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Archive for the tag “Uganda”

Slow implementation of peace agreement, lack of basic services impeding returns in opposition-controlled areas of Wau (22.02.2019)

Organized by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Civil Affairs Division, the forum in Ngo-dakala, an area under the opposition in Wau, brought together more than sixty participants.

JUBA, South Sudan, February 22, 2019 – Michael Wondi Issues impeding voluntary returns in opposition-controlled areas of Wau have been raised at a one-day round-table discussion that brought together the leadership of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement in Opposition (SPLA/M-IO) in the area.

Organized by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Civil Affairs Division, the forum in Ngo-dakala, an area under the opposition in Wau, brought together more than sixty participants that included military, political, youth and women representatives.

“In fact, there are fears for our people in the POC [Protection of Civilians sites] to come out,” said Emilio Fada, Minister of Agriculture in Wau, stressing the need to form a joint- committee to engage the displaced persons.

“They see that a peace [agreement] was signed, [but] since September till now there is no implementation on the ground. They still feel that something may happen in the future,” concluded the minister.

“The solution is that the government should take their army back to the barracks, and the opposition [forces] also go to their barracks, and leave the civilians alone,” said Chief Musa Joseph of Ngisa area noting that disengagement of soldiers will allow citizens to return to their respective areas.

“We came to you here to assess challenges affecting voluntary returns,” said Justin Atit, UNMISS civil affairs officer in Wau, noting, “The peace agreement has been signed and the time has come for us to resolve challenges to allow people affected in the camps to return home.”

Mr. Atit noted that the discussion aimed at creating a conducive environment for safe and voluntary returns to the areas under the opposition in Wau

“Disaster has happened as you have seen: farms of the people have been burnt, no medicine, people are suffering,” said Anthony Fada, Opposition Governor in Wau, enumerating the challenges facing people affected by years of conflict.

Mr. Fada urged humanitarian partners to support the returnees with livelihood items as they prepare for the farming season.

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South Sudan: Recommendations of SPLM reunification committee (21.02.2019)

A brief look into the COSASE Report: Digest the lack of due diligence!

Well, sooner or later this report was bound to happen as the deadline of the Parliament’s Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) report into 7 defunct banks in the Republic. It had to be interesting to see how the National Treasury or National Bank, the Bank of Uganda handled it, as the Bank have been going around all cowboy and not with protocol. As the proper guidance nor minutes have arrived to the COSASE as the months of investigations has gone on.

As well, the lack of trust between the parties, lawyers and stakeholders itself. Therefore, the report, had to stinking of it, the lack of due diligence and care for delivering proper craftsmanship, where the profession and their ethics are shining true.

Instead the process of investigation have shown utter contempt of honesty and transparency, as documents have gone missing and people have taken trips away, while they were supposed to testify to the Committee.

That is the introduction. Let’s dig into the mess, which was unleashed today on the 21st February 2019.

The committee further observed that there are no documents relating to the post closure and management of Teefe Trust Bank assets and liabilities. This further complicates the process of winding up including resolving claims and some securities still in possession of the Central Bank” (COSASE, P: 9, 2019).

No inventory report was availed in respect of ICB but an inception report for liquidation by the Liquidation Agcnt (KPMG) dated 30th September 2001” (…)”without a proper inventory report, BoU did not know what it was taking over in terms of entirety of assets and value. Accordingly, BoU acted in breach of section 32 (3), of the FIS, 1993” (COSASE, P: 10, 2019).

Sold on the Same Day:

What further the report states is that the National Bank of Commerce was closed and sold on the same day. This being done on the 27th September 2012. The takeover and sale took only 6 hours time and was in convention of the FIA. The same actions happen to Global Trust Bank (U) Limited, which was closed and sold on the same day, on the 25th July 2014. This was also done in convention of the FIA.

While on Crane Bank:

The auditors produced the inventory report on 21st of December 2016 however, BoU had invited DFCU to bid for the purchase of assets and assumption of liabilities of CBL on 9nd December 2016 and subsequently DFCU submitted the bid on the 20th December 2016 a day before the production of the inventory report” (…) “BoU did not carry out valuation of the assets and liabilities of CBL. BUT relied on the inventory report and due diligence undertaken by DFCU to accept their bid to arrive at the P&A. However, the final inventory report was submitted on 13th January 2017. In essence, the final inventory report was never used in evaluating the bid for the purchase of assets and assumption of liabilities of CBL” (COSASE, P: 12 & 13, 2019).

