Friday, August 31, 2018

Trending Uganda has uploaded a new video on YouTube

Andrew Mwenda on Bobi wine flying to America for treatment
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Bobi Wine ng'atwalibwa okulinnya ennyonyi ayolekele America okwongera okujjanjabibwa.
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ZUENA akabye amaziga lw'abadigize okugoba Bebe Cool ku stage ya Tarrus Riley
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Trending Uganda has uploaded a new video on YouTube

How Bebe cool was pelted with beer and Urine bottles at Tarrus Riley Concert by People Power
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Bobi Wine is on KLM flight ✈ out of Entebbe Airport now for treatment in America
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CANADA: Trump insults Canadians "off the record"

Trump's harsh 'off the record' remarks about Canada leaked
Workers remove letters from the "TRUMP" sign on top of the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Toronto, Canada July 18, 2017. © Chris Helgren / Reuters
RT - Donald Trump again blasted the media for 'dishonest reporting' after 'off the record' remarks about Canada he made in an interview with Bloomberg somehow made it into the Toronto Star newspaper.

Trump took to Twitter on Friday, saying that the "powerful understanding" between Bloomberg and him was "blatantly violated" by the leak of his comments that weren't intended for public dissemination. He said that it was yet another example of "dishonest reporting," which he already got used to since moving into the White House.

"At least Canada knows where I stand," Trump added, thus confirming the authenticity of the leak.

Donald J. Trump

Wow, I made OFF THE RECORD COMMENTS to Bloomberg concerning Canada, and this powerful understanding was BLATANTLY VIOLATED. Oh well, just more dishonest reporting. I am used to it. At least Canada knows where I stand!
15:37 - 31 авг. 2018 г.
70,9 тыс.
48,7 тыс. человек(а) говорят об этом
Информация о рекламе в Твиттере и конфиденциальность

In the leaked remarks, the US President said he wasn't making any compromises at all during the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations with Canada, and that the deal will be signed "totally on our terms."

Trump said it "off the record" because he believed that making his stance public is "going to be so insulting they're not going to be able to make a deal."

"Here's the problem. If I say no – the answer's no… I can't kill these people," he said of the Canadian government.

The President also allegedly said that he's intimidating Canada with tariffs and other means at his disposal during the negotiations: "off the record, Canada's working their ass off. And every time we have a problem with a point, I just put up a picture of a Chevrolet Impala," which is produced by American carmaker General Motors at a plant in Canada.

China Daily derides Trump’s Twitter rants as 'messages from some alternative universe'

Earlier on Friday, the Toronto Star published an article with revelations attributed to an unnamed source, which it said would "upend" the already difficult trade negotiations between the US and Canada.

The paper acknowledged that the remarks were made "off the record" and that Bloomberg accepted the request not to make them public, but said "the Star is not bound by any promises Bloomberg made to Trump."

"The Star was not able to independently confirm the remarks with 100 per cent certainty, but the Canadian government is confident they are accurate," the article read. According to the paper, the Canadian delegation has already brought up Trump's leaked comments with their American counterparts at the beginning of another round of talks on Friday.

Wikipedia article of the day for September 1, 2018

The Wikipedia article of the day for September 1, 2018 is Messier 87.
Messier 87 is a supergiant elliptical galaxy in the constellation Virgo. It has about 12,000 globular clusters—compared to the 150 to 200 orbiting the Milky Way—and a jet of energetic plasma that originates at the core and extends at least 4,900 light-years. One of the brightest radio sources in the sky, it is a popular target for both amateur and professional astronomers. The French astronomer Charles Messier discovered the galaxy in 1781, and catalogued it as a nebulous feature while searching for objects that would otherwise confuse comet hunters. About 53.5 million light-years from Earth, M87 is the second brightest galaxy within the northern Virgo Cluster. Unlike disk-shaped spiral galaxies, M87 has no distinctive dust lanes. Instead, it has an almost featureless ellipsoidal shape typical of most giant elliptical galaxies, diminishing in luminosity away from the center. It has a supermassive black hole at its core, powering an active galactic nucleus.

DRCONGO: Ebola control measures seem to be working in Congo - WHO says

Ebola control measures seem to be working in Congo, WHO says

GENEVA (Reuters) - Efforts to halt an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Democratic Republic of Congo appear to be working, but substantial risks remain, the World Health Organization said on Friday.

The outbreak has so far killed 77 people in Congo’s North Kivu and Ituri provinces among 116 cases. Fifteen of the cases were healthworkers.

“Recent trends suggest that control measures are working,” a WHO statement said, citing improving figures for tracing patients’ contacts, rapid treatment of Ebola patients with therapeutic drugs and vaccinations of people at risk.

A previous outbreak in Congo this year was swiftly stopped, despite the remote location and difficult terrain.

The latest outbreak presents a different challenge, occurring in a more densely populated area with dozens of armed groups. Some areas are off-limits to healthworkers due to the security risks, making it more difficult to ring-fence each Ebola case by vaccinating all the patient’s contacts.

On Wednesday WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was too soon to say whether the outbreak was stabilizing due to the difficulty of identifying new cases near rebel-controlled areas.

“Substantial risks remain, posed by potential undocumented chains of transmission,” Friday’s WHO statement said, adding that four of the 13 new probable and confirmed cases in the past week were not known to have had contact with any Ebola patients.

There were also risks from unsafe burial practices and people’s reluctance to accept contact tracing, vaccination and healthcare, as well as poor standards in some health centers and delays in getting patients to treatment.

BURUNDI economy battered by years of political crisis

Burundi economy battered by years of political crisis: report

AFP - Burundi's economy has been battered by the "calamitous effect" of a three-year political crisis which has wiped out modest gains that had been made, an International Crisis Group (ICG) report said on Friday.

The east African nation plunged into crisis in April 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza sought a third term in office which he went on to win, sparking violence which left at least 1 200 dead and over 400 000 displaced.

"In the wake of this political and security crisis, the country's economy has shrunk at an alarming rate and socio-economic progress made after the end of the civil war in the 2000s has been derailed," said the report.

Annual economic growth went from an average of 