voter rolls. Opposition parties have identified a new EC as a prerequisite for their participation in the 2011 elections because they view the current EC as pro-NRM (refs. A, B and C). Various iterations of the NRM report accuse the EC of placing 500,000 to one million pro-opposition “ghost” voters on the voter registry to force the NRM’s Presidential candidate into a second round election run off in 2011. The report singles out EC Secretary Sam Rwakoojo, Legal Council Alfred Okello Oryem, and a handful of mid-level officials for corruption, fraud and conflict of interest, and recommends firing Rwakoojo “forthwith as he as done the most to damage (the) NRM.” (WikiLeaks, 2009).
“The NRM membership campaign probably also serves to strengthen Museveni and Mbabazi’s power within the party. NRM leaders are likely looking to prevent an embarrassing repeat of the 2006 legislative election when 37 NRM members, frustrated by the lack of internal democracy within the party, defeated hand-picked NRM candidates by running for parliament as political independents. With the registration campaign, party members could be identified earlier and threatened with permanent alienation from the NRM if they bolted to seek election as independents. Mbabazi may also use his control of the registration campaign to boost his own embattled position within the party by withholding registration to those in the NRM who do not support him. Mbabazi’s position as Secretary General is up for re-election in late-2010, and he will likely face stiff competition for the NRM’s contested top spot” (WikiLeaks, 2009).
The day before riots:
“The government closed five radio stations on September 11th two CBS stations plus Suubi FM, Radio Sapientia, and Radio Two Akaboozi Kubiri – for violating Uganda’s Electronic Media act. At least two other stations – Radio Simba and WBS TV – have been warned to censor their reporting or risk closure” (…)“On September 11, well known Radio One talk show host Robert Kalundi Sserumaga was abducted by unidentified assailants riding in an unmarked sedan as he left the WBS studio. He was later dumped in front of a police station and arrested” (WikiLeaks, 2009).
Riots in Kampala:
“Rioting in Kampala subsided on September 12 after the King of Buganda postponed his visit to the disputed district of Kayunga” (…) “There was sporadic gunfire during the morning of September 12 on the outskirts of Kampala, as well as road closures and checkpoints near the city center amidst a heavy police presence. Several police posts and dozens of vehicles were burnt during the riots. One reportedly Asian-owned paint factory was also torched” (…) “On September 12 Buganda Prime Minister John Baptist Walusimbi asked the Inspector General of Police, Kale Kayihura to “restrain his officers and men from indiscriminate shooting against unarmed civilians in order to cool the temperatures.” (…) “On September 14, state media reported 21 dead and over 100 injured (including 13 police officers) during two days of rioting. Some of those brought to Kampala’s overflowing Mulago hospital, including a two year old child who was killed, were hit in their homes by stray bullets” (…) “An estimated 550 to 650 people were arrested during the riots. Local media reports only 82 of these have been charged, meaning that the rest should either be charged today or released” (…) “Museveni also accused Libyan leader Muamar Qadhafi of trying to destabilize Uganda by funneling funds to the Baganda as payback for Museveni’s opposition to Qadhafi’s United States of Africa proposal” (WikiLeaks, 2009).
President Museveni on alleged torture:
On 14th October 2009 President Musveni told the press that those who are torturing Ugandans will be severely punished. The president does this because he want to squash the allegations that been made in UHRC that agencies of the state is violating the Human rights. Reuters also questioned the President on the arrest and beating of the journalist Robert Kalundi Sserumaga. Later on 18th October 2009 NRM spokesman Ofwono Opondo he was ashamed of the actions of the UPDF, the Police, Prisons and intelligence agency. Opondo has claimed that he didn’t Understand why this was happening since the government agencies are more educated then before therefore it’s a shock that they torture the people they are arresting. IGP Gen Kale Kayihura on the 17th October he had to change the Rapid Response Unit(RRU) in the Police after claims of torture of alleged corruption case against the Executive Director of UNFA (Uganda National Forestry Authority) and his wife where the RRU is suspected of detaining them for a week and threathen to torture them. The RRU director David Magara was because of this moved from his position into a leadership role in the CID (Criminal Investigation Directorat). In Hoima the mayor who is a part of the FDC Atugonza is in proceedings against the state for a torture case where he was attacked by JATT (Joint Anti-Terrorist Team) in April 2009. This was a closed session from the public. The Mayor of Hoima claimed in court that he was sent to a “safe house” and tortured there by the CMI (Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence). Because of this Dr. Kizza Besigye has said that he would make litigation against Minister of Security Amama Mbabazi for the treatment of Atugonza by security agencies he controls (WikiLeaks, 2009).
