A Brilliant Genocide director Ebony Butler and her London based collaborator Belinda Atim spoke with Joseph Ochieno on Talking Africa (Resonance 104.4fm) yesterday afternoon about our documentary, the conspiracy of silence around the war in Uganda and the largely untold story of state sponsored atrocities in the north and east of the country. Belinda starts off the interview discussing the recent news of Uganda and the U.S stopping the six year man hunt for rebel leader and supposed most wanted man in Africa, and top 10 most wanted in the world, Joseph Kony. The question of whether or not A Brilliant Genocide had anything to do with the decision did come up, as many people seem to believe our film was a cause for the unexpected change of heart regarding the massive man hunt for Joseph Kony which has to date cost close to if not over one billion US dollars. I bet the US taxpayers aren’t aware of that – nor that the money was largely looted and used for other purposes, oppression, invasions and to help build one of the strongest armies in East Africa…. to essentially help entrench the dictator in power for longer. (31 years years is a long time in power, but it seems Museveni can’t get enough)

One other thing that was stressed in the interview was the importance of the petition that is attached to our documentary, primarily calling for US to stop funding and military support to the Ugandan regime. You can help end the silence by signing and sharing the petition here: www.bit.ly/STOPM7  Thank you!

#EndTheSilence 

How to Tune in Next Time:

If you have the internet  you can tune in live from anywhere in the world on Resonance 104.4FM in London – but best to come back the same time next week (Thursday, pm-2pm GMT) for the Talking Africa program… I’m sure we will be back for a few more shows as there is so much to cover and we only scratched the very tip pf the iceberg yesterday!

‘Justice delayed is justice denied’ 

Sean Stone interviews journalist Milton Allimadi about the hidden genocide taking place in Uganda and Ebony Butler’s feature documentary, A Brilliant Genocide’.

#ENDIMPUNITY     #ENDTHESILENCE

Take a stance against injustice and impunity by sharing this petition and helping reach the audience deserves. #JusticeNow http://bit.ly/STOPM7

Dear U.S. President,

I just saw the harrowing documentary “A Brilliant Genocide” which exposes how for three decades, successive U.S. administrations have supported the Uganda dictator Gen. Yoweri Museveni with billions of dollars in financial and military assistance. Gen. Museveni has used this money to entrench his regime in power and commit crimes against the Acholi people in northern Uganda that we maintain amount to genocide and minorities outside of Uganda. Museveni has for 3 decades embarked on a campaign of terror against the Majority Acholi People and also the destabilization of countries outside of his own nation’ borders.

The whole world is familiar with the atrocities committed in northern Uganda by Joseph Kony and his notorious Lord’s Resistance Army. These include killings, rapes, mutilations and the abduction of children who were turned into sex slaves and child soldiers. “A Brilliant Genocide” exposes how Gen. Museveni diabolically exploited the LRA atrocities as cover for his own crimes against the Acholi people.

In “A Brilliant Genocide” we learn that many of the crimes committed by the Ugandan army were just as brutal as those of the LRA, if not more so. These included the rape of women and men, facial mutilations and burying people alive in large pits which were then covered with earth and grass and set on fire to roast the victims alive. In some cases, these atrocities were committed by U.S. trained officers and soldiers carrying U.S. supplied weapons. Humans Rights Groups estimate that more than a million people have perished through massacres and displacements over this period. The atrocities continue.

“A Brilliant Genocide” exposes how Gen. Museveni ordered his army to evict two million Acholis from their homes and confine them in concentration camps where women and girls were victims of sexual assault by Museveni’s soldiers and roughly 1000 people died each week, mostly from starvation and disease, according to a 2005 World Health Organization report. This went on for 20 years, during which time more than one million people may have perished. Museveni seized power in 1986, during the administration of Ronald Reagan. Since then, he has been re-elected five times in elections deemed not free or fair by both international observers and the Ugandan Supreme Court. How can the U.S. continue to aid such a criminal regime?

