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Archive for the tag “RDC”

RDC: Message de L’Assemblee Pleniere Ordinaire des Eveques Membres de la CENCO (23.06.2017)

DRC: High Commissioner Zeid welcomes creation of international investigation into Kasais (23.06.2017)

GENEVA, Switzerland, June 23, 2017 – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Friday said the creation of an international investigation into allegations of gross violations and abuses in the Kasai regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo sends a strong message to the perpetrators that the international community is serious about bringing them to justice.

The resolution, passed by consensus, in the UN Human Rights Council, calls on the High Commissioner to appoint a team of international experts to investigate “alleged human rights violations and abuses, and violations of international humanitarian law in the Kasai regions”. Since 2016, some 1.3 million people from the Kasais have been internally displaced by the violence, while some 30,000 refugees have fled to Angola.

“We fully support the establishment of an international investigation by the Human Rights Council as a step forward in identifying the perpetrators of gross violations and bringing them to justice,” High Commissioner Zeid said.

“I will present a comprehensive report with the team’s findings to the Human Rights Council. The team will conduct investigations in a fully independent manner, in accordance with international standards, as mandated by the Council. The resolution also clearly states the importance of ensuring the protection of all those who cooperate with the team, which underlines the need for the team of experts to operate independently. We expect and count on the full cooperation of the authorities, particularly in providing unfettered access to all sites, files, people and places.”

“The victims – those who have been killed, maimed, subjected to terrible violence and forced from their homes – deserve justice,” Zeid said.

The High Commissioner added that the UN Human Rights Office will also continue its monitoring, reporting and technical assistance activities in the DRC.

The resolution requests the High Commissioner to provide an oral update to the Council at its March 2018 session followed by a comprehensive report in June 2018.

UN Human Rights Council – Tunisia Draft Resolution: “Technical Assistance to the Democratic Republic of Congo and accountability concerning the events in the Kasai Region” (23.06.2017)

UPDF: Military Police has not taken over Police Powers and Resources (21.06.2017)

Tired of President Museveni’s “1986”!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Uganda: UPF Circular – “Individual Responsibility for Court Awards Arising out of Police Action” (13.06.2017)

Uganda: UPF Circular – “Arresting People for the Offence of Idle and Disorderly” (13.06.2017)

#SOTNUG17: A look into the Policing the NRM Way!

He was at it again for the 31st time or 30th since he didn’t do this in first year after the coup d’etat. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. That being the old-man-with-the-hat having his first State of the Union in 1987. Times are changing but he is still not caring about facts or using his tricks to make himself look like a genius and savior. Even if there are far from it and makes sure the others are to blame. That is what President Museveni do. Therefore, I am just looking at parts of his speech, since there are many details and many things you could put a finger on and discuss. As it could be as simple as explaining the roads funds and research the pledged roads, which he said today was all paid by Government of Uganda (GoU), while if you look over the previous funding of the roads you would see the money might be foreign. Instead, I will look the security issues, the torture and the Policing. Because it is so important and the man trust IGP Kale Kayihura so much, who has made the Police a long-arm of the ruling regime. With that in mind, I had to focus on this and not on all the other subjects that the President spoke about. Take a look!

The Police do not have to wait for the crime to be committed. Through good intelligence, most crimes can be prevented. Most of the suspects arrested after the murder of Kawesi and others, even if they were not involved in the killing of Kawesi, they had committed other capital offences, many of which carry death sentences or life imprisonment. Why, then, were they still in circulation? That means somebody was not doing his or her work” (Museveni, 2017).

Mr. President, why wasn’t these men caught for the other cases, than the murder case of the AIGP Andrew Kaweesi. This case has been public and there been an awesome amount of possible suspects. These has been hundreds and even the kids of suspects has been detained. Therefore, that all of these might have other crimes on their hands, that might be true, but still they all could be innocent. So the President has decided their fate without trial, which is a rare, but common practice by the President.

The other day, I was in Kalerwe and the youth there were complaining of the Police arresting them for being “idle and disorderly”. This must stop completely. Some of the youth are idle because they do not have jobs. Why arrest them for that? The revolutionary should be like “fish in water”. A revolutionary should never be “fish in no water”” (Museveni, 2017).

