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’ 

The International Uganda Convention in the Hague, Netherlands, in conjunction with the Hague Peace Projects and the Ugandan Diaspora P10, will be screening our documentary A Brilliant Genocide during the 3 day event, on February 24th at 7.30pm.

See http://www.bit.ly/UGANDACONVENTION for more information.

ABG POSTER Black Uganda Convention 03.jpg

ABOUT THE CONVENTION

The “International Conference on Uganda” scheduled from 23rd- 26th February 2017 in The Hague, the Netherlands.

The three days’ convention aims at arriving at a consensus on the roadmap for a; United, Decisive Constitutional Reforms, Electoral Reforms, the Peaceful transition of power in Uganda, and vulnerable minorities.

The three days’ convention will bring together stakeholders in the political, social and economic development of Uganda e.g. but not limited to members of the ruling government party, opposition leaders, Members of Parliament (MPs), Representative from Uganda’s: Judiciary, Civic Society Organizations (CSOs), Religious Leaders, Cultural Leaders who form the nexus of Uganda’s peace, stability and development.

In addition, we have invited distinguished international, local and Diaspora based pro-democracy and pro-human rights intelligentsia as well as a representative from International Criminal Court (ICC) European Union (EU) the Dutch government. and Uganda’s strategic development partners.

Under the Conference theme the following shall be the main areas of discussion:

  1. The Role and Unity of the pro-democracy and good governance activists (tools of change – drivers of change)
  2. Consensus on the benchmarks for sustainable political stability and democracy.
  3. Consensus on whether Uganda is a democracy or the country needs political reforms and free and fair elections
  4. The Role of Uganda Diaspora Uganda’s in the Political, social and economic development of Uganda Diaspora in the development of democracy and good governance in Uganda with particular emphasis on the Uganda Diaspora Right to vote and direct representatives in the Uganda Parliament.
  5. The Ruwenzori Crisis; focusing on prevention of genocide, military conflicts and demilitarising Uganda’s politics once and for all.
  6. Uganda’s strategic role to stability in the Great Lakes and IGAAD and Great Regions.
  7. The human rights situation in Uganda with particular emphasis on the right to choose leaders in free and fair elections, freedom of assembly and demonstration.
  8. Good governance. Zero tolerance for corruption and abuse of public resources and affairs, a sound and steady economic growth with clear agenda.
  9. See www.bit.ly/UGANDACONVENTION for more information.

ABOUT UGANDA DISAPORA P10 GROUP

We are a group of pro-change Ugandans living in the Diaspora – Europe, North America, Asia, Australia, and parts of Africa. We Ugandans in alliance with friends of Uganda are united with the purpose of causing a legitimate and peaceful change of governance in Uganda. As Ugandans in the Diaspora, we embrace diversity and acknowledge that we contribute substantively to the Ugandan economy, and to the development of human resources, as well as enhancing the quality of life of many Ugandans.

Our financial contributions to the economy should have guaranteed us a special status representation in the Parliament of Uganda, voting from our foreign missions abroad, and participating in other organs of the state. Nonetheless, we have remained largely marginalized in that regard. We have therefore decided to become part of the force for change in Uganda and view the 2016 General Elections as a realistic opportunity that offers hope for change in the current political climate.

The P10 Diaspora is the civil response to the call by the FDC Presidential Flag Bearer, Col (Rtd) Dr Kizza Besigye for grass-root mobilization structure to canvass support, and protect the votes meant for Dr. Besigye on polling day. Its purpose is to generate awareness about how people can effectively exercise “peoples’ power” to cause the desired change, and to eliminate the attendant fears associated with the NRM violence during elections.

https://www.ugandadiasporap10.org

http://www.bit.ly/UGANDACONVENTION

http://www.thehaguepeace.org
Please sign the petition: http://www.bit.ly/STOPM7

#ENDTHESILENCE

The Hague Peace Projects

uganda-convention-eventbriteThe Uganda Diaspora, The Hague Peace Projects and other organizations, are organizing an “International Conference on Uganda” scheduled from 23rd- 26th February 2017 in The Hague, the Netherlands.

The three days’ convention aims at arriving at a consensus on the roadmap for a; United, Decisive Constitutional Reforms, Electoral Reforms, the Peaceful transition of power in Uganda, and vulnerable minorities.

The three days’ convention will bring together stakeholders in the political, social and economic development of Uganda e.g. but not limited to members of the ruling government party, opposition leaders, Members of Parliament (MPs), Representative from Uganda’s: Judiciary, Civic Society Organizations (CSOs), Religious Leaders, Cultural Leaders who form the nexus of Uganda’s peace, stability and development.

In addition, we have invited distinguished international, local and Diaspora based pro-democracy and pro-human rights intelligentsia as well as a representative from International Criminal Court (ICC) European Union (EU) the Dutch government. and Uganda’s strategic…

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Artwork by Linda Zacks
Artwork by Linda Zacks

It’s been busy few months in the studio editing this documentary… With plans for completion by the end of the year!

Soon we will have a new title for the film and website/facebook/twitter etc – But you’ll have to wait a few months for that special release!

Right now we are working every single day and night to complete this film and get the story out there!

We currently have an 87 minute edit that’s working well. We are close – but still there’s lots of post production work to be done including animating maps, securing archive material, sound design, narration, translating, subtitling and much more – But nevertheless we are getting there! 

Please stay with us… Your support is integral to getting the truth told and to give not only a voice but also justice to the voiceless victims of a most tragic war in Northern Uganda that warrants the attention of the world.

Please also follow us on Facebook at wwww.facebook.com/childtroopers  as that’s where we update regularly!

Many thanks for your support!

 

Radhika Coomasawary (NY)
U.N Special Representative for Children & Armed Conflict
 
Dr. Kizza Besigye (KLA)
Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) President
 
DrOlara Otunnu (KLA)
UPC President & Former U.N USG CAAC
 
Bishop Odama & Bishop Ochola (KLA & GULU)
Acholi Religious Peace Leaders Initiative (ARLPI) 
 
Nandala Mafabi (KLA)
Opposition Leader
 
Major General Pecas Kutesa (KLA)
Uganda’s People Defense Force (UPDF)
 
Jo Becker & Rona Peligal (NY)
Human Rights Watch (HRW) LRA Experts
 
Milton Allimadi (NY)
Black Star News Publisher
 
Jolly Okot (KLA)
Director (UgandaInvisible Children
 
(more…)

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