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South Sudan: Intense Fighting Around Kodok Forces Up to 25,000 People to Flee Without Humanitarian Support (27.04.2017)

The humanitarian organizations that have up until now been providing essential medical services, water, food, non-food items and shelter have had to temporarily suspend activities on the west bank of the Nile River because of the increasing insecurity.

GENEVA, Switzerland, April 27, 2017 -Over the last three days, close to 25,000 people have been displaced by intense fighting between the South Sudan People’s Liberation Army and the Agwelek forces around the town of Kodok. The humanitarian organizations that have up until now been providing essential medical services, water, food, non-food items and shelter have had to temporarily suspend activities on the west bank of the Nile River because of the increasing insecurity.
“This is a disaster in the making, just as the demand is greatest,” said Marcus Bachmann, Doctors without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières’ (MSF) head of mission for South Sudan. “Hospitals in the area are not operational, and water deliveries are unreliable. Yesterday no water deliveries were made to the IDPs because of the fighting. Given the scorching heat and the exposure of population to the elements, soon we will see people suffering from chronic dehydration and diarrhea as well as diseases like cholera.”

MSF had been providing emergency medical support—including at a field hospital and through two mobile units in the area—to the 13,000 displaced people who had fled fighting in the area in January. However, MSF has been forced to suspend activities because of the recent surge in violence.

Escaping the violence is difficult as positions are rapidly changing hands between the different forces, and displaced people find themselves surrounded by conflict on all sides. Without protection, many will have few other options than to leave for camps in Sudan where they can find refuge. Those who decide to go face a long and arduous journey on foot with hardly any access to food or water.

“We are calling on both parties to ensure that all civilians are protected from the fighting and provided with safe and secure access to essential humanitarian services,” Bachmann said. “As we have been forced to suspend most of our operations, we have provided runaway bags which contain essential medicines and supplies so that our staff who are with the fleeing IDPs can provide basic treatment in the field.”

With the rainy season approaching, it seems likely that the flow of people leaving for Sudan will increase as they avoid being trapped in the area.

Water remains a major concern for these new IDPs. On Tuesday, the people in and around the nearby town of Aburoc only had access to about 16,000 gallons of water per day. This is only an average of less than half a gallon per person, well below the amount needed for survival. On Wednesday, there were no deliveries of water because of the fighting. Water trucks are on hand to resume limited deliveries, but only if the situation becomes safer.

The South Sudanese Pound continue to lose value!

As the results of the instability in South Sudan, the Republic’s currency continues to be devalued and lose trust compared to the United States Dollars, as the people using it has to use more to get the services needed. The news from Juba of the amount of South Sudanese Pounds needed to exchange to US Dollars are showing the little value the currency currently have. That even in midst of years, the taxi-fares in the capital has risen 50 times from 1 SSP to 50SSP. This show’s the lacking financial structure and the fiscal policies to underline the paradigm. Certainly that is dwindling with the civil war between the government and rebels, as well as famine and use of funds to buy arms! Take a brief look!

In Juba: The South Sudanese Pounds continue to depreciate against the U.S. dollars, early this morning at Konyo Konyo Market trades were buying $100 at 21,500 SSP. Taxi drivers have also lifted the fare by charging 50 SSP for a distance that used to cost 1 SSP in 2014” (MirayaFM, 24.04.2017)

That this is the reality, proves the problems in the simplest forms, that the Republic of South Sudan, cannot keep their inflation at bay. The SSP are losing value and it happens quick. The local currency is soon worthless and the paper is more expensive, than the real value of the currency. This is the reaction to the violence, the despair and famine. The Currency is just the proof of the dire situation, as the Taxi Drivers are hurting and have to gain more money to be able to sustain their living in Juba. Therefore, this is the evidence of the issues that are in the country, by just seeing the numbers and the value of their currency. This should be so easy to grasp and understand. When the price of the same service has not only doubled or tripled, but gone up 50 times! Peace.

What do Mobutu and Museveni have in common after thirty years in power? Massive looting of their state reserves!

Museveni: My critics always forget to mention that I was democratically elected, the others were not. Everyone in Uganda can challenge me, everyone can vote, the elections are free. Not many countries have achieved what we did. One third of the seats in parliament are reserved for women, five seats for youth, five for workers, five for the disabled and 10 for the army. How many democracies with such a record do you know?” (Koelbl & Puhl, 2016).