Selling assets on discounts:

In the case of ICB, Greenland Bank and Co-operative Brank, the total loan portfolio sold of UGX 135bn included secured loans of UGX 34.5bn which had valid legal or equitable mortgage on the real property and were supported with legal documentation BUT were sold, to M/s Nile River Acquisition Company at 93% discount” (…) “Whereas the GTB and NBC discount percentages of 20 and 30% respectively appear reasonable, the 93% discount in respect of the loan portfolio of ICB, Greenland Bank and Co-operative Bank acquired by M/s NRAC was incredibly outrageous” (COSASE, P: 23-24, 2019).

Winding Up:

The winding up process of all the defuct banks has taken an unjustifiably long time to settle creditor claims. For Teefe Trust Bank (26 years), Co-operative Bank (20 years), ICB (21 years), Greenland Bank (20 years), NBC (7 years), GTB (5 years) and CBL (2 years)!!! Regrettably, many of the creditors and shareholders have and indeed continue to die” (…) “Due to absence of documents, it was not possible to ascertain whether the UGX.9 1 .22bn used to settle customer claims of ICB, Cooperative bank and Greenland bank went to the bonafide beneficiaries. The absence of documents could among others be attributed to the long delay in concluding the winding up process” (COSASE, P: 39, 50 2019).

This is really just a proof of some of the mismanagement and quotes that proves how the Bank of Uganda didn’t do due diligence. They didn’t fix the issues, neither the work that was needed for the distressed financial institutions, the BoU didn’t follow the laws and statutes. All of the banks seems to be closed without protocol. Without proper documentation, neither overlooking assets and the securities.

Therefore, the Bank of Uganda … have not acted as the Central Bank and having the supervisory role over the financial market. They have surely acted in ill-will and not like they are supposed too. If not, these seven banks shouldn’t been closed like this, even closed and sold within 24 hours. Peace.

Opinion: Nothing is more endearing than NRM Rebels!

No matter how you look at it, it is just sweet and cuddly, the ideas of National Resistance Movement (NRM) rebels. They are just a rare breed of people. Their persistence on the ethical backbone, the narrative, that they are fighting a just cause, while still being tied directly to the oppressor. Is just unique, it is just amazing. That they are supposed to be cherished and become so special.

What is always so striking about the rebels in this party, which was based on rebellion and even a bush-war. Is that, they will be hunt down and strike back hard, against the ones that counters party line. It is so novel in their approach. It is deep and the surge usually uses all the tricks in the book. There is nothing left to chance, they are getting demoted, kicked out of the party and sometimes if lucky. If they repent, they can enter again. That is the road ahead, which is far from open to anyone. Who has already crossed the army-fatigued party line.

Why am I writing this? Today and in the coming days, there will be some NRM rebels coming forward for reasons of disloyalty or even trying to gain popularity, as the NRM CEC have endorsed the President. Not that it was a shocker or a misconception that he would run in 2021. It is just that, the NRM rebels would think the process should be done differently and they should have a voice. Not just the highest body in the party delegating whose the main candidate. However, Museveni wouldn’t do that, he leaves nothing to chance when it comes to his livelihood. That is just well known facts and the insiders, these rebels should know it best.

That is why it just seems like a play for the stage, they are just playing out their grievances, like married men who still not being laid. They have to complain and get annoyed, that their wife isn’t doing it anymore. Not that their breath doesn’t stink or their pockets are empty. That the wife is tired after working. No, it is all the wife’s fault, because they have done nothing wrong. The wifey will think otherwise.

It is the same sentiment I get out a NRM rebel. They knew this going in. The main rebel, the resistance captain, the chairman and the supposed liberator is not someone you should challenge. That is known since 1980, because he couldn’t manage to loose, even back then.

Therefore, NRM Rebels might defy, they might resist, even go in with words of fire and fury. However, they knew when they became flag-bearers and honourables, that they would play a secondary role to the Master.

That is why the rebels who went against the abolishment of the Age Limit lost the privilege of the trips to the State House, to be part of the NRM Caucus before the voting of vital bills. Some has been outcast and become “independent” MPs whose sole cause is themselves and own agenda. Even if they still are voting with the NRM on most things. That is why, the rebellions are quickly squashed.

Not only because the NRM rebels are fighting themselves, but because they are needing the pay-check and making their ends meet. They are really trying to figure out ways to get into the fold and kiss the ring. That is why these rebels are so endearing. Because, at one moment, they are defying the king. In the next moment, they are invited to the king and bowing their knees in loyalty. It is just a matter of time.

Unless, they are some resilient fellows, who got balls of steel and is ready to push the envelope. If so, they got some character, but usually, they give way and give in. They just tried to play to the popular stance, but in the end had to give up. They gave up because knew their fight was ill conceived and wouldn’t bear fruits.

