Monday, February 20, 2017

#GreatLakesRegion security - what #Uganda regime is not disclosing

There is a brewing nasty security situation that should be a cause of public concern.  Last week Museveni's Army chief, Gen. Muhoozi cautioned the western region based 2nd Division to be on the look out for a potential security threat from what he described as eastern DRC based rebel ADF
and 'other negative forces’ that he described as "an issue of concern".  In February 2014 the regime declared that the ADF had been decimated by the DRC army and Museveni rang Kabila to thank him for the job well done.

Coincidentally, last week the elite SFC took over from Police the mandate to provide security at major water bodies throughout the country.  The directive was issued by Museveni as the commander In Chief (CIC) and the focus is not on central region's Lake Kyoga but the strategic Lakes Albert and Edward along the Uganda/DRCongo border.  Otherwise, the SFC's Marine Unit under Col. Michael Nyarwa has all along been in-charge of L. Victoria waters owing to its proximity to Museveni's State House and Entebbe Airport.

Just yesterday the army announced that it had taken over security of the major forest reserves in the Bunyoro sub-region which borders with eastern DRC.  Now, Rwanda is reportedly accusing Museveni of offering military training grounds to its dissident RNC Gen. Nyamwasa.  The training bases are alleged to be in one of these forest reserves in Bunyoro.  However, last week the Museveni regime had given RNC chief financier, Rujugiro Ayabatwa a US $20 Tobacco investment in West Nile region.   Nyamwasa fell out with Kagame some years back and has since then been living in South Africa.  You can imagine if Uganda's Sweden based dissident, Col. Samson Mande was to be given investment opportunities in Kigali!!!   No wonder, Col. Abel Kankiriho who around 2013 had been the Chief custodian of RNC operatives in Uganda was last month appointed Military Intelligence Chief (CMI).

Since the beginning of 2017, former Congolese M23 rebels have been reportedly 'escaping' from the military encampment in western Uganda and sneaking back into eastern DRC.  The DRC government had earlier alleged that these former fighters had reorganised into military formations in eastern Congo.  As usual the Museveni regime vehemently denied but shortly after it confirmed the disappearance of the fighters including their topmost leader, Brig. Sultan Makenga.  Along the Uganda/DRC border in Kisoro district, security agencies intercepted a Ugandan registered car that was being loaded with six SMG rifles and one PK Machine Gun for onward transportation into DRC.

In January 2017 during an end of year party for soldiers of the Masaka based Armoured Brigade, Brig. Semwanga cited government intelligence to warn the public against a group of people who were recruiting youth from Masaka region and taking them to eastern DRC for subversive activities against the regime.  Five months earlier, in July 2016 unknown people attacked and killed two soldiers who were guarding special items stores before fleeing with their two SMG rifles.  Two weeks later, the DRC army killed two people donning a Museveni army uniform during clashes around areas of Beni.  The Museveni regime army claimed that the killed two had been wrong elements based in eastern DRC before thanking the Congolese army for neutralising them.  It went ahead to claim that they had been responsible for the killing of two soldiers in Masaka barracks before taking their guns. It went ahead to confirm that one of the guns recovered from the two dead 'wrong elements' had much earlier been stolen from an LDU who had been guarding Mulo Plaza in Masaka town.

In November 2016 the army issued a directive for its personnel to return all the old woodland camouflage uniforms citing misuse by wrong elements.  In 2015 the then Army Chief, Gen. Katumba Wamala appealed to the public to help locate the army veterans who had disappeared with army uniforms upon return from AMISOM in Somalia.  The army spokesman contradicted him: "......all the combat uniforms they used are with us, there is no such a thing as Veterans running away with uniforms."

Currently the DRC government is accusing the Museveni regime of harbouring its dissident armed groups (M18 and ALPC) in West Nile region.  The army has acknowledged the protest from the DRC government and promised to carry out an investigation.  M18 came to prominence in March 2013 when its leader, Col. Eric Ndoso was abducted by Uganda's Col. Phenekasi Mugyenyi in Kampala and handed over to Congolese intelligence operatives.  As they were taking their captive to Congo, the army intercepted them in West Nile and rescued Col. Ndoso who was held at the 409 Brigade in Arua.  The Congolese intelligence officers were allowed to proceed to Congo while Col. Phenekasi Mugyenyi was arraigned before the court martial for kidnap.

Shortly after, criminal proceeding again Col. Mugyenyi were halted on technical grounds.  He had earlier on commanded 67th Battalion based in Isiro during the military expedition into the Congo in the late 1990s.  M18's military activities in North-Eastern DRC had led to the fleeing of thousands of Congolese into Uganda as refugees.  It had been recruiting Ugandans including army veterans into its ranks and at one time it was commanded by a Ugandan, Benjamin Muki – a former Uganda Army soldier who was being used by Museveni's intelligence to spy on LRA activities in north-eastern DRC.

In late November 2016 the army arraigned Col. Desderio Balidde of Artillery Division together with two other junior soldiers before the General Court Martial for treason.  It alleged that around August 2016 in various places in Kampala the accused recruited soldiers into rebel activities and disclosed secret information to unauthorised people.  Earlier on 19 soldiers and civilians had been indicted before the same court over a successful attack on a military detachment and a foiled attack on CPS in Gulu town.

In July 2016 Nakawa M.P, Michael Kabaziguruka together with over 30 serving soldiers were arraigned before the military court for treason.  Museveni alleged that Kabaziguruka had twice tried but failed to kill him at his farm in Kisozi.  This followed the arrest of Col. Dan Opito of the Air Force base and Capt. Ojara of the arms stores at Bombo.  This is not to forget the arrest, torture and detention of the Col. Frank Iguma of the Armoured Welfare Training School and 19 other soldiers and civilians over alleged plot to attack Kabamba barracks.

Therefore, the recent army command reshuffles should be looked at from the above background.  If our parliament had not been compromised by the regime, it would be in position to demand for security accountability.  Maybe the opposition shadow Internal Affairs Minister will rise it on the floor of parliament.  Otherwise, Ugandans deserve to know what is going on.

Change of Guards Blog 
#GreatLakesRegion security - what #Uganda regime is not disclosing

No comments:

Post a Comment