As seen how the Police are working there are reports and studies on the subject, as the Police are the long-hand of the regime under the President. This can be quoted by: “One sub-county official explained that the activities of crime preventers are handled at the village level and news of them doesn’t reach his office, while another said they are too informal to discuss in a semi-structured interview with me. What happens in the village is not of concern, so long as it is not organized violent crime or resistance to the government. Although security groups are framed as local responses to local problems, the government retains the right to intervene and police their activities, frequently making arrests in relation to groups’ night patrols, the degree of force they employ and the appropriateness of their involvement in interpersonal conflicts” (Tapscott, 2017). So the are local policing that are framing the locals. These seems like the ones the President are talking about. Just similar stories even made the Police themselves in April 2017: “Tools like pangas, hammers and pick axes were provided to carry out their missions. The suspects also said that, the many youths were collected from parts of Kawempe Kalerwe Namugoona among others areas specifically to break into houses and once you were in the gang there was no way out. The IGP said criminals have used crime to be a business venture, and after the tension caused by these goons the police has taken action, and over 100 arrested and 50 appeared before court. Since then areas of Masaka are secure” (Uganda Police Force, 2017). So there apparently gangs, that are idle and unemployed as well. Certainly, there could be incidents where the police detain and arrest youths as a way of extorting them, since the payment for being a Police Officer in Uganda isn’t that splendid. This has been reported a lot of times and stories been told on the social media from all parts of Uganda.

The issue of alleged torture by the Police, was addressed by myself in the usual NRM/NRA way. We always combine educational methods (sensitization) and administrative methods (punishments, demotions, etc,). When these reports came up, I carried out analysis of torture and how it, actually, impedes successful investigations. That is a very powerful message because it addresses the whys and the why-nots of an issue. It addresses the “Policeman of the mind” rather than just the “Policeman of the body”. I saw some NGOs and allied persons pouring scorn on my methods and recommending only fascist methods of arrests and imprisonment without education. Could these “experts in-everything” tell us why the UPDF is able to operate in Somalia, Central African Republic, Congo, South Sudan, etc. without complaining? Is it because of high pay or fear of imprisonment? Do these “know-it-alls” remember that our Army is a volunteer Army? Do they know that one can make much more money in the private sector than in the army? it, actually, impedes successful investigations. That is a very powerful message because it addresses the whys and the why-nots of an issue. It addresses the “Policeman of the mind” rather than just the “Policeman of the body”. I saw some NGOs and allied persons pouring scorn on my methods and recommending only fascist methods of arrests and imprisonment without education. Could these “experts in-everything” tell us why the UPDF is able to operate in Somalia, Central African Republic, Congo, South Sudan, etc. without complaining? Is it because of high pay or fear of imprisonment? Do these “know-it-alls” remember that our Army is a volunteer Army? Do they know that one can make much more money in the private sector than in the army? Let the “know-it-alls” be informed that the UPDF does what it does because of conviction. Okunyonyora (to explain, to sensitize) has been the life and blood of Fronasa, of the NRA, of the UPDF. To end this point, be informed that Uganda is free of war and it will remain so and the spike in lawlessness is being defeated even before we fill all the gaps and will be totally defeated when the gaps are filled” (Musveni, 2017).

The NRM Way are clearly not a healthy one, even if this is reported through the wits of NGO’s who know’s to much and cannot be trusted. This is what the President himself said. Because the UPDF are such wiseguys, since they are there voluntarily, But here is some quick reports of the torture, that has been also rampant part of the security organizations at places like Nalufenya. So this has been a discussed theme, but show’s the part of how the State in Uganda uses the Police Force and also other organizations in oppressive behavior.

Like these two reports: 

In similar fashion, presently, there is the recruitment of persons, undergoing rigorous training for purported legal purposes. Under the auspices of the Uganda Police, ‘crime preventers’ are being recruited and trained, ofcially, to fght crime.14 However, a critical assessment of this group reveals that it is a band of civilian vigilantes recruited by the government aimed at intimidating or reducing support for the political opposition through illegal means, including torture” (Chapter Four, P: 13, 2016).

Various reports indicate the following as some of the patterns of torture in Uganda.

i) Being held incommunicado – where a person is arrested, detained and no access is allowed and no opportunity to communicate with other people.

ii) Extra-judicial executions – where suspects are executed without going through the due process of law and in most cases where they lack sufficient evidence on a case.

iii) Threats and intimidation through text messages and phone calls.

iv) Enforced disappearance – where a person is arrested in context of terrorism and treason suspects then disappears with trace and explanation.

v) Cases of rape by government and rebel forces during the conflict in Northern Uganda” (ACTV, P: 21, 2015).

This is just the sensitization and the NRM way of torture, that is well-known, so when the President speaks so found of his army. I have a hard time believing him or trusting his words. Seems more like promising words and praising of UPDF. Since it solves everything, the Operation Wealth Creation are even parts of the UPDF. That should make you think and also consider the places of the army. Since the army and police force aren’t only there for security reasons, but also for political reasons. That is why the President has to praise the army.

I think this is enough for now! Peace.

