Updates on the skirmishes in Kasese and Bundibugyo – (3 Kingdoms: one recognized by central government in Kasese District)

Well, if you are still interested in different sources on the Rwenzori – Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu and the Kasese and in Bundibugyo attack. Then I got some more for you today from different articles. After the tragic attack which killed 93 people and here is the new quotes and information on the sad event that happen in Kasese and Bundibugyo.

Kasese District Police Commander Michael Musani Sabila commented to media that Rwenzururu PM Nzaghale is now released from prison. Sabila continues: “We are still holding three other Rwenzururu officers” (…)”There is a high security alert to counter any further threats” (…)”Registration centres for the ongoing national ID project have also been provided with extra security to ensure the process is not disrupted “ (…)”A good number are calling us, expressing their willingness to surrender, saying they were deceived into taking up arms against the State” (Thwaite, 2014).

The three that still arrested:

–          Kingdom Enviroment Officer: Erisaniya Mberemu.

–          Information Minister and Kingdoms Spokesman: Joshua Kalimwithako Baluku.

–          Chairman of the Rwenzururu Esyomango S’Obusinga(Youth Wing): Mitusera Isebayanda

(Thwaite, 2014)

The Inspector of General of Police Kale Kayihura said: “We have different categories such as actors, planners and organisers who will be handled accordingly to their actions against the State. We have reinforced our system, we shall not leave any stone unturned” (…) “We have released on police bond the two kingdom officials as our investigations into the matter continue. We arrested them because they were implicated”.  He also said that he was disappointed with the Obsuninga bwa Rwenzururu (Mugume, 2014).

MPs of all political parties are critical of the ethical dived between Bakjona cultivators and Basongora cattle keepers. Defence Minister Dr. Crispus Kiyonga comments: “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”. Even UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon says: “we must not be left to utter the words ‘never again,’ again and again” (…)”indeed; the world has yet to fully overcome its divisions, its indifference, and its moral blind spots. For if not checked, ethnic conflicts are contagious and can spread quickly like cancer cells and eat all the progress achieved over the years” (Mugerwa, 2014).

In Kasese district it would be three kings alone in the groups of the Bakonzo, Basongora and Bayabinindi. This would be:

–          Rwenzururu Kingdom of the Bakonzo with Mr. Charles Wesley Mumbere (Only recognized cultural leader by the government).

–          Basongora People has recognized as their cultural leader: Mr Ivan Rukirwa Bwambale (not recognized by the government).

–          Bayabindi People has recognized as their cultural leader: Mr Elisha Mugisha(not recognized by the government).

(Katusabe, 2014)

In Bundibugyo there you have the kingdom of the Bwamba which actually recently got recongnized by the government. This was as an opposite too the Rwenzururu Kingdom. Bwanba is made for the ethnic groups of Bamba and Babwasi, the issue in the district is that is also having a great number of Bakonzo (Katusabe, 2014).

Ms Polly Namaye deputy spokesman of the Uganda Police has recently addresses the matter and about the issue of the king in custody: “free and there has not been any attempt by the police to summon or arrest him under any circumstance”. She also said: “to have the king summoned the police will not desist (from executing its duties) but will do so in the interest of protecting the lives and properties of all Ugandans equally” (Katusabe, 2014).

Mr Mugisha the Bayabindi leader says: “These activities were carried out by the Bakonzo” (…)”We had informed the authorities that such attacks would happen but our advice was not taken seriously. It could easily be discerned from what many Bakonzo leaders had been saying that an attack on us was imminent. We live in fear” (…)”commemorating the deaths of our people who were killed during the Rwenzururu uprising between 1964 and 1981” (…)”we are different from Bakonzo” (…)”For us we are Bantu-speaking people and we don’t have much in common with the Bakonzo. They therefore targeted us because they associated us with the enemies (the Batooro)” (…)”The army and the police deployed heavily to protect our function; we even had people from State House” (…)”had threatened that if our function took place they would fight” (…)”When they failed to stop the function they diverted their anger to state institutions” (Katusabe, 2014).