That why I salute their hustle, but don’t anticipate a revolution or a true rebellion, because they will in the end. Give way to their master, yet again. Peace.

Kenya Pipeline Company: Press Statement – KPC Management is Fully Committed to the Fight against Corruption (20.02.2019)

DP Reunion in Jinja: Cancelled out by the Calvary!

The Partisan Police Force was again at it, as the Democratic Party and Uganda Young Democrats had scheduled a Reunion on the Jinja Rugby Grounds. The Party Officials and the Organizers had notified as by law to hold the meeting in Jinja, however, the Police blocked the venue and did arrest several of DP officials.

What was striking as the authorities, the DP Reunion, took the DP President Norbert Mao was blocked, there was thrown tear-gas in Jinja. But, the Police quickly reported to the Daily Monitor, that the President of DP was negotiation and holding a consulting meeting with the officers at the Central Police Station of Jinja. Not, that he was directly arrested as previously reported by other sources. Clearly, there are something missing. As the State was notified, the paper trail has leaked online, by Mao himself. Therefore, it was known by the state since early February.

The Police does this simple cat- and mouse game with opposition. AS they have to comply with the restrictions of the Public Order Management Act and even if they do so. They still can be blocked for whatever reason the Regional Police Commander and others to clarify their intent. As, if the meeting and the rally itself was saying enough. We are getting close enough to the National Campaign Road Maps for 2020/21, that if a Party doesn’t comply them in combination with the POMA. They will be in deep trouble with the state. As we have seen previously in the Republic.

What the DP and UYD seen today isn’t groundbreaking, not a watershed moment or sign of the decades of control of Museveni. No, this is just the ordinary manifestation of the power and force, the state use against dissidents. Even the ones that usually complies and are very friendly to the powers, that be. But because, they still tries to operate as an independent opposition party, they still get into legal jeopardy. Because, that is how the state operates and continues to do so. Until the swearing-in of Museveni for the 6th time and pursuit of his 8 rings of service. There will surely be plenty more of this in the two years coming, 2020 and 2021, will be filled with stories like these. Just different names and parties, but the same mumbo jumbo.

What has been done in Jinja today to the leadership of the DP is nothing new. These arrests comes with a steady phase. Especially in a run-up to elections and within the narrow window of the campaigns. As well as during campaigns and the post-elections. If you’re lucky, you get extra bonus rounds of house-arrests and treason charges. That is for the unique, popular and resilient sort of politicians. Not mere mortals get that. They are behind bars and released on mockery of charges. Before, they try again to hold a rally or campaign. Peace.

Outraged by renewed fighting and continuing human rights violations in South Sudan, UN Human Rights Experts urge all parties to stop conflict, end impunity and respect provisions of the revitalized peace agreement (20.02.2019)

NAIROBI/GENEVA (20 February 2019) – With thousands of people once again forced to flee their homes because of ongoing violence in South Sudan, the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan urges the Government of South Sudan and all parties to the conflict to respect the cessation of hostilities and implement the revitalized peace agreement signed five months ago.

In its third report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva, the Commission finds that continuing violence and human rights violations, including rape and sexual violence, may amount to war crimes.

Since its December 2017 update to the Human Rights Council on the magnitude of the crimes of rape and sexual violence perpetrated in South Sudan, the Commission notes the situation has markedly worsened, with documented cases showing a surge in rapes between November and December 2018, particularly in Northern Liech state.

“There is a confirmed pattern of how combatants attack villages, plunder homes, take women as sexual slaves and then set homes alight often with people in them,” commented Commission Chairperson Yasmin Sooka.

“Rapes, gang rapes, sexual mutilation, abductions and sexual slavery, as well as killings, have become commonplace in South Sudan. There is no doubt that these crimes are persistent because impunity is so entrenched that every kind of norm is broken,” she added.

UNICEF reports that 25 per cent of those targeted by sexual violence are children, including the rapes of girls as young as 7. Elderly and pregnant women have also been raped. The Commission also received reports of male victims of sexual violence. Sexual and gender-based violence against men and boys is even more underreported than that against women and girls as there is a greater level of stigma. even raping and killing the young and the elderly.

The Commission documented a case study on Leer, in Southern Unity state, where more than 8,000 young men were recruited to fight with the words: “you go and get cattle from Mayendit, also abduct and rape beautiful women you find here, loot their properties”. The men were also told that this was the perfect time to seek revenge for relatives they had lost in the conflict and that they would never have another such opportunity.