Just as the knowledge of the all the state businesses and properties of President Museveni that he has amassed over the 31 years in power in Uganda. It reminds more and more of the state of affairs under President Mobutu. Mobutu Sese Seko was a dictator that President Museveni was proud to ouster and reinstate President Laurent Kabila in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). So that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni knows about Mobutu’s fatal fall, is certainly known.

President Museveni has gotten rid of other dictators before the fall of Mobutu, he even knew or had knowledge of the death of the plane of Juvenal Habyarimana, the plane who got shot down in April 1994, as his fellow comrade General Paul Kagame of Rwandan Patriotic Front was on the way to overthrow the current regime there. Also that the President Museveni together with President Milton Obote overthrew President Idi Amin in the late 1970s. So the current President Museveni has been involved in lots of armed change of power, he is even rumored and not verified if he had knowledge of the death of John Garang of SPLA and the South Sudan.

Still, the man who has used force and taken weapons to change history and his own fate, again and again, also to get puppets in states around. Have certainly thought of the demise of the men he got rid off. So when the stories of the last year of Mobutu sounds like this:

Mobutu’s Wealth:

For 32 years President Mobutu has treated Zaire like a toy and used its rich mineral reserves like his own private bank account. He plundered its mines, insisting their entire annual profits be transferred to personal accounts overseas” (…) ““We had to be close to the regime to do business,” admitted Mohammed Abdul, a Lebanese businessman yesterday as he fortified his shop for an expected pre-Kabila pillage by Zaire’s ruthless and brutal army. The Lebanese are hated by Zaireans who believe they colluded with President Mobutu to plunder the country’s diamonds” (Kinshasa, 1997).

Swiss assets:

The decision by the Swiss Federal Council came a day after judicial and police authorities seized his luxurious villa at Savigny near the lakeside resort of Lausanne. The 30-room mansion is estimated to have a market value of more than $5 million” (…) “After three decades of plundering the mineral wealth of his country, Mobutu is believed to have accumulated an enormous fortune. There have been persistent reports that he has stashed as much as $4 billion in Switzerland, but a government review of the country’s 400 banks last week said that none reported having accounts in his name” (Drozdiak, 1997).

Just as you think the dictator of Democratic Republic of Congo would be different than the current one in Uganda, your terribly wrong and President Museveni tries to keep it hidden, the way he is using the state reserves on himself and build his wealth. Just like President Mobutu was trying to move the money to the Swiss accounts, President Museveni has his own way.

A look into Museveni:

The way the Museveni family is paid royalties, or rent, by escrow accounts for their ownership of the title deeds of the Stanbic Bank business name in Uganda (what was once the Uganda Commercial Bank, Uganda’s largest banking group) is the way it is paid for their ownership of other apparently South African or foreign-owned businesses in Uganda” (…) “These sources say that it is Stanbic Bank that is used to finance businesses like Roofings Ltd, Speke Resort Munyonyo, the J&M Hotel along the Kampala-Entebbe highway, businessman Hassan Basajjabalaba’s hotel and Kampala International University, all of which actually belong to the Museveni family” (The London Evening Post, 2012).

This is just the business side of it, it could be worse by now and they could own more pieces of all the businesses that are bailed out or even getting tax breaks by the government, because who knows the true deeds or royalties going to accounts owned by the royal Ugandan Museveni family. So the next says more about the value of the Museveni family and their estates.

Museveni’s wealth includes ranches in Rwakitura and Kisozi Uganda which accommodates over 2,000 healthy cows which produce thousands of liters of milk daily. The Uganda president makes at least Ush 100 million per month from his farm” (…) “Apart from livestock farming, Museveni has interests in real estate, hotel industry as well as transport industry. He has also invested heavily in the banking industry” (…) “The longest serving president of Uganda is estimated to be worth $ 700 million” (Venasnews, 2016).

So when you see how the Museveni family has become as wealth and rich as President Mobutu did. Mobutu had after his 30 years of dictatorship stashed away US$ 4 Billion into Swiss Bank Accounts, what is more uncertain is the total value of the 30 years President Museveni rule in Uganda. What is right now and known is the businesses that the President is involved in or having ownership in. Secondly is the knowledge of estates, as well as ranches in Uganda with livestock that the President owns. Therefore, the extended wealth of secret bank accounts and not revealed businesses could show the true value of the Museveni family.

