Thursday, May 25, 2017

VIDEO: How Museveni blackmailed Gen. Ssejusa to return from exile - #Uganda @IGPUganda @aKasingye @KagutaMuseveni @UPDFSpokesman

Around mid 2013, Gen. Ssejusa sought asylum in the UK. He attempted to rally Ugandan exiles in the diaspora against the Museveni regime by founding Free Uganda Front (FUF).  He issued several stinging public statements against the Museveni regime.  He also made a number of revelations implicating the Museveni regime in a number of past incidents of controversial deaths of national leaders. His dissident activities threatened to tear apart the internal cohesion of Museveni’s security forces. 
Museveni then hatched a scheme that would portray Gen. Ssejusa as a war crimes fugitive and instil in him a sense of guilt for his past role in some human rights abuses in Uganda thus leading him into isolation.
Following the overthrow of the Okello Junta in January 1986, Gen. Ssejusa had been the topmost NRA commander who led troops into northern Uganda. The initial conduct of the NRA in pursuit of the defeated UNLA soldiers amidst a hostile population was not the best. It partly accounts for the factors that gave rise to the insurgency.
Around 1991 while Gen. Ssejusa was the Minister of State for Defence, he led a counter insurgency operation against the rebels dubbed "Operation North".  It involved the cutting off of northern Uganda from the rest of the world as the military arrested, detained, tortured, killed, maimed, and pillaged.  Prominent politicians from the area like Omara Atubo and others were tortured and charged with treason. During the operation, Gen. Ssejusa gained popularity amongst the rank and file of soldiers whose welfare and working environment tremendously improved.
Despite its poor methodology, Operation North was on the verge of breaking the back of the LRA. Mid way into the operation, fearing Gen. Ssejusa's growing popularity, Museveni recalled him from overall command. No one was punished for the atrocities including the suffocation to death of 35 locals in a pit at Bucoro Primary School. The prosecution of the 18 prominent politicians went ahead.
In 2001 Gen. Ssejusa had been behind the Dr. Besigye airport fiasco and the infamous Black Mamba commando raid on the High Court. 
In exile, Gen. Ssejusa initially found favor with dissident majority northerners while others had reservations about his intentions. During the launch of his FUF at the LSE in December 2013, Monique Wyatt publicly accused Gen. Ssejusa of heinous atrocities against Acholi.  She said; " committed genocide against the Acholi when you commanded anti-insurgency operations in northern Uganda." 
Later she expressed shock that Britain was giving asylum to a 'war criminal' to launch a "rebel/terrorist" group in London.  Gen. Ssejusa appealed for forgiveness before urging for a reconciliation committee to prosecute all fugitive perpetrators.
In Kampala, the regime picked on a June 2013 damming report released by a local NGO, Justice and Reconciliation Project (JRP) over war atrocities during Operation North. Titled "The Beast of Bucoro", it enumerated the circumstances around the infamous Bucoro Massacre where 35 people were rounded up and suffocated to death in a pit after fire was lit on top of the pit on 4th December 1991.  The same report identified among other units of the NRA, 22nd Battalion that was under the command of Maj. Reuben Ikondere for being responsible for the Bucoro carnage. 
Note:  22nd Battalion had been one of the units under Operation North whose overall command fell under Gen. Ssejusa. First, it was the then army. chief, Gen. Katumba Wamala who in January 2014 disclosed that the army would investigate NRM atrocities in Teso thus; "....we will go back to those areas and find out whether the population has some issues to raise."
The following month, during the 28th NRM Anniversary celebrations in Mayuge District, Museveni promised to investigate the NRA atrocities against civilians during the Northern Uganda insurgency and punish all those responsible.  He said; "......there are incidents to be ashamed of.  Apart from the Mukura incident and the Bucoro pit incident which were reported, there were other incidents that are coming to light now, ..... I don't know why the people did not report those incidents.  At Kamunyu wanainchi were killed by elements of our army for no reason at all after the army had been attacked by the rebels; there were incidents of looting property including cattle, and other incidents of indiscipline reported in Nwoya. I am going to follow up all those incidents, unearth the culprits if they are still alive so as to hold them accountable and compensate the victims or their descendants."
Of course, the above message was a warning shot directed at Gen. Ssejusa.  It was meant to simplify the role of envoys that Museveni sent to Gen. Ssejusa. They carried a simple and clear message of blackmail thus; "You are under threat of being indicted before International war crimes tribunal for the role you played in counter insurgency operations in Northern Uganda and other incidents of suppressing political dissent. In the event of such criminal proceedings, we have no alternative but to abandon you. We intend to initiate an Internal Audit in order to clear ourselves but our findings will obviously zero on your culpability."
In December 2014, Gen. Ssejusa controversially returned from exile.  He was not joined to the group of his former close aides who were facing treasonous activities linked to him.  Instead, shortly before the February 2016 general elections, he was charged before the Court Martial with insubordination and involvement in partisan politics and remanded to prison. The probe into the atrocities in the Northern Uganda has never taken off and will never take place because Museveni was simply trying to dupe Northerners while at the same time blackmailing Gen. Ssejusa.
Such a probe couldn't spare loyal cadres like Gen. Kyaligonza, Gen. Pecos Kuteesa to mention but a few. That is how Museveni uses, misuses, dumps and blackmails whoever attempts to turn against him.  Today Gen. Elwelu is a Hero because he massacred 100+ people in Kasese but the day he will dare have divergent views, he will be blackmailed into submission.

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