Mr Bwambale the in-charge project desk at the Justice and Peace Commission in Kasese which isn’t agreeing with Mugisha is saying: “During the Rwenzururu war starting in the 1960s, our fathers knew that they needed guns to fight to break off from Tooro” (…)”So how can you convince me that in the year 2014, the kingdom of Rwenzururu would organise an attack on a military barracks executed by stick-wielding thugs? It doesn’t make sense”  (…)”like his king has argued, that the attack could have been planned by anti-Rwenzururu people to discredit the kingdom. We were unable to establish whether this is one line of investigation the police is following” (…)”Muhindo and all the others should not have died” (…)”it should look at more strategic interventions to address the problem” (…)”There is a danger in the message which the government seems to send to those people who intend to be recognised as cultural leaders” (…)”they seem to be saying that once you fight and win recognition we put you on payroll” (Katusabe, 2014).

Mr. Mumbere says: “Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the institution of traditional leader or cultural leader may exist in any area of Uganda in accordance with the culture, customs and traditions or wishes and aspirations of the people to whom it applies” (…)”It’s natural resources, especially in the lowlands, which is causing trouble in Kasese especially” (Katusabe, 2014).

Mr Mugisha gives his thoughts on why they should get recognized: “We will stop being marginalized” (…)”we have a very big problem with land; our people have been sidelined. Look at me, I am the king of the Banyabindi but I live on a small plot” (…)”Ibuga Prison farm has a lot of vacant land” (…)”let the government take some of my people there” (Katusabe, 2014).

Rev Can Cornelius Matte the dean of St. Paul Church where he discusses the issues of the Bakonzo. Mr Matte says: “problem of resources is getting worse” (…)”We have had land conflicts in the area for some time but we never predicted that this thing would become this dangerous. We are living in a corridor between national parks, prison and mountains. People are now desperate and something very small causes a very serious reaction. People are now like hungry dogs” (…)”Every year we send people to theological colleges and we have some other opportunities. We ensure that we send a Munyabindi and Musongora. This year the only one we have sent to university is a Musongora” (Katusabe, 2014).

Dr. Kizza Besigye has new comments on Rwenzururu:

“This is not tribal violence as government claims. Why is it only the Police and UPDF being targeted as if they are tribes? It’s because people are fed-up and feel that these are agents of the bigger problem up there” (…)”This situation in western Uganda cannot be detached from the problems in the whole country. The causes are not a local dynamic as it has been reduced but rather a political time bomb government is sitting on”. He describes President Museveni as “king of sectarianism”. Besigye is also addressing Kiyonga actions: ““Kiyonga was there when they carved out Ntoroko for the Batuku from Bundibugyo for the Bamba and have plans to further divide Kasese into four other constituents for the Basongora and other small tribes they want to create” (Musisi, 2014).

 

Links:

Katusabe, Ruth & Mukiibi Ssrunjogi Misari Thembo Kahungu, Eriasa – ‘Inside the melting pot of Rwenzori region’ (13.07.2014) Link:  http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Inside-the-melting-pot-of-Rwenzori-region/-/688334/2381740/-/wckx5vz/-/index.html

 

Mugume, Colleb &  Ninsuma Enid – ‘Police to screen Kasese, Bundibugyo attackers’ (13.07.2014) Link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Police-to-screen-Kasese–Bundibugyo-attackers/-/688334/2381922/-/fvvkg0/-/index.html

 

Mugerwa, Yaslin – ‘MPs unite against Rwenzori attacks’ (13.07.2014) Link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/OpEd/OpEdColumnists/YasiinMugerwa/MPs-unite-against-Rwenzori-attacks/-/878670/2381556/-/us815oz/-/index.html

 

Musisi, Fredric & Tumwine, Albert – ‘Govt to blame for Rwenzori attacks’ – Besigye’ (13.07.2014) Link:http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Govt-to-blame-for-Rwenzori-attacks—Besigye/-/688334/2381860/-/dvi3k0z/-/index.html