New Districts in 2009:
“On November 11, Minister of Lands Adolf Mwesige asked Parliament to approve the creation of seven new administrative districts on top of the 14 districts already slated for creation in 2009 and 2010. If approved, this will bring the total number of administrative districts to 101, or three times the 33 districts existing when Museveni took power in 1986” (…) “According to the Commissioner for Local Councils, Patrick Mutabwire, all of the 39 districts created between 2005 and 2009 depend on the central government to cover 90 percent of their expedenditures. At the moment, government service provision in new districts remains poor or nonexistent” (…) “According to the Commisioner for Local Councils, new district start up costs range from USD 300,000 for smaller districts to USD 1 million for larger ones, and each new district employs between 250 to 500 local government employees/ new districts are attractive job creation mechanisms for the Ugandan government. These appointments provide a chance for the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) to reward specific constituencies and individuals, or entice opposition members back into the NRM camp” (WikiLeaks, 2009).
GoU and ENI deal – Mbabazi connection:
“The report claims that Mbabazi is using a front company belonging to the European owner of Asante Oil, and that ENI representatives distributed “fat envelopes” to a number of visitors – including Energy Ministry officials, representatives from the Office of the President, journalists, and Bunyoro Kingdom officers – while installed at a safari lodge in Murchison Falls National Park close to where drilling has occurred. NOTE: EconOff witnessed ENI’s presence at this lodge during a trip to Murchison in early December. END NOTE. Much of the report highlights ENI’s Libyan ties and accuses Qadhafi of funneling money to the Bunyoro and Buganda Kingdoms to destabilize the Museveni regime. The final two sections of the report purport to “show how ENI corrupts a country’s leadership and forces them to take unpopular selfish policies,” and the “dangers” of an ENI/Libya deal” (WikiLeaks, 2010).
Tullow oil corruption:
“On 14 December, Tim O’Hanlon, Tullow Oil’s Regional Vice President for Africa met with Ambassador Lanier to discuss recent developments in oil exploration in Uganda (see ref. A for background). O’Hanlon explained that the $10+ billion required to produce, refine, and export oil from Uganda far exceeds the financial capacity of Tullow and other mid-sized exploration companies currently working in Uganda. Tullow is therefore considering selling a portion of its Uganda holdings to a larger international oil partner, and has unofficially “short listed” three major companies as potential partners – including Exxon Mobil, Total (France), and the Chinese National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC). After Tullow concludes its process of selecting a partner, likely in January or February 2010, Tullow will present the “bids” to the Uganda government and work with Ugandan officials to gain approval of the much larger oil partner” (…)”O’Hanlon referred to Minister Mbabazi, who facilitated an August 2009 meeting between ENI and Tullow, as ENI’s “patron” in Uganda, and said ENI created a shell company in London – TKL Holdings – through frontmen Mark Christian and Moses Seruje – to funnel money to Mbabazi. O’Hanlon also noted what he described as Onek’s recent unsolicited “grandstanding” before Parliament in support of ENI, and similar statements of support during a recent Indo-African energy conference in New Dehli. Onek made impossible claims at the Indo-African conference regarding ENI’s ability to export 100,000 – 200,000 barrels per day within two years” (…)”O’Hanlon said ENI’s Uganda deal is part of a wider effort, facilitated by Heritage, to gain control of all oil fields on both sides of Lake Albert. In addition to its exploration blocks in Uganda, Tullow claims to have exploration rights on the Congolese side of Lake Albert” (WikiLeaks, 2009).
This here must been seen as interesting, doest it? Aye? Especially so close to the elections, I am sure the local media would not like this to come out, especially the New Vision and such. I am sure Amama Mbabazi will not like this, but the history is the history, and people should know this, so you make the right decision on the polling day! Peace.