Noting that a lack of accountability for decades of violence during the struggle for independence helped to fuel the current conflict in South Sudan, the report stresses that sustainable peace requires a tangible and credible pursuit of accountability and justice that meets the needs of the many thousands of victims.

“We do acknowledge the efforts of the Government to hold some perpetrators accountable for gross violations of human rights and serious violations of international humanitarian law, such as the trial and conviction of SPLA soldiers in the Terrain Hotel case,” stated Commissioner Andrew Clapham. “However, we also have to note that pervasive impunity remains the norm,” he added.

The Commission has long been concerned about the lack of progress in establishing the Transitional Justice mechanisms, particularly the Hybrid Court for South Sudan, the Commission for Truth Reconciliation and Healing, and the Compensation and Reparation Authority, which were adopted in the 2015 Peace Agreement. It notes that the Revitalized Agreement has reaffirmed the importance of these institutions to build sustainable peace. It fully expects that concerted efforts will be made by the Revitalized Government, the African Union and Regional Governments to ensure these bodies are set up and contribute to the consolidation of peace in South Sudan.

The Commission has also looked at the allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). From January 2018 to 2019, seven such cases involving 18 alleged UNMISS perpetrators were registered in the UN Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Database. These cases were swiftly investigated by the UN mission, resulting in the repatriation of peacekeepers implicated in sexual activity with women in one of the Protection of Civilians sites. The Commission has further recommended that the current database, which only reflects incidents involving UN Peacekeepers, should be expanded to include personnel of implementing partners.

The Commission also notes a link between the conflict and the political economy of South Sudan, where even before independence, there were concerns about the misappropriation of natural resources, particularly oil. The oil producing areas of the country have become increasingly militarized by Government forces, including by the National Security Services, which have expanded their involvement in the oil sector. The state-owned Nilepet oil company’s operations have been characterized by a total lack of transparency and independent oversight, allegedly diverting oil revenues into the coffers of elites in the government. Furthermore, oil revenues, and income from other natural resources such as illegal teak logging, have continued to fund the war, enabling its continuation and the resulting human rights violations.  The Commission notes South Sudanese activists have urged the Commission and the AU to ensure that the mandate of the Hybrid Court for South Sudan incorporates such crimes.

The Commission underlines that in implementing the Transitional Justice agenda in South Sudan, victims and vulnerable communities, especially women and those internally displaced and refugees, are core stakeholders who must be included in the design and implementation of such mechanisms. The Commissions welcomes the provision in the Revitalized Peace Agreement that women must make up 35 per cent of participants at all levels in the Transitional Government institutions, including the Transitional Justice mechanisms, and urges all parties to respect and implement this important provision.

The Commission also calls on the region and wider international community to invest, politically and materially, in these Transitional Justice mechanisms, essential for building sustainable peace, as well as supporting the people of South Sudan in rebuilding all aspects of national life, especially the rule of law.

The Mandate of the Commission includes the collection and preservation of evidence. The Commission has continued to document violations, build dossiers on perpetrators, collect evidence and preserve it for future accountability processes. In this report, the Commission details three cases studies in which the incidents and events have been extensively documented taking account of those who allegedly have command responsibility for the crimes. The names of these alleged perpetrators are contained in a confidential dossier which will be handed over to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva. The acts described as war crimes in our report are also human rights crimes under the Torture Convention and the Convention on Enforced Disappearances – both monitored in Geneva. All states parties to those instruments are obliged to prosecute or extradite persons found on their territory suspected of such crimes.

“The evidence we have collected and preserved will be available to the prosecutor of the future Hybrid Court and other transitional justice mechanisms,” noted third Commission member stated Barney Afako, “This evidence may be used beyond South Sudanese bodies – it may be available on request to regional and state parties for future prosecutions.”

South Sudan’s challenges are immense, says the Commission, given the protracted conflict, its ethnic dimensions and deep divisions; the inability of the population to access the economy; the lack of financial capacity and capable organisational and human resources; and what is perceived to be a dysfunctional and predatory elite system of government.

“With sustained political will and effective leadership,” concludes Commission Chair Yasmin Sooka, “The transitional justice framework and mechanisms can help to bring accountability, reconciliation and healing as South Sudanese deal with the past and secure their future stability and prosperity.”

Uganda Police Force: Press Release – Police Refutes Attack Claims Against Senior Officer (20.02.2019)

Uganda Police – Release on Bond – Hon. Allan Ssewanyana – Offence: “Unlawful Society” (20.02.2019)

Uganda Police Force: Press Release – Police Clarifies on Edited Video Clip (20.02.2019)

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