 

Thwaite, John B. – ‘Kasese attacks: Rwenzururu premier released’ (12.07.2014) Link:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/657452-kasese-attacks-rwenzururu-premier-released.html

Updates: Rwenzururu Kingdom on the events in Kasese and Bundibugyo skirmishes

Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu PM Noah Nzaghale being led away by police and military. Photo: Ronald Kato7Twitter

Fred Enaga the Police Spokesman confirmed that 113 people are accused and arrested in connection with Bundibugyo and Kasese (SMSMedia, 2014).

The Top officials from the Rwenzururu Kingdom who is in police custody:

–          Premier Minister Noah Nzaghale

–          Deputy Premier Yeremiya Mutooro

–          Chairperson of Rwenzururu Youth Wing: Erisinana Mberamu

–          Minister of Tourism: Yoramu Mulema

–          The chairperson of Rwenzururu War Veterans

–          Chief of Omusinga(king) on Security

(SMSMedia, 2014)

Fred Enaga commentes: “All the files of the suspects are in their advanced stage and awaiting the advice of the Director for Public Prosecution (DPP). They will be arraigned in court today (Friday) or early next week on charges of treason and concealing treason”(…)”They have all recorded statements indicating that they had a hand in the attacks”(…)”But if our investigations reveal that he (Omusinga Mumbere) was also involved in the attacks, then the law will take its course”(…)”two more people, including the minister of information and another person who allegedly helped the attackers to procure a witchdoctor from Democratic Republic of Congo have been arrested and detained at Kasese Central police station” (SMSMedia, 2014).

More information from the Police:

Police say they have recovered 10 guns, 9 magazines and tear gas canisters stolen from them during the attack in Bundibugyo district on Saturday (UgandaRadioNetwork, 2014).

Polly Namaye says: “that police has not under any circumstance attempted to summon or arrest the king” (…)” however does not rule out the possibility of summoning the king in connection with the recent attacks on the Rwenzori region that claimed over 90 people” (…)” that the kingdom Prime Minister Noah Nzaghale, and two other kingdom officials are still under police custody” (KFM, 2014).

Some News and reports, which I  cannot say the completed source line, but still interesting in the matters of things:

The Group fighting in the Rwenzori region has accused the government of misleading the people on the cause of fighting.

The Group says they are fighting a full scale war against the regime and have released the following numbers from recent fighting:

1 -In the first attack on Mubende police barracks, 9 policemen were killed and 42 guns captured. No causality on the attackers.

2 -The attack on Bundibujo army barracks, 214 guns,17 Machines and ammunition were taken, 192 soldiers were killed, attackers suffered 3 causalities.

3 -At Ntoroko 4 Soldiers were killed, guns taken

4 -At Kaso and weighbridge a total of 24 guns were taken and Three Soldiers killed.

According to the message from this Group, they described Museveni statement on the conflict as a meandering mind of a tired and deranged man. 

Will adress it more when I have more information.

Peace!

A Bit more: 

“All the files of the suspects are in their advanced stage and awaiting the advice of the Director for Public Prosecution.” – Rwenzori suspected attackers face treason charges.

Links:

KFM.co..ug – ‘Rwenzururu King could be summoned’ (11.07.2014) Link:http://kfm.co.ug/news/rwenzururu-king-could-be-summoned.html

SMSMEDIA – ‘Suspected Rwenzori attackers face treason charges’ (11.07.2014) Link: http://smsmedia.ug/2014/07/suspected-rwenzori-attackers-face-treason-charges/

UgandaRadioNetwork – ‘Security Recovers 10 Guns Stolen In Bundibugyo Attacks’ (11.07.2014) Link: http://ugandaradionetwork.com/a/story.php?s=65267

Photo Link:

https://twitter.com/RonnieKulabako/status/487142020038008832/photo/1

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/