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Archive for the tag “Reconcilliation”

FUF – The struggle to redeem and renew Uganda continues (Letter from Prof. Amii Omara-Otunnu)

Written by FUF Chairman:

Prof. Amii Omara-Otunnu.

I write as Chairman of Freedom and Unity Front (FUF) to report to members, friends and well wishers that the organization that was formed on October 6, 2013 to perform the historical missions to champion national reconciliation and healing, to banish the culture of violence and militarism that has blighted the lives of millions of citizens through gratuitous use of force, to fashion institutional mechanisms for democracy, accountability and checks and balances on power, to inspire hope and faith in the future, and to seek understanding and solidarity from the international community to assist us in our struggle, is well and robust and continues to grow in leaps and bounds.

We formed FUF because we were gravely concerned about, among others, the fragmentation of the country through divide and rule tactics employed by bankrupt politicians; the growing cancer of corruption that is disabling the country; the chilling assassinations and torture of political opponents; the devastating military adventures into neighboring countries; fostering of poverty as means of control; and the muzzling of free and independent press in the country.

Why has FUF inspired so much hope and following since its inception? This is essentially due to five main reasons.

First, it is because of its vision, mission and objectives, which are informed by ethical values and principles of compassion, tolerance, inclusiveness, reciprocal respect, equality of treatment, social justice, economic empowerment, political emancipation and unity of the country.

Second, because its leadership is committed to listen, to see and to feel the suffering and aspirations of the great majority of people and to take into account the experiences of people to fashion strategies and policies that would enable individuals and groups to engage meaningfully in affairs that affect their lives.

Third, because a cross-section of people see that the leadership of FUF is dedicated to a new approach to politics, which is designed to bridge the gap between rhetoric and practice. This imposes upon the leadership a duty to lead by example. In other words, the FUF leadership holds that it is not sufficient to profess to stand for laudable goals; but that we must walk the talk in the ways we conduct ourselves and treat others.

Fourth, because the leadership of FUF has made it clear that the struggle to oust the current dictatorship is neither personal nor for the purpose of simply changing musical chairs. For FUF, the new Uganda must be a country in which all those who live in it are treated with respect and dignity and enjoy all rights equally.

And fifth, because the leadership of FUF is driven by a wider vision and an abiding desire to see an Africa at peace with herself and at peace with the rest of the world. Accordingly, we seek to form constructive partnerships with the international community that would foster international peace, human security and stability not only in Uganda and the Great Lakes Region of Africa, but in the entire continent.

Since the establishment of Freedom and Unity Front, a lot has been achieved. This includes enormous progress in the diplomatic and political arenas.

In the international arena, we have managed to publicize the duplicity and indeed criminality of President Museveni policies that have resulted in the loss of millions of lives and the plunder of resources, as well as in undermining international peace and security in the Great Lakes and Horn Region of Africa.

We have managed to sensitize people to the fact that the current regime in Uganda is a threat to international peace and security in the Great Lakes Region and Horn of Africa.

In the difficult task of promoting freedoms and of bringing together people of various ideological, social, religious and regional backgrounds, FUF has worked diligently to form practical and productive working relationships with other Ugandan groups for the common and greater good of the country.

Arguably the most robust relationship with various groups is the partnership between the Federal Alliance for Democracy and Development (FADDU) and FUF. We have done this by acknowledging, respecting and celebrating the diversities in the country and by recognizing that Uganda is big enough for all her children regardless of where and how they were born.

The experience of Uganda, combined with the ethical values and principles that guide members of FUF, have instilled in them a deep determination to fashion a formula that would not simply remove the current dictatorship, but also curtail abuse of power while at the same time creating enabling environment in which Ugandans can exercise to the optimum, fundamental rights and freedoms as citizens.

As indicated in FUF’s Manifesto, this would require radical decentralization of powers — not simply delegation of authority — to the regions.

FUF is committed to a formula of decentralization as the most reasonable means of minimizing abuse of power while at the same time engaging people meaningfully in affairs that affect their lives. This means, in the political grammar understood in Uganda, federalism.

FUF subscribes to and advocates federal system of government not for purposes of political expediency or as political dogma; but rather, because it was under the federal system of government in Uganda from 1962 to 1966’s that the country enjoyed optimum freedoms, social peace and robust economic development.

Most historians regard this period as the golden period in Uganda’s history.

In the current political climate in the country, federalism offers the most reasonable opportunity to citizens to engage in activities that affect their lives, as well as allows people to be involved in determining the best policies for their localities and for the management and control of their resources and governance.

In due course, FUF will announce other partnerships with other groups and organizations, as it calls upon all Ugandans to transcend their petty differences for the purpose of achieving not simply the change of the current dictatorship but also to usher in a new dawn in Uganda where all her citizens and those who live in it enjoy optimum freedoms, rights and a unity of purpose.

The march of history is on the side of the great majority of Ugandans. The suffering of Ugandans in every region of the country, coupled with conscious education, have awakened the great majority of the people to engage in struggles to unite and defeat the authors of their servitude.

FUF emphasizes the simple and profound point that Uganda is large enough for all her children. Based on intellectual, moral and practical solidarity, and on the ethical principles of equality and non-discrimination, the struggle for freedoms and unity to which FUF is providing leadership, will sooner than later usher in a new dawn of social peace and justice in which all citizens enjoy their rights.

As we enter a new phase of the struggle to emancipate ourselves from the tyranny and corruption of the current regime, our resolve is firm and solid. We are emboldened by the fact that our cause is right and just and that the means we have chosen is proportionate to the task at hand.

The flame of our just cause and struggle has been fueled by ethical values that do not discriminate on the grounds of ideological, ethnic, religious or racial affiliations. As long as the fire of struggle so fueled burn in our hearts and minds, no person can extinguish it.

With our ethical values and faith that are far stronger than the tyranny of the regime, we shall redeem and renew Uganda and build institutions that enable citizens to realize their fundamental rights and freedoms regardless of where and how they are born. We shall build an inclusive Uganda for God and our children.

A better Uganda, informed by ethical values and principle of compassion, empathy, inclusiveness and tolerance, is possible

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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