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Archive for the tag “Uganda”

Opinion: A regime needing “safe houses” is a sign of brazen oppression of its citizens

“Madam speaker I wish to mention that a safe house is a secure place used for intelligence work, all intelligence and security agencies world over operate safe houses,running a safe house is not peculiar to Uganda but it’s a worldwide intelligence practice” security minister Gen. Elly Tumwine (August 21. 2019).

That there is reports and statements made during this week from Hon. Francis Zaake and Betty Nambooze, whose both have stated their evidence of the usage of Safe Houses. This has been known for a long while. There is several of these houses and used by the Internal Security Organization (ISO). Hotel Serena used to be a sort of house back-in-the-day, but has rebuilt to other use.

That the Nalufenya was closed earlier in the year, there is still other building used for the same ways. To torture, hide victims and supposed spies. That the state takes away in silence, abducts without warrants and usage of even soldiers to take away activists, political opponents and whatnot.

All of this isn’t new in the Republic. That National Resistance Movement (NRM) have continued the practices of previous administration. The NRM have been brazen and its been known that dissidents has been tortured and arrested for long time. This been done by the Flying Squad, CMI or even ISO. All of them has picked up people and kept them in “safe houses” without court orders to keep them detained.

Therefore, don’t be shocked when Zaake MP says he knows about 900 people, whose arrested and tortured at this moment at the safe houses. Surely, the NRM will not verify this. Because, they don’t want this to be a thing. They want to show the Northern By-Pass, that they used over a decade to finish, maybe more.

Let’s be clear, we don’t have all the information. Because, this is in the dark, grey-area, which is kept a secret. The state doesn’t want the news out. They don’t want to show the darkness, the only thing we know is the stories from a few victims. Since, there is no Parliamentary Report like on Nalufenya, which we got just days before closure of it. Then, it was shown the systemic violations of human rights and cruel behaviour of the state towards their own citizens.

We cannot know how big of deal this is, because the numbers, the lack of leaked reports and the proof is not there. But when the likes of Gen. Tumwiine verifies it. Shows there is an intention of open violence against the citizens of the Republic.

If these people picked up by ISO, CMI and other security organization from the state, they should have warrants and prove the criminal intent of the suspects. Not just abduct them and detain them in random “safe houses” unless the state wants to keep their activities as a secret. Because, if they were sincere … then the state would prosecute them like everyone else. Innocent until proven guilty of a crime.

Alas, that is not the case, because the state uses this to intimidate and oppress the citizens. Peace.

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UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan: Localization of conflict and unaddressed community grievances serve as barriers to sustainable peace (23.08.2019)

The Commissioners will hold a press conference on Friday, 23 August 2019, at 1100 hrs in the UNMISS Tomping Base in Juba.

JUBA, South Sudan, August 23, 2019 – Members of the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan began their seventh field mission to South Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Kenya earlier this week. The mission, currently underway, is taking place from 19 to 26 August 2019.

In Juba, Bentiu, and Yei (South Sudan), the Commissioners met with UN representatives, international organizations, and community members comprising religious leaders and civil society, including women’s groups, recent returnees, and internally displaced persons.

“We are deeply concerned that, despite overall armed conflict having waned considerably since the signing of the Revitalized Peace Agreement, little progress has been made to adhere to the terms of the agreement,” said Commission Chair Yasmin Sooka. “Civilians with whom we spoke still raised numerous concerns that they feel are barriers to sustainable peace,” she added.

Intercommunal violence premised on cattle-raiding has recently spiked in South Sudan, including in Bahr al-Ghazal. During their visit, the Commissioners listened to South Sudanese women, men, and children express numerous concerns including localization of conflict linked to land, resources, and cattle, continued impunity for sexual and gender-based violence, delays and inefficiencies in implementing the Revitalized Peace Agreement of September 2018 , deteriorating living conditions for those internally displaced, the securitization of the state and continued shrinking space for civic engagement, frustration with the functioning of the judiciary, and the absence of accountability mechanisms including establishment of the Hybrid Court, among others.

“Despite the numerous challenges we heard, we were encouraged by the fact that committees composed of military and civil actors have been formed to improve civil-military relations and support local justice and reconciliation in Yei River State, where civilians could raise dispute resolutions,” said Commissioner Andrew Clapham. “Such mechanisms that facilitate communication between armed actors and civilians could be replicated in other locations where violent conflict and violations have been witnessed in the country,” he noted.