With the knowledge of this and the sudden departure that President Museveni together with President Kagame, as they forced the dictator away in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). I don’t think there will be an intervention on President Museveni from one of the neighbors. Still, the world can see the dictator protocol is kept by Museveni as he himself have crafted ways of emptying the state coffers. Therefore, that the riches, the estates and the value of Museveni have risen over the three decades in power isn’t strange. What is more worrying is how he has been able to keep is wealth and ownership.

That President Museveni wishes to look like a hardworking rancher and that he works for his fortune. The yields are coming from hard-work and dedication. At the same time the ownership in banking industry and in other parts of the economy shows how much control the family and the President does have. The private industries and companies are run or ordered directly from the State House.

So that President Museveni said this in 1997 as he overthrew Mobutu is now insane:

Mr. Museveni’s ideology is simple. For too long, he says, African politicians have hoodwinked the common people, manipulating tribal sentiments to stay in power and steal millions of dollars in foreign aid and taxes. A former Marxist, he sees the true struggle on the continent as one between corrupt leaders and the dirt-poor people they exploit” (McKinley Jr., 1997).

So he said for to long African Politician played the commoners, using the sentiments of tribe on their populations and using this tools to stay in power, while doing so taking an emptying the state reserves and donor funding to themselves. Therefore, 20 years since he stood for this and said these words, he has now done the same.

President Museveni of today would assassinate himself or overthrow himself… since he is now the Mobutu of Uganda, he has the character of the men he overthrew in past. He should be worried, because the ghosts of the past and the reckless leadership will follow him and that is why he trust the guns more than people. Since his own insincere political game might catch up with him.

On some levels now, there aren’t much difference between President Mobutu and President Museveni. Peace.

Reference:

Drozdiak, William – ‘Swiss Freeze Mobutu’s Assets; Reports Put Worth at $4 Billion’ (18.05.1997) link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/inatl/africa/zaire/swiss.htm

McKinley Jr., James – ‘Uganda Leader Stands Tall in New African Order’ (15.06.1997) link:http://www.nytimes.com/1997/06/15/world/uganda-leader-stands-tall-in-new-african-order.html

Kinshasa, Mary Braid – ‘Mobutu takes the money and runs to a safe haven’ (16.05.1997) link: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/mobutu-takes-the-money-and-runs-to-a-safe-haven-1261945.html

Koelbl, Susanne & Puhl, Jan – ‘’This Is Our Continent, Not Yours’ (10.06.2016) link: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/interview-with-ugandan-president-yoweri-museveni-a-1096932.html

The London Evening Post – ‘Revealed: How the Museveni family owns Uganda’ (03.01.2012) link: http://www.thelondoneveningpost.com/comments/revealed-how-the-museveni-family-owns-uganda/2/

Venasnews – ‘Yoweri Museveni Salary and Wealth’ (27.06.2016) link: https://venasnews.com/yoweri-museveni-salary-and-wealth/

UN Experts April Report reveal certain horrific facts from South Sudan!

 

A group of UN experts has sent their letter on the intelligence they have on the current conflict in South Sudan, as the related information from this letter can be used for further work and next level assistance to the republic. That the sovereign republic that has been in internal conflict since it session from Sudan, therefore, the need for strong intelligence to understand the situation. Some parts of this letter, is old news as the reports have steadily come on the fighting and the problems inside the nation.

That the dire situation in South Sudan is clear, the revealing thing in this letter or report says some new stuff, but not much. Still the evident of certain issues is clear. That the escalation of battlegrounds in more provinces, and also the levels of child soldiers. Secondly, the possibility of several nations exporting arms to the SPLA to further the conflict. This being Ukraine, Egypt and Uganda. These should know that their cooperation are furthering the bloodshed in South Sudan. Take a look!

