Uganda sinks into an abyss as the world watches silently
Uganda’s Slide into the political abyss must be stopped – An urgent Free Uganda (FU) appeal to the United Nations and the World at Large.
[By Dr. Vincent Magombe, the Secretary Free Uganda Leadership Committee and Press Secretary FU – 13/09/2017]
The East African nation of Uganda, which is best known to many around the world as the “Land of Idi Amin”, is once again headed for an unimaginable political cataclysm, if Mr. Yoweri Museveni, the country’s long-time ruler is allowed to change the constitution to lift an existing ban on citizens above the age of 75 from running for the post of president.
My Museveni, who has been running Uganda for over 30 years, is barred by the Constitution from standing in the 2021 elections as presidential candidate for the ruling NRM party. But Museveni and his fanatical NRM parliamentarians are seeking to amend the constitutional provision which bars citizens aged 75 and above from standing as Presidential candidates.
Given the extreme brutality and undemocratic approaches, with which Mr. Museveni has ruled Uganda over the decades, it is amazing that the international community and the United Nations, and indeed the African Union, have adopted a laissez-faire posture of never acting against the brutal Ugandan regime, the way they have done against the likes of Gambia’s Yahya Jammeh, Ivory Coast’s Laurent Gbagbo or Libya’s Colonel Muammar Gaddafi., when things went tragic in these countries.
No doubt, the military action against the former Gambian president Yahya Jammeh was taken by the West African regional body, ECOWAS, but this move had the full support of the United States and the United Nations. Like Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, Yahya Jammeh had ruled the Gambia for many decades with an iron grip, but when he overreached his maniacal gameplays by attempting to hang on to power after loosing elections, not only the Gambians, but, crucially, the regional ECOWAS force swung into action, and in just a few days, the Yahya Jammeh dictatorship was history.
One wonders what it will take for the world to listen to the cries of the Ugandan people, who have endured an over 30-year long Museveni dictatorship that is fast surpassing the suffering and repression they endure during the 7-year long Idi Amin rule in the 1970s.
Already, Mr. Museveni has been partaking in genocidal acts, like those which have occurred in the Western Ugandan Rwenzururu Kingdom, where hundreds of unarmed civilians, including women and children, were murdered in broad day light. Hundreds of the Rwenzururu King’s supporters remain in military and civilian prisons, where they endure daily torture and brutalisation. The King, who was himself arrested in the aftermath of the genocide, remains confined to house arrest and is unable to safely discharge his royal duties.
In northern Uganda, the Museveni regime is carrying out a scorched-earth policy involving punitive land grabs, but which has also culminated in the killing of many innocent citizens. Similarly, Museveni’s military and security operatives have been active in the North-Eastern districts of Karamoja and Teso, where local populations have been opposing the regime’s land grabs and repressive actions.
All across the country, Museveni’s repressive forces have gone on rampage arresting thousands of political opponents whenever the people have attempted to engage in peaceful protests against the dictator’s un-democratic tendencies. A huge number of opposition leaders have been detained in recent months, as many other were confined to their homes under house arrest. In Uganda, today, there is no chance whatsoever of effecting regime-change through democratic elections or any other peaceful uprising.
As a result, an increasing number of Ugandan citizens are resorting to organised liberation actions, after realising that all peaceful avenues of protest have been denied to them.
It is against this background that the Free Uganda (FU) pro-democracy campaign platform would like to fore-warn the world, and in particular, the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union and all other international organisations as well as individual countries, to recognise and support the Ugandan people’s struggle for freedom and democracy.
Ugandans are crying out for the world to act now, before Mr. Yoweri Museveni drives the entire country to a political abyss of cataclysmic proportions. Uganda people will be hoping that the world will act to stop Museveni acquiring his killing-tools, by imposing an arms embargo on the Kampala regime. Ugandans also hope that sanctions will be imposed on individual regime actors, such as Mr. Museveni himself and members of his family, as well as Museveni’s trusted military and security force commanders, who have taken part in genocidal and torture acts against innocent civilians.
Specific focus should be put on the notorious police chief, General Kale Kayihura, who has been masterminding the mass arrests, torture and even killings of any known Museveni opponent, including thousands of pro-democracy youth activists.
The other targets for international sanctions and possible International Criminal Court indictments should include the heartless commander of Uganda’s land forces, Major General Peter Elwelu, who oversaw the Rwenzururu Kingdom genocide in the Western Ugandan district of Kasese, as well as Museveni’s son, Major General Muhoozi Kaneirugaba, who was until recently the commander of the combined Special Forces Group and Presidential Guard Brigade. Major General Muhoozi is now Presidential Advisor for Special Operations, a post that gives him a vantage position of influence, not just on the country’s political, but also military and security matters.
In calling for this limited international action against the Ugandan dictator, Free Uganda is well aware that the so-called international community will not come firing rockets and missiles at Museveni’s residences or military facilities, given the changed political environment in global politics. Ugandans are convinced that it is only Ugandan patriotic forces who must act now to free their nation from the claws of Museveni’s tyranny. Nor do Ugandans place any hope in regional interventions like the Tanzanian invasion of Uganda under the climax of the Idi Amin rule in the 1070s, or the more recent ECOWAS military action which led to the overthrow the Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh.
What Ugandans pray for is for all those foreigners currently arming or supporting the Ugandan regime in any way to stop doing so, so that Ugandan freedom forces can act to uproot the dictatorship. Uganda anti-Museveni forces have already been actively infiltrating the regime’s military, security and political support bases, resulting in damaging internal feuds and rebellion. Dictator Museveni has become extremely vulnerable, as he sees a growing number of rifts in his once united and organised political and military infrastructure.
It is no coincidence that many of Museveni’s allies, including close advisors, NRM youth groups and even NRM parliamentary caucus members, are openly opposing the despot’s land grabs and, more importantly, his failing attempt to lift the 75-age limit that bars him from standing as NRM presidential candidate come 2021.
Museveni’s days in state house are truly numbered, but for the people’s freedom struggle to succeed soonest, all the people of Uganda must come together as one, and it would greatly help if the so-called international community stopped supporting the genocidal regime and left the country’s citizens to do the needful.
The Struggle Continues.