Dear U.S. President, I demand that:

  1. The U.S. immediately cut off arms supplies and any military and non-humanitarian support for Gen. Yoweri Museveni’s regime.
  2. That the U.S. take steps to ensure that the perpetrators of crimes committed by the Museveni regime, including Gen. Museveni himself, face justice, just as the U.S. has demanded of Joseph Kony and his associates face justice.
  3. That the U.S. use diplomatic pressure and sanctions to force the Ugandan government to compensate victims of all atrocities committed by Museveni’s regime, including the killing of relatives and loss of property such as land and livestock throughout Uganda, not just in the north.
  4. That the U.S. support the Ugandan opposition and all those fighting for justice in their demand for an independent audit of the Feb. 18, 2016 presidential election. This would be similar to the UN sponsored audit carried out after the disputed election of Ashraf Ghani in Afghanistan.

Please see the film trailer for “A Brilliant Genocide” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mE-a-fbv_CM

#ENDIMPUNITY     #ENDTHESILENCE

Take a stance against injustice and impunity by sharing this petition and helping reach the audience deserves. #JusticeNow http://bit.ly/STOPM7


 

SIGN THE PETITION HERE

Cut Off U.S. Weapons To Gen Museveni Uganda’s Murderous Dictator:

Dear President Obama,

As you know on Feb. 18 Uganda held elections that were universally condemned by credible observers including by the U.S. as flawed and having not been free, fair or credible; they were also marred by violence against opposition leaders and their supporters by state security agents.

The Ugandan military has since escalated its human rights abuses by inflicting brutal repression against civilians.

The U.S., which is a major security partner of the Ugandan regime, providing arms and training for its army – in addition to $700 million in financial support — must at the very least suspend this relationship as required by the Leahy Amendment which “prohibits the U.S. Department of State and Department of Defense from providing military assistance to foreign military units that violate human rights with impunity.”

With respect to the Feb. 18 vote, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo condemned the Ugandan regimes’ vote suppression in opposition strongholds; he said the delays in delivery of election material were “inexcusable.”

Yoweri_Museveni_with_Obamas_2014
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet His Excellency Yoweri Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, in the Blue Room during a U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit dinner at the White House, Aug. 5, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

(more…)

“Although Africa has long been known to be rich in oil, extracting it hadn’t seemed worth the effort and risk until recently. But with the price of Middle Eastern crude skyrocketing, and advancing technology making reserves easier to tap, the region has become the scene of a competition between major powers that recalls the 19th-century scramble for colonization. Already, the United States imports more of its oil from Africa than from Saudi Arabia, and China, too, looks to the continent for its energy security.”

Can the United States restrain Chinese influence on the resource rich continent? 

GB Times – The Third Angle

Hillary Clinton in Uganda… And why would she smile so lovingly at a brutal dictator who soon, like Kagame, will be exposed?
Forget Kony, the man you want is staring at you in the face! Kony will stop when Museveni is made accountable for his crimes also. Just my opinion…

 

‘Clinton is expected to highlight US programmes on development, education and HIV/AIDS — long the backbone of US engagement with Africa — as well as US economic interest in a continent whose rich resources and enviable growth rates have drawn rival suitors, including China and India.’

 

 

http://tvnz.co.nz/world-news/security-in-focus-clinton-heads-africa-4999102

 

Related articles:

For many years, international companies have benefited from the instability in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

via Clinton, Kagame and M23.

Excerpt from Article:

No blackmail, but persistence of a long term plan’ 

For many years, international companies have benefited from the instability in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Paul Kagame and Joweri Museveni have as well continued to plunder the country’s resources through a network of armed militias spread all over Eastern Congo.

There has been an official narrative which has been successively sold to the general opinion saying that the Rwandan genocide of April 1994 was a failure of the international community to protect lives in danger.

And for that reason, there are views particularly among Western scholars and foreign aid agencies claiming that the unconditional support to Rwanda over these last 18 years was a consequence of their guilt.

Either they are in denial of what they fully know, or they want to fool those among the general public who are ignorant of what has been going on.