Conflicts in many regions:

In the weeks preceding the submission of the present report, SPLA conducted offensives in Upper Nile, in particular around Wau Shilluk on the western bank of the Nile near the Sudanese border; in and around Yuai, northern Jonglei, in the territory populated mainly by the Lou Nuer; and in locations in the Equatorias, in particular the region around Kajo Kaji, Morobo and the hinterlands around Yei near the borders with the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda. There have also been reports of fighting in central and southern Unity, near Mayendit and Leer (the home area of Machar), in rural areas of Western Bahr el-Ghazal and near Torit in Eastern Equatoria” (…) “During the same period, the most significant military operations by SPLM/A in Opposition were undertaken by the affiliated Agwelek militia under the command of Lieutenant General Johnson Olony in Upper Nile at the end of January. While it is unclear whether SPLA or SPLM/A in Opposition/Agwelek initiated the fighting, the latter subsequently shelled multiple SPLA positions in and around Malakal, in Wau Shilluk and north towards Renk; both sides engaged in ground operations; and SPLA launched an incursion into Wau Shilluk as well as northern Jonglei, which had been under the control of SPLM/A in Opposition since 2013. SPLM/A in Opposition has since launched a counteroffensive” (UNSC, P: 16, 2017).

State Economy:

The central bank has almost exhausted its foreign currency reserves, which has limited its ability to play a role in stabilizing the economy. To avoid default and provide liquidity, it may have borrowed between $80 million and $200 million from commercial banks, rendering those banks unable to meet the obligations to their customers, and printed notes, exacerbating inflation. The lack of foreign currency reserves and the risk of losing control over inflation have resulted in repeated requests by the Minister of Finance for international financial support. By the beginning of March 2017, however, no budgetary support had been pledged. To close the budget deficit of some $200 million, the leadership was considering the cancellation of State fuel subsidies” (UNSC, P: 17, 2017).

Child Soldiers:

On 15 December 2016, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported that 17,000 children had been recruited to join the fighting in South Sudan since 2013. As the security situation deteriorated, UNICEF reported a corresponding increase in child recruitment. Some 1,300 children were documented to have been recruited in 2016 alone. In a marked departure from 2015 when 1,755 children were documented to have been released by armed forces or groups, only 177 children were released by armed forces or groups in 2016” (UNSC, P: 24, 2017).

Food Security:

Between February and April 2017, about 4.9 million people — more than 40 per cent of the total population — are estimated to be severely food insecure. The total number nationwide is expected to rise to 5.5 million at the height of the lean season in July if nothing is done to curb the severity and breadth of the food crisis. The key areas being monitored by humanitarian organizations are central and southern greater Unity, greater Bahr el-Ghazal, drought-affected greater Pibor and the counties of Fashoda, Kajo Kaji, Kapoeta, Lainya, Malakal, Manyo, Morobo, Nasir and Yei in greater Equatoria” (UNSC, P: 30, 2017).

Scorched earth:

In its report of 6 March 2017 (A/HRC/34/63, para. 86), the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan summarized the situation as follows:

The Commission deems the continued restrictions and impediments on access to vulnerable populations placed on the United Nations and humanitarian agencies operating in South Sudan unlawful. The ‘scorched earth’ policy may amount to starvation, which is prohibited by international law as a method of warfare, as is denying civilians safe passage from besieged areas. The civilian population is not provided with adequate food or access to health care, and their right to life is often threatened or breached by all parties to the conflict throughout the country” (UNSC, P: 36, 2017).

Violations of UNMISS mandate:

Sustained, systematic violations of the status-of-forces agreement have continued. There were 21 violations, by civilian and armed actors affiliated with SPLM/A in Government, recorded in January 2017 alone. The largest category of violations (10) were movement restrictions imposed against the United Nations. Such restrictions prohibit UNMISS from patrolling in areas in which conflict has flared and human rights violations are being reported, impeding the Mission from implementing its mandate to protect civilians and monitor and report on human rights abuses” (UNSC, P: 37, 2017).

Weapons import:

As described in its report of September 2016 (S/2016/793), the Panel obtained a contract signed in May 2015 between SPLA and a company called Egypt and Middle East for Development for the provision of “Panthera armoured vehicles”. The number of vehicles and the technical specifications are not outlined in the contract, but the stated value of the contract was $7,187,500. The company contracted to provide the vehicles is registered in Egypt and based in Cairo” (UNSC, P: 38, 2017).