Impunity for conflict-related sexual violence and sexual and gender-based crimes in South Sudan also remains at an all-time high, while survivors of sexual violence still have limited access to redress. In Bentiu, the Commission heard testimonies of sexual violence from women who are waiting to share their stories with an accountability mechanism. “The lack of progress in establishing transitional justice mechanisms, including the Hybrid Court, the commission for truth, reconciliation, and healing and the compensation and reparation authority, which are to be complemented by customary and other community-centred mechanisms, is delaying accountability and reparation for these and other crimes,” said Commission member Barney Afako. “So long as the voices of victims and survivors are not empowered, and these mechanisms not put in place, it is highly unlikely that South Sudanese women, men, girls, and boys will be able to witness a lasting peace,” he added.

In closing, the Commission stressed the importance of overcoming delays regarding the Revitalized Peace Agreement, and encouraged the positive work being carried out by the National Constitutional Amendment Committee.

The Commissioners will hold a press conference on Friday, 23 August 2019, at 1100 hrs in the UNMISS Tomping Base in Juba.

From 25 to 29 August 2019, the Commissioners will separately visit Uganda, Ethiopia, and Kenya, where they will engage with refugees who have been recently displaced from South Sudan. In Ethiopia, they will hold meetings with African Union leaders, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), senior UN officials, as well as other members of the international community.

The UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan is an independent body mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to, among other things; determine and report the facts and circumstances of, collect and preserve evidence of, and clarify responsibility for alleged gross violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes, including sexual and gender-based violence and ethnic violence, with a view to ending impunity and providing accountability. The Commission will present an oral update on the human rights situation in South Sudan to the Human Rights Council on 16 September 2019 and a comprehensive written report in March 2020.

Opinion: ANT’s fragile start ends up with a partnership with the DP Block

Well, the Alliance of National Transformation (ANT), the newly minted party from former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) rt. Gen. Mugisha Muntu has today shown sign of weakness. As his party is nearly launched and having consultation meetings across the Republic.

Still ANT is in the beginning face and now seeking alliance with Democratic Party Block or DP Block. Which is already filled one-man band parties of Social Democratic Party (SDP) of Michael Mabikke and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Abed Bwanika. These was the key patrons behind the DP Block. Now its revealed, that the party registered in January of 2019. Are now a part of the DP Block too.

That is sign of strength and broaden perspective for Norbert Mao, whose not has had many friends since he was a part of The Democratic Alliance (TDA). Surely, this makes him look important and that he got good opposition backers behind him. Even as the FDC and People Power Movement are moving on their own.

The DP Block doesn’t get more viable, even if it has Muntu. As his speaks of “country before self”, but his own agenda seems to be finding a space for him to shine. There isn’t anything that resembles strength or uniqueness in the ways Muntu has manoeuvred. Neither in anything Mao has been doing, except for his power-play some-days on NBS TV.

Let’s be clear, ANT is showing not their capabilities or their message by being part of the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), the one that was supposed to reign in Robert Kyagulanyi and his brigades. Alas, that didn’t happen. It has only brought Mabbike, Bwanika and now Muntu. Is he awaiting someone else to so they can actually drive somewhere?

Because, at this point, this is still a TDA-Lite, even without the head honco of a Amama Mbabazi, a score and sore point to address the struggles and the big-man to have any appeal. With the cadres around the table, the measure of scope isn’t strong. Unless, they suddenly are able to show finesse and be political savvy to actually be relevant. This is not something you should anticipate from Mao, neither Bwanika nor Muntu. If so, why would they be there?

Unity isn’t bad, but this is like the losers club. Where the ones who couldn’t be a big-man, want to act like big-men, but is all dancing midgets. Well, its cruel, but a fact. They all want to be viable and express the concern of the public like Besigye, want the outreach and popularity like Bobi Wine. If not be unpopular, but still have the army like Anite. But, they have neither and acts like they can get it all by the half-baked measures they are doing.

As shown by the Democratic Party statement on the meeting today: “Next steps include the urgent declaration of our position on minimum reforms before the next elections. This doesn’t require the SPV as a precondition” (DP, 23.08.2019).

Because, if they wanted people to really join and follow the SPV, it should be able to function for the purposes of not only reforms, but basic governing. It is clearly lacking that, as it seems only to function as basis for the men to seem important. Which is by all means, a lot work to waste time. Peace.