Otunnu Pins Museveni to Serious War Crimes

By Norman S. Miwambo

26th March 2012:

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Dr. Olara Otunnu in London, 2012

UPC Party President Dr. Olara Otunnu, who is on a working visit to the United Kingdom, has established a contributory link between President Yoweri Museveni’s role and the war crimes for which Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga was convicted by the Hague-based International Criminal Court [ICC].

In an exclusive interview with this news paper, Dr Otunnu started by welcoming the conviction of Thomas Lubanga.  “I am happy with the conviction.  Actually, it’s the first conviction of the ICC since it was established in 2002,” Dr Otunnu said in reference to the March 14 judgement.

Commenting on the specific charge of recruiting child soldiers for which Lubanga was convicted, Otunnu, a former UN Under Secretary General for Children in Armed Conflict, also highlighted his role in framing the war crimes offence.

“The three charges against him were all to do with the recruitment and abuse of children,” said Otunnu, adding that:  “In fact, the particular provision in the Rome Statute under which Thomas Lubagnga was convicted is something I drafted myself.” Otunnu said.

The UPC leader also wasted no time in establishing a firm link between Lubanga’s crimes and Uganda’s role in aiding and abetting those war crimes.  “Lubanga was a relatively small player in the DR Congo.  What gave Luganga his power and sway in the Congo was actually sponsorship by Ugandan leaders,” Otunnu said.

He added:  “As you know, this is not Olara making things up.  There is a very thick Judgement that was delivered…not by the ICC…but by the International Court of Justice.  Numerous charges of crimes committed by Uganda in the Congo are in that Judgement.  Aggression, crimes of war, crimes against humanity, it is all those things.”

Dr Otunnu, a Harvard trained Lawyer, also said he believes that Ugandan leaders and commanders are legitimate suspects for prosecution under the Rome Statute. “The little fellow [Lubanga] who was manipulated from Uganda been charged, but the real fellows who were in charge of his crimes are walking scot-free.  That is what is wrong with the application of the Rome Statue.” Otunnu charged.

He said he told ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo that the ICC’s process and choice of those to be indicted has been highly politicised and highly selective.  “I still very much hope that what was done inside Uganda, on Ugandan territory and elsewhere in Congo will be punished.  I hope to see a day of reckoning when the ICC will investigate and bring them to book for what they did.” said Otunnu.

“Thomas Lubanga was not a hugely significant player in the overall scheme of things.” Otunnu maintained.  END.  Please login to www.ugandacorrespondent.com every Monday to read our top stories and anytime mid-week for our news updates.

http://www.ugandacorrespondent.com/articles/2012/03/otunnu-pins-museveni-to-serious-war-crimes/

My second trip to Uganda was vastly different from the first, back in 2009.

In 2009, I was researching the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army), Joseph Kony and the topical issue of children in armed conflict. I spent most of my time with former child soldiers in Northern Uganda and also made a promise to a group of child soldiers that I had become close to. The promise was to send 2 bicycles, to help them in their lives and in their rehabilitation and re-integration into society.

In 2012, I returned with a container of 400 bicycles, a mission I had been on since my trip there in 2009. I also set up a bike workshop and vocational training centre at Friends of Orphans in Pader, to help victims of the conflict.

As as far as my research on the war in Northern Uganda goes, I had learnt a lot more in the three years since my first visit. During that period I also traveled to the United States, where I interviewed people at the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Black Star News, UNICEF, Resolve Uganda and many other organizations.

My knowledge of the conflict grew day by day, and when I returned to Uganda earlier this year, I had many new contacts to meet and learn from. These included notable and die-hard pro-democracy activists such as Barbara Allimadi, Shawn Mubiru, Anne Mugisha, opposition leaders Kizza Besigye, Nandala Mafabi and the honorable UPC President and former UN Under Secretary General for Children in Armed Conflict, Dr. Olara Otunnu. The experts and scholars I met with included Adam Branch from Makerere University, Leander Komakech, Okello Okello John Livingstone and Major General Pecas Kutesa – who all offered interesting and informative insights into the war and the state of democracy in Uganda. This really put a new spin on my take of the conflict, which had gradually been happening since the U.S trip in 2011. There were things that didn’t add up and it has taken a long time to work out the truth, as the media portrayal of the conflict is far from the facts I had uncovered. Uganda, I also discovered, was a democracy in disguise. On two occasions I was almost arrested, for no reason other than having a camera and having friends who are with the opposition. On my last day in Uganda, the day I was grabbed by the Police and threatened to be tear gassed, my friend Doreen was actually arrested and put into maximum security prison (Luzira), for voicing her opinion about the government and Museveni’s corrupt regime. I can tell you first hand, Uganda is not as free and democratic as it appears to be…

