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’ 

Well the past few months have been very interesting. We are excited to announce that we have a new producer on board, Jason Byrne!

Also, we have just returned from yet another filming trip, this time it was back in the UK! It was quite last minute, I was in Sydney packing a container of bikes just 10 days ago for an upcoming shipment to Cambodia for my charity Bikes 4 Life, and that’s when I got the call!

I was offered an opportunity to conduct some exclusive interviews with some people who are extremely difficult to access, but those who could add enormous insight into the film. There was also an ‘invitation only’  press conference that I was invited to attend. How could I refuse?

So, I had about 4 days to get everything sorted, get a camera man, get flights, and get all the way from Melbourne to London! As it turned out, I did go, and it all worked out rather well! My new producer organised a great camera man / DP, Ellery Ryan, who was simply brilliant!

I won’t mention all the interviews I conducted, but I will touch on the event that I was invited to attend and document. It was the press conference and launch of the recently formed Ugandan Party, FUF (Freedom and Unity Front) and its Manifesto.

The function was held at the London School of Economics (LSE) Alumni Theatre Hall on Saturday. Speakers included Professor Kaveh Moussavi of Oxford University, Dr. Amii Omara Otunnu (FUF Chairman) and Genral David Sejusa (formerly known as Tinyefuza).

General David Sejusa (Tinyefuza)
Renegade General David Sejusa (Tinyefuza)

General Sejusa, fled Uganda in April after authoring a controversial letter to internal security bosses to investigate reports of planned assassinations of members opposed to the alleged grooming of the President’s son, Muhoozi, for presidency. Sejusa fought in the National Resistance Army war that brought President Museveni to power in 1986. He also led military operations in northern Uganda against brutal warlord Joseph Kony. Sejusa was accused of highhandedness and committing atrocities in the bloody war. After an on-and-off relationship with Museveni, Sejusa in April decided to break ranks with government before escaping to London, UK where he has helped form FUF, with aim to cause regime change in Uganda. (http://chimpreports.com)

At the launch General David Sejusa, formerly the most senior army officer and closest ally of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, lifted the lid on what has been going on in the country during the 27 years of Museveni’s rule. It included heavily the state of corruption, and explicitly detailed the election rigging of the 2006 elections, stating that opposition leader Kizza Besigye clearly one the election in a landslide victory.

FUF Launch in London: General David Sejusa, Dr. Amii Omara-Otunnu and Professor Mouvani
FUF Launch in London: General David Sejusa, Dr. Amii Omara-Otunnu and Professor Kaveh Moussavi

FUF claims it intends to front “the global campaign to transform Uganda into a nation of peace and sustainable development based on the ethical values of democracy, respect for human rights, and the rule of law.”

The day before leaving I also had the chance to meet again with Milton Allimadi, who had flown in from New York for the event. Milton is the publisher of Black Star News, and I had the privilege of interviewing him back in New York in 2011.

Ebony and Milton Allimadi of Black Star News
Ebony and Milton Allimadi of Black Star News

I also was honoured to meet with the brother of Dr. Olara Otunnu (UPC President) and human rights expert, Dr. Amii Omara-Otunnu, who I also conducted an interview with. He is the interim Chairman of FUF.

Dr. Amii Omara-Otunnu is the UNESCO Chair in Comparative Human Rights and Professor of History at the University of Connecticut. In addition to his UNESCO chairmanship, he is also the Executive Director of the Institute of Comparative Human Rights at the University of Connecticut.

I will release some footage from the interviews and press conference soon so please check back!

Uganda is going through some very interesting times. Times of change.

I’m back in Australia now, and have to get everything together, as a new and final stage of post-production is to begin in early 2014.