L-39 Jet acquisition:

In February 2017, the Panel received information that an IL-76 transport aircraft departed from Kharkiv, Ukraine, on or about 27 January 2017, bound for Gulu, Uganda. The aircraft manifest indicated that it contained two L-39 jets and engines provided by Musket OU, a company based in Tallinn, that had been overhauled and that the flight was operated by the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine. Subsequently, the Government of Ukraine confirmed to the Panel that the two jets were listed as being operated by the Ugandan military and that the end user certificates indicated that the aircraft were to be used only for advanced pilot training. Given Czingáli’s roles in both South Sudan and Uganda and photographic evidence of the jet he operated in South Sudan, the Panel is investigating whether jets based in Uganda have been operated in South Sudan, contrary to the provisions of the end user agreement. The Panel is investigating reports that the jets have been involved in military operations in South Sudan” (UNSC, P: 40, 2017).

The Security situation together with this knowledge says it all and then you should understand why there are so many refugees fleeing from South Sudan. The SPLM/A are more worried of getting of arms, than making sure the humanitarian intervention are safe, as well as citizens having food security, as the rebels and the state forces are now even using the scorched earth tactics. Meaning that all means of oppression and getting rid of possible livable atmosphere is gone. This combined with the child soldiers, the arms procured and the famine, is surely a tragedy in the making. The world shouldn’t look away, but engage. This is to many innocent civilians getting hurt by the power-struggle to control Juba and earn the profits of the oil. Peace.

Reference:

United Nations Security Council – ‘Letter dated 13 April 2017 from the Panel of Experts on South Sudan established pursuant to Security Council resolution 2206 (2015) addressed to the President of the Security Council’ – S/2017/326 – (13.04.2017)

RDC: Communication du Bureau Politique de la Majorite Presidentielle (22.04.2017)

RDC: Declaration de la Conference Episcopale Nationale du Congo sur la Situation Socio-Politique Actuelle en RD Congo (20.04.2017)

Kasai violence drives over 11,000 Congolese to seek refuge in Angola (21.04.20017)

The brutal conflict in Congo’s previously peaceful Kasai region has already displaced more than one million civilians within the country since it began in mid-2016.

GENEVA, Switzerland, April 21, 2017 – A spike of violence in the Kasai Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has now forced over 11,000 refugees to seek safety in Angola. Border points and villages inside the Southern African nation have seen a sharp increase in refugee arrivals with over 9,000 arriving so far in April. The brutal conflict in Congo’s previously peaceful Kasai region has already displaced more than one million civilians within the country since it began in mid-2016.

Those fleeing into Angola continue to arrive mainly in Dundo, the capital of north-eastern Luanda Norte Province.

Refugees reported fleeing attacks from militia groups, who are targeting police, military officials, and civilians who they believe are supporting or representing the Government. After running away from fighting rebel and Government forces, some refugees had to hide in the forest for several days before fleeing to Angola. Refugees are arriving in desperate conditions, without access to clean water, food or shelter.

The situation among children is dire, as many arriving malnourished and sick – suffering from diarrhea, fever and malaria. Two children are reported to have already died from severe malnutrition. UNHCR is concerned for the fate of others suffering from worrying levels of food insecurity and illnesses.

The new arrivals are terrified and still fear for their lives and mentioned they do not have any immediate plans to return home. Some parents have reportedly sent their children across the border, worrying they would be forcibly recruited by the militias if they had stayed in the DRC.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is currently coordinating refugee response with the Government, local authorities and partners on the ground. We are also negotiating with the Government for proper hosting sites as the current border locations are overcrowded and not suitable. UNHCR is sending an additional emergency team to Dundo this Saturday to support relief efforts.

UNHCR is in the process of shipping family tents, kitchens sets, blankets, mosquito nets, sleeping mats and other essential relief items to the area.

Further aid is urgently needed, as refugees are forced to stay in makeshift buildings in the border villages. Angola’s wet season peaks in April, and UNHCR is especially worried about the ongoing rains –– which could further complicate living conditions and the health of refugees, especially the most vulnerable such as women, children, the elderly and the disabled.

UNHCR welcomes the response of the Government of Angola in keeping its borders open for continued refugee arrivals. We hope that this gesture of goodwill will continue as the situation remains dire in DRC’s Kasai region. UNHCR is also underlining the importance of not returning people in need of international protection to the DRC.

Rwanda 1994: Gen. Paul Kagame letter of 10. August 1994 (Confidentiel)

RDC: “Une presse instrumentalisee, mal orientee et sous-informee diffuse une rumeur relayee par les reseaux sociaux sur une recontre a minuit entre Mr Bruno THSIBALA et moi” (20.04.2017)

UPDF Disengages from the Central African Republic (19.04.2017)

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