I still spend countless hours researching the conflict and the human rights situation in the country, as what has occurred in Northern Uganda has been so well concealed by the powers that be, and the international community at large, making it very difficult for the truth to be made visually transparent. The ‘Kony War‘, as it is often called, is not what it seems. That is not to say that Kony does not exist, nor that he has not committed the atrocities that are now well-known to the world, thanks to the viral video campaign from Invisible Children, Kony 2012. The perpetrator of this conflict is not Kony, as most would believe due to media and government deception and misinformation. Joseph Kony is sadly a product of the war, and should still however be made to face justice for his crimes. But, will that bring justice to the Acholi people of Northern Uganda, particularly if the other perpetrators are not also made to stand trial for their involvement in this human tragedy? How can justice prevail when impunity reigns?

This year I also spent much time in Uganda looking into how the conflict can be resolved and what is the best way forward. Is military intervention (which is what is currently happening) the correct road, or could truth and reconciliation through national dialogue and peace talks be a better and more effective option? There are many differing views on this subject, but on the ground, there seems to be only one. Invisible Children have called out loud and clear for U.S military intervention in the region, but where has that got them in the past, and for what reasons would they really be intervening? The fact of the matter is, why intervene now, when they really needed to intervene 10 years ago, when there was a serious humanitarian crisis going on. That’s when everyone was silent on what was going on. That’s when help was needed and voices needed to be heard. Now there is relative peace and the people in Uganda want to know, “WHY NOW?”.

‘Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.’
Albert Einstein

Yesterday after months of war in Libya, Colonel Gaddafi was shot dead and his 4 decade long tyrannical rule was officially over.

And just a few days ago the U.S sent 100 special forces to Uganda to work with the UPDF in the hunt for Joseph Kony. However, Kony isn’t even in Uganda.

Kony is suspected to be hiding somewhere between the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and the Central African Republic, where he continues his reign of terror.

The US troops will not be engaging in fighting the LRA and are said to be only assisting in intelligence to the Ugandan People’s Defence Force.

There are various opinions regarding President Obama’s latest action involving the arrest of Kony, coming almost one year after he signed the LRA Bill and Northern Ugandan Recovery Act.

Whilst many activists and humanitarians around the world are celebrating this latest initiative to finally put an end to the atrocities committed by the LRA, some are skeptical of the President’s motivations.

One argument put forward has been relating to the controversial issue of resource war, saying that America is only getting involved now to compete with China’s hegemony in the region and more so due to the huge amount of oil that has been found recently in the region of Northern Uganda and Eastern DRC. The geopolitical position of Uganda is advantageous to governments hoping to exploit the land, with the riches of the world’s newest nation, South Sudan, just over the border, and the extreme amount of mineral wealth in neighboring Congo. People against US intervention in the region also question America’s relationship with Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, who has been responsible for grave crimes against his people and that of neighboring countries. His human rights track record is far from good, yet he has had his back covered by America for years despite this. It is too often said that Museveni himself is responsible for more death and destruction that LRA leader Joseph Kony.

Maybe US intervention or action from Uganda’s or regional governments has come late, but it is nevertheless extremely important to use any means possible to rid East and Central Africa of Joseph Kony and the LRA. And maybe, the US are keeping their enemies closer and not the best friend to Uganda that some people believe… Maybe they are planning to topple him like other African leaders and maybe it’s also a part of a grand strategy to rule every corner of the world, particularly lands with the most mineral wealth and oil. Or maybe that’s not the case at all. You decide.