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’ 

Our U.K Premiere at Raindance Film Festival was a huge success with booked out screenings and week long celebrations to mark the beginning of and end to the silence around the genocide in Uganda.

Our major premiere screening took place in London on Friday night (Sept. 27) at Vue Cinemas on Regent Street and was followed by an expert panel discussion with hosts traveling from other parts of the world just to take part in the event. 

Ambassador Olara Otunnu (UPC Party President) flew in from Uganda and Milton Allimadi (Black Star News) travelled from New York  just hours before the screening to host our panel.

Here is one of many reviews of our film, this time from George Okello who attended one of our screenings at Raindance:

A Brilliant Genocide Film Documentary was screened yesterday evening at at Piccadilly Circus, London. The event was sold out, and I met a few of the UAH members, including Joseph Ochieno, Milton Alimadi, John Latigo and plenty of others.

Otunnu made a very powerful address, on the Genocide that happened in northern Uganda, specifically aimed at wiping out the Acholi as a people. Otunnu contended it was the deliberate intention and policy of Rwandan outlaw Kayibanda Museveni and the NRA gangster movement to wipe out an entire people, only the first time it had been attempted since the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler. He distinguished the NRA progroms from others before it, in that genocides like in Rwanda, Yugoslavia, Iraq etc tended to be sudden, concentrated bursts of violence that lasted a short duration of probably 2-3 years, whereas the one in Acholi was drawn out over 20 years, and was systematic, carefully planned, assiduously orchestrated following a pre-determined pattern aimed at delivering a Final Solution; ie the total elimination of the Acholi people;

1. First Kill the Acholi people.

2. Take away their Land

3. Destroy their culture and identity as a people and Make Them Slaves.

Otunnu said Kayibanda has in fact almost succeeded in his mission of wiping out the Acholi people. He contended the Acholi of old is almost dead- her rich cultural heritage reduced to ashes, her people deliberately marginalised and removed from all positions of power and authority; and her land is now being systematically grabbed by Kayibanda and given away to foreigners. 20 years of brutal encampment have almost destroyed the Acholi traditional systems of governance and completely corrupted the culture that had kept the society together for centuries.

Otunnu painted a very bleak picture of what would amount to one of the greatest crimes ever committed in the history of humanity and human civilisation, and that this crime took place in the full glare of the world without anybody doing anything to stop it. Kayibanda was given free reign to implement one of the worst episodes of barbarity ever inflicted on human beings anywhere in the world.

Dr Adam Branch, who is probably the only western academic to document the suffering of the Acholi people, and the holocaust they went through also gave testimony. Other panelists included Dr Vincent Magombe (Free Uganda).

The Documentary itself is a very powerful rendition of the darkness of man’s heart, how a very cruel and sadistic maniac, obsessed with power, was allowed to run amok among a totally defenceless people and set about murdering them just for fun.

There was not much chance for debate, because of time limitation. My only criticism is that being a mainly victim narrative, the political explanation for Kayibanda Museveni’s grosteque violence and savagery remains largely unexplained. Secondly, the suffering of the Acholi people is made to be unique to the Acholi people, whereas kayibanda Museveni’s barbarity and Rwandan occupation of our country has inflicted harm and suffering all across Uganda, and Eastern Uganda in particular Teso.

The Documentary is a valuable contribution to the unmasking of the brutality of Rwandan outlaw Kayibanda Museveni, and is one of the many attempts Ugandans will use to bring world attention to their suffering. The world can not surely turn a blind eye anymore to the suffering of Ugandans

The Documentary is also a reminder that we will bring Kayibanda Museveni and his henchmen to justice, no matter how long it will take. He will be be punished and should have no illusions about our determination.

The following was written by Dee Allimadi. Dee is a Ugandan living in exile in London and she recently attended A Brilliant Genocide‘s U.K Premiere at the Raindance Film Festival. This is what Allimadi had to say after seeing our film:

‘The hammering on the door continued and by this time Aparu was on the floor with her head in her hands rocking back and forth like a patient in a mental asylum. She lamented in her native Acholi, ‘lubanga na’, ‘lubanga na’ (my God, my God). Lanyero quietly prayed that it was government soldiers and not the LRA rebels. With government soldiers their fate might be rape, torture and either killing on the spot or huddled into “protective camps”. Your fate would be decided very quickly but with the rebels, abduction was a virtual certainty. The rape and torture would become part and parcel of your life.’ (Excerpt from ‘Abducted‘ by Doris Allimadi).

D. Allimadi Cont:
‘This was the life in Acholi Land following Museveni’s ‘liberation’ of Uganda in 1986 and promise of fundamental change. Homesteads were regularly attacked by both rebels and government troops, young men and women abducted and food stolen. Whilst the rest of Uganda begun to somewhat prosper, Gulu and other parts of North Uganda were left to languish in absolute poverty.

On 30th September, I had the privilege of watching the very harrowing and heart-breaking docu-film, A Brilliant Genocide directed and produced by the very talented film maker, Ebony Butler. Ms Butler spent many years researching and corroborating her findings before making this docu-film.

The docu-film had a very balanced and extensively researched view of the atrocities in Gulu and North Uganda with contributions by Milton Allimadi, Editor and Publisher at Blackstarnews, former ambassador and UN Special Representative Olara Otunnu, Adam Branch, a professor at Cambridge University and Vincent Magombe, a journalist.

When one thinks of the atrocities perpetrated against the Acholi people, the name Joseph Kony immediately springs to mind. Kony and his LRA were responsible for countless abductions, killing, maiming and displacing families in Gulu and other parts of North Uganda. Abducted children were forced to become rebels, turning on their own families, friends and neighbours, or child brides with objections leading to repercussions. Whilst Kony’s actions were deplorable, inexcusable and indefensible, A Brilliant Genocide tells us that his crimes are only but a tip of the iceberg. Thousands of Acholi’s in fact perished at the hands of Museveni’s planned and systematic silent genocide whilst the rest of Uganda and the international community turned a blind eye. According to Olara Otunnu, there was a conspiracy of silence.

How could they have not known? The nightmare in the North of Uganda was well documented. Women and men were raped, sometimes brutally gang raped and deliberately infected with HIV/Aids, murdered in cold blood, forced into ‘protective camps’ where they starved to death and according to the WHO, about 1000 people a week died from treatable and preventable disease.

The docu-film was hard to watch. To see such grave suffering of innocent people, especially children and pregnant women. Harder still, because some of the witnesses were in the audience and were given the opportunity to speak to us afterwards. The scars were still visible in their voices, so to speak.

Why is the world still silent?
Friends of Acholis and Uganda, end the silence. Hear the cries of the mother who has lost her own, the father stripped of all dignity and the child robbed of its innocence.

A Brilliant Genocide exposes the extent of murderous intent of Museveni towards the Acholi, whom he has previously, allegedly referred to as biological substances. Witness statements reveal that people were put into mass graves, covered with earth and set on fire, that villages were attacked and citizens shot at will and yet, no one said a word. There was no condemnation from the international community, not even from our closest neighbours and friends Kenya and Tanzania. The sun rose and set whilst blood of the Acholi’s run free.’

The next screening of A Brilliant Genocide will be on October 21 at the Document International Human Rights Film Festival in Glasgow, followed by an expert panel and key note address and also on October 22nd and 23rd at the 36th Cambridge International Film Festival. 

Fore more info or ticket sales please go to: www.cambridgefilmfestival.org.uk and www.documentfilmfestival.org

You can help. Your signature alone can make a difference.

Please sign the petition on Change.Org: www.bit.ly/STOPM7