Reference:

African Centre for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (ACTV) – ‘THE SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS ON THE PREVALENCE OF TORTURE IN UGANDA’ (November 2015)

Chapter Four – ‘Free Expression and Assembly in Peril ahead of 2016 Polls’ (2016)

Tapscott, Rebecca – ‘The Government Has Long Hands: Institutionalized Arbitrariness and Local Security Initiatives in Northern Uganda’ (06.03.2017) link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/dech.12294/full

Uganda Police Force – ‘MASAKA, KAMPALA CRIMINALS GANGS HAVE CONFESSED’ (24.04.2017) link: http://www.upf.go.ug/masaka-kampala-criminals-gangs-confessed/

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni – ‘State of The Nation Address’ – Republic of Uganda, Kampala (06.06.2017)

In Uganda the President’s family directly involved in the Gold Industry and the export of conflict minerals!

Basically what we do is taking advantage that I’m in government, it’s not a conflict of interest, I don’t use my position for conflict of interest issues, but it’s an advantage in itself.”Jackson Mayanja, TMT Mining and DGSM employee, August 2016

When you thought the Mineral Industry in the Republic of Uganda couldn’t be questioned more. There is a Global Witness report on the subject. That clearly shows signs of common cronyism and National Resistance Movement (NRM) who uses their connections to get better licenses and deals. The NRM and President Museveni, together with family members are in the midst of the transactions surrounding the Mineral Industry. Especially considering also the well-known fact that Ugandan government are helping with exports from South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo. This been done with shaky licensee deals.

The report is spelling how Gen. Salim Selah or President Yoweri Museveni are parts of the inside the mineral trading and export from Uganda. The other NRM cronies and the brown envelopes that pays for the licenses and the insider knowledge of DGSM gives an edge. Instead of being ethical and protocol through the laws, instead it is more of the personal connections the owners of licenses has. Take a look!

Gen. Salim Selah and Ragga Dee connected with minerals:

Senior political figures appear ultimately to call the shots. Their patronage facilitates access to the sector and allows investors, including political elites, to flaunt the law. In one example, a small group of Belgian and Ugandan businessmen, with close ties to the President, were found to be shipping out hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of gold, apparently paying barely any taxes and failing to disclose the origins of the gold. Their exports may include gold which could be fuelling conflict in neighbouring DRC and South Sudan. In the absence of government data and evidence of rigorous supply chain checks it is not possible to tell” (…) “In one example, an Australian home loans broker with no evident experience of mining, was able to secure licences for over 6000km2 of land (more than any other company or individual Global Witness has seen) by making payments to DGSM officials, and later teamed up with pop star turned businessman, Ragga Dee, who has close ties to the president’s brother Salim Saleh” (Global Witness, P: 7, 2017).

Bwindi National Park:

One licensee is NRM MP Elizabeth Karungi, whose story is emblematic of how well placed individuals claim to be able to use their political connections for personal gain. The woman representative for Kanungu District told Global Witness that she was able to carry out mining activities in Bwindi because the former tourist minister Maria Mutagamba was a “good good friend.” It is remarkable that the DGSM saw fit to issue her with a licence in this area despite the obvious threat to the wildlife there. In a letter to Global Witness dated January 2017, Mutagamba claimed that she did not know who Elizabeth Karungi MP was, however Karungi was on the Committee of Tourism, Trade and Industry which held meetings with the Minister during her period in office. The DGSM Commissioner told Global Witness that mining activities in national parks require the permission of the Uganda Wildlife Authority”. (Global Witness, P:10, 2017)

Kilembe National Park:

One of these is the Tibet Hima Mining Company, which won a multi-million dollar contract to re-open the former colonial Kilembe Copper Mines on the border of Rwenzori in 2013. Two DGSM staff told Global Witness that the President instructed the government to partner with Tibet Hima. Global Witness wrote to President Museveni in December 2016 but has not received a response. As part of the deal, Tibet Hima also received two mining exploration licences that run deep into the national park and right up to the DRC border. The DGSM Commissioner told Global Witness that Tibet Hima had been awarded the concession through a competitive bidding process” (…) “As well as obtaining exploration licences inside a World Heritage site, Tibet Hima appears to have been carrying out operations at Kilembe – one of the largest mines in the country – without an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), which is required by law. The company produced an environmental ‘project brief’ in February 2015, but this did not cover the activities witnessed by Global Witness staff at the site in November 2015” (Global Witness, P: 11-15, 2017).

Africa Gold Refinery:

African Gold Refinery is run by a small group of Belgian and Ugandan businessmen, including former government minister Richard Kaijuka, who are managing to ship hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of gold out of Uganda without disclosing its origin and paying very little tax in the process. They are the owners and managers of a newly built gold refinery on the shores of Lake Edward near Entebbe airport. Remarkably, Barnabas Taremwa: brother-in-law to Salim Saleh, Museveni’s most famous brother and Uganda’s de facto number two, told Global Witness that he had helped negotiate the company’s huge tax breaks with the government (corroborated by documents seen by Global Witness) and set up supply routes for the refinery” (Global Witness, P: 27, 2017).