PS: Bwanika hasn’t been so vocal lately, maybe he had a pay-off since last time we saw him.

Uganda Telecom Limited: Influence Peddling, Abuse of Office and Fraud in Relations to Administration of Uganda Telecom Limited by Honourable Evelyn Anite (09.08.2019)

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Rwanda and Uganda (23.08.2019)

The Secretary-General recognizes the important role of Presidents João Lourenço of Angola and Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in facilitating the signing of the Memorandum.

NEW YORK, United States of America, August 23, 2019 – The Secretary-General welcomes the signing on 21 August 2019 in Luanda, Angola, of a Memorandum of Understanding between Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Paul Kagame of Rwanda, with the aim of normalising bilateral relations between the two countries.

He encourages the parties to implement the agreement in good faith, with a view to restoring friendly relations and cooperation between the two neighbouring states, in the interest of peace, stability and sustainable development in the region.

The Secretary-General recognizes the important role of Presidents João Lourenço of Angola and Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in facilitating the signing of the Memorandum.

The Secretary-General stands ready to support the momentum generated through this and other initiatives to advance peace, cooperation and integration in the region.

Communique of the IGAD Council of Ministers on the Consultative Meeting of the Parties to the R-ACRSS (21.08.2019)

Uganda-Rwanda Tensions Part VII: Memorandum of Understanding of Luanda between the Republic of Uganda and the Republic of Rwanda (21.08.2019)

Opinion: The fall of Evelyn Anite

She had it all, she was a golden child of the President, the former radio presenter from Koboko, who became the Youth Representative MP for the Northern Uganda in 2011 and became the incumbent winner in 2016. Evelyn Anite in her second term became also a State Minister for Investment & Privatization. Where she has now shown force, but maybe she’s aiming to high, a bit to fast.

That is why the recent months, she has both expressed pressure on the clean-up for ownership, audit of and transparency surrounding Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL). A company the government had sold to Libyan owners, but had to re-corporate and restructure after the fall of Gadaffi. Now, this has turned a bitter pill for the loyal subject and minister. She has lashed out and said the mafia is out after her.

Certainly, she has ruffed some feathers, she has questioned some big-men, which will not accept to be hassled with. Anite has with her quest to clear the slate of the UTL, she has surely gone into the hidden secrets within the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and the government itself. Where she should have stayed away. As the ones who does that, is the likes of Muhammad Kirumira, Andrew Felix Kaweesi and so on.

They did all say similar things like Anite. They were on the rise and was also saying there would be a moment of silence, if you pushed the forces of power in the Republic. That is what Anite now is stating too. She calls it a mafia running the government, that means she is directly a part of racket herself. Meaning, it was cool, when she was a “made man” within it, until she crossed within the boundaries and codes within the mafia. This is what it seems, because, why else would she blast and rant like this in the public?

Anite is now going far, but sounding more like the opposition, than someone who is government. She could be mixed with Besigye or Bobi Wine in this matter. There is similarities in the usage of words. Because, the tale of going after the walking dead within the UTL is to costly. That the NRM doesn’t want to show the dark-side of the business and how its done. This is why, she suddenly shouldn’t continue to pursuit it.

Anite is therefore, receiving the hardship, which is usually intended on the dissidents and not the ones whose loyal to the projects of the President and his cronies. Evelyn though she was made and part of the inner-circle. Instead, she has crossed a path, which the NRM doesn’t accept. That is why Ante is in trouble and shouts out so loud.

Instead of winning, she’s continue to loose. Anite isn’t succeeding …. she is failing and not finding her way out of the trouble that she has put herself in. She could have let it all go, because this is more a ego-boost and to prove her place within the hierarchy.

She was a soldier, a loyal subject and a “made-man” but not one of them. An outsider, who got a big position. Now she is afraid of the enforcers, as the confidants and the consigliere advice behind closed chambers, maybe has aimed at her. Because, she broken a secret code and added pressure on something she shouldn’t have.

That is why she has fallen, why she’s trailing. She hasn’t resigned or even backed away from the mafia. She’s still there and trying to get through. But will she? Will she end up like others whose been taken out or is she another Abiriga in the waiting?

We don’t know, but she surely has fallen from the pedestal and is now a commoner with a fancy title. Peace.

IGAD Statement on Misleading Report by South Sudan News Agency (19.08.2019)

Uganda Police Force: Police Refutes Claim of Spying on Opposition (19.08.2019)

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