WikiLeaks – ‘UGANDA: BESIGYE’S DETAINED BROTHER GRANTED BAIL’ (03.07.2007) link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/07KAMPALA1089_a.html
WikiLeaks – ‘UGANDA: IF A TREE FALLS IN MABIRA FOREST, WHO WILL HEAR IT?’ (02.05.2007) link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/07KAMPALA744_a.html
WikiLeaks – ‘RESPECTED EDITOR RESIGNS; GIVES VIEWS ON UGANDAN MEDIA’ (20.11.2008) link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/08KAMPALA1524_a.html
WikiLeaks – ‘UGANDA: CORRUPTION SCANDAL’S POLITICAL RAMIFICATIONS’ (29.05.2009) link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/07KAMPALA909_a.html
WikiLeaks – ‘UGANDA: MUSEVENI AND NRM SPEAK OUT AGAINST TORTURE’ (27.10.2009) link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09KAMPALA1249_a.html
WikiLeaks – ‘UGANDA: GOVERNMENT RE-ARRESTS PRA SUSPECTS’ (02.03.2007) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/07KAMPALA367_a.html
WikiLeaks – ‘UGANDA: DEATHS, DETENTIONS, AND DISTRUST AFTER KAMPALA RIOTING’ (14.09.2009) link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09KAMPALA1055_a.html
WikiLeaks – ‘UGANDA: DISTRICT PROLIFERATION AS POLITICAL PATRONAGE’ (20.11.2009) link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09KAMPALA1326_a.html
WikiLeaks – ‘LOCAL COUNCIL ELECTIONS IN UGANDA SIGNAL TROUBLE IN 2011’ (10.06.2009) link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09KAMPALA576_a.html
WikiLeaks – ‘CONTENTIOUS UGANDAN BY-ELECTION AND ITS LESSONS FOR 2011’ (18.12.2008) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/08KAMPALA1613_a.html
WikiLeaks – ‘UGANDA: ALLEGATIONS OF “GHOST” VOTERS HAUNT ELECTORAL COMMISSION’ (17.11.2009) link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09KAMPALA1323_a.html
WikiLeaks – ‘POLICE ARREST MAYOR (AGAIN) AND TEAR GAS OPPOSITION IN WESTERN UGANDA’ (10.12.2009) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09KAMPALA1391_a.html
WikiLeaks – ‘UGANDA: SECURITY REPORT DETAILS OIL SECTOR CORRUPTION’ (13.01.2010) link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/10KAMPALA19_a.html
WikiLeaks – ‘UGANDA: TULLOW SEES CORRUPTION IN OIL SALE’ (17.12.2009) link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09KAMPALA1401_a.html
WikiLeaks – ‘UGANDA: NRM LAUNCHES MEMBERSHIP REGISTRATION DRIVE’ (23.09.2009) link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09KAMPALA1097_a.html
The first president after independence from Belgium in Democratic Republic of Congo was assainated on this day in 1961. That is why I have this post on him today as rememberence of him. Because we should not forget his contribution to equality and freedom in DRC. That is why I will add on his last letter written on 4th January 1961 from Thysville prison, the letter was sent to Special Representive A.M. Dayal, here it is:
Mr. Special Representative,
On December 27 last, I had the pleasure of receiving a visit from the Red Cross, which occupied itself with my plight and with the plight of the other parliamentarians imprisoned together with me. I told them of the inhuman conditions we are living in.
Briefly, the situation is as follows. I am here with seven other parliamentarians. In addition there are with us Mr. Okito, President of the Senate, a Senate employee and a driver. Altogether there are ten of us. We have been locked up in damp cells since December 2, 1960 and at no time have we been permitted to leave them. The meals that we are brought twice a day are very bad. For three or four days 1 ate nothing but a banana. I told this to the Red Cross medical officer sent to me. I spoke to him in the presence of a colonel from Thysville. I demanded that fruit be bought on my own money because the food that I am given here is atrocious. Although the medical officer gave his permission, the military authorities guarding me turned down my request, stating that they were following orders from Kasavubu and Colonel Mobutu. The medical officer from Thysville prescribed a short walk every evening so that I could leave my cell for at least a little while. But the colonel and the district commissioner denied me this. The clothes that I wear have not been washed for thirty-five days. I am forbidden to wear shoes.
In a word, the conditions we are living in are absolutely intolerable and run counter to all rules. Moreover, I receive no news of my wife and I do not even know where she is. Normally I should have had regular visits from her as is provided for by the prison regulations in force in the Congo. On the other hand, the prison regulations clearly state that not later than a day after his arrest a prisoner must be brought before the investigator handling his case. Five days after this a prisoner must again be arraigned before a judge, who must decide whether to remand him in custody or not. In any case, a prisoner must have a lawyer.
The criminal code provides that a prisoner is released from prison if five days after he is taken into custody the judge takes no decision on remanding him. The same happens in cases when the first decision (which is taken five days after a person is arrested) is not reaffirmed within fifteen days. Since our arrest on December 1 and to this day we have not been arraigned before a judge or visited by a judge. No arrest warrant has been shown to us. We are kept simply in a military camp and have been here for thirty-four days. We are kept in military detention cells. The criminal code is ignored as are the prison rules. Ours is purely a case of arbitrary imprisonment. I must add that we possess parliamentary immunity.
Such is the situation and I ask you to inform the United Nations Secretary-General of it. I remain calm and hope the United Nations will help us out of this situation. I stand for reconciliation between all the children of this country.
I am writing this letter secretly on bad paper. I have the honour to be, etc.
Source: Patrice Lumumba, The Truth about a Monstrous Crime of the Colonialists, Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1961, pp. 68-69.