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’ 

“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

 

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Ugandan districts affected by Lords Resistance...
Image via Wikipedia

Well it has been an amazing first week in the Pearl of Africa! We spent 6 days in Kampala meeting up with friends and contacts from political and humanitarian roots, while also awaiting the arrival of our container full of bikes from Australia.

A few days in we went to the DAMCO office in Kampala to find out what was happening with our bikes and found out there had been a problem at customs with our mattresses and mobile ambulances.
We got the the required papers arranged to clear the container in Mombasa, and were told that we had to wait for a truck to become available, and 4 days on from that call, we are still waiting for a truck to become available!!

We spent a few days meeting with organisation’s that work with orphans and slum communities in the Kampala region, including Hope Restoration Ministry in Jinja and AFFCAD in Bwaise. We will be delivering bikes to both groups when the container arrives, hopefully by next week!

We were chewing into our time north while waiting for the bikes so decided to travel to Gulu, the biggest town in Northern Uganda. We first had a meting with the President of the Uganda people’s Congress (UPC) Doctor Olara Otunnu. By the time the interview ended it was almost 4pm, and traveling to the north is not advised at night time. However we had people waiting for us so we decided to go anyway!

We made it to Gulu safe and sound, thanks to our top driver Charles… We had some close encounters with trucks and saw the Presidential Convoy thrash by. We also ran over a dog which was terrible. It shocked the whole crew, and we arrived close to 11pm in Gulu in quite a sombre state.

I woke up today with the phone going crazy, emails and facebook all maxed out with stories about Joseph Kony and the LRA (Lords’ Resistance Army). Invisible Children have supposedly launched one of the biggest social media / viral marketing campaigns of all time. Interesting that we are here half an hour from Joseph Kony’s home town and at the centre of where all the worst atrocities took place, yet we have heard no one at all talking about it…!?

Today is International Women’s Day and we are going to celebrate with the Gulu community. After that we will continue our work on the ground, helping communities affected by the war and interviewing people about issues relating the the other side of the coin…  Every story has two sides after all!

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.

War on LRA Rebels Loses Momentum Report:  Institute for War and Peace Reporting

Efforts to defeat feared group run into trouble as regional governments fail to address threat.

ACR Issue 300, 17 Aug 11 – By Barrett Holmes Pitner – International JusticeICC

Amid concerns that efforts to flush out Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army, LRA,

are flagging, the international community is facing stark challenges to defeat the

rebels as they continue to wreak havoc in the region. Since the United States

announced a long-awaited strategy to defeat the LRA and capture its leaders by

bolstering the military effort in the region, Uganda has instead withdrawn 700

troops that were pursuing the rebels and curtailed  funding for the operation.