When an undercover Global Witness staff member spoke to Kamuntu in November 2016, he claimed that he continued to export 10,000 tonnes of iron ore a month out of Uganda under the waiver he received from the President. He told us he ships out minerals as “samples” in order to avoid taxes. He explained that he was the only person in Uganda able to export iron ore. He also told Global Witness that he deals in minerals originating from the DRC, labelling them as Ugandan to get around regulations. Kamuntu said that he exports tantalite from the DRC, labelling it as iron ore to pay less tax. If this is true then conflict minerals from Eastern DRC could be entering the international supply chain via Kamuntu’s shipments. Perhaps most remarkable of all is the fact that Kamuntu told us that “as a local person” he had paid US$10,000 to a third party to get a meeting with the President, in order to seek the permission he needed to continue with his business. (The price for foreign investors is US$15,000, according to Kamuntu.) A letter from the President to the Mining Minister explains that the two met at a private Chamber of Mines and Petroleum event. Global Witness wrote to President Museveni and Mr Kamuntu in December 2016 but never received a response” (Global Witness, P: 42, 2017).

AGR ownership:

Alain Goetz, who is also the CEO of the company, a Belgian national, is one of the most famous dealers of Congolese gold in recent history. During the 90s the Alain and his father Tony, who died in 2005, were reported as dominating gold exports from the Congo through their networks to Belgium and later Dubai” (…) “Mr Barnabas Taremwa, who previously worked for AGR is the brother in law of Salim Saleh, the President’s brother. AGR told Global Witness in a letter dated January 2017 that Taremwa’s sister and Salim Saleh had divorced three years ago, seemingly in an attempt to distance themselves from the General. However, Salim Saleh told Global Witness that “Barnabas Taremwa is still my brother in law and it is false and an insult to me for you to state that I divorced his sister.” (…) “Richard Henry Kaijuka is the Chairman of AGR.160 According to an article in Africa Energy in June 2011, Mr Kaijuka is “a childhood friend of President Yoweri Museveni, who fell out with the regime after he opposed a controversial constitutional amendment in 2005 that removed presidential term limits.” (Global Witness, P: 73, 2017).

Infinity Minerals:

Ragga Dee, whose real name is Daniel Kyeyune Kazibwe, is a popstar turned businessman, famous as much for being the first musician in Uganda to own a Hummer as he is for his music. Ragga Dee does not appear on any of the company documents relating to Ellie’s companies, however while discussing his business interests in an interview with Uganda’s Observer newspaper in 2015 Ragga Dee said, “I also mine for gold under my other company, Infinity Minerals” (…) “Global Witness has identified two sales of Infinity’s rights to other investors after Ellie left Uganda. In the first instance a company called Afrisam Cement Uganda Limited paid US$75,000 for prospecting access to licence number EL1083 which was held by Infinity” (…) “The whole episode raises serious questions about the way that licences are awarded, the licence transfer process, and the accuracy of the mining cadastre. If the information on the cadastre is inaccurate or wilfully misrepresented this has serious impacts for the governance of the sector. While AfriSam appears to have received its licence through the proper channels at the DGSM questions remain about the way that Sunbird acquired its licence. In a letter dated January 2017, Salim Saleh told Global Witness that the Big Picture Corporation, a company which is part owned by his wife, is “one of the companies which duly applied for, and inherited, the expired Licences previously held by Infinity Minerals Limited, under TN 2370.” According to the Cadastre, however, this application, which was made after the licence had expired, was rejected” (Global Witness, P: 48 – 51, 2017).

Special Export:

The latest OAG report noted that during the financial year 2015/16, the DGSM assessed royalty and awarded export permits for only 93kgs of gold worth just over US$3 million. However, reports from the Customs and Excise Department of Uganda Revenue Authority indicated that 5,316 kgs of gold had been exported with a total value of US$195 million. Accordingly, Government should have collected between US$2 million and US$9.7 million in royalties depending on the applicable rates of 1% and 5% for the imported or locally mined gold respectively” (Global Witness, P: 74, 2017).

If you didn’t think there was anything fishy in the trades, in the Mineral Ministry and the Mineral Resources Exports in Uganda. This here reports proves the amounts of gold exported combined with the gold extracted. That these numbers doesn’t add-up. This together with the NRM leadership and the closest partners in and around the President. Therefore, it is even his own family involved in the mineral industry. This reports is saying what people and rumors has been, therefore, the implications of the government, the president in the business, and also they are involved in exporting and cleaning conflict minerals for the exporters of South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo. This is not surprising for the ones following the situation. Peace.

Reference:

Global Witness – Under-Mined (June 2017)

RDC: UN Calls for an end to the Violence in the Kasai Provinces (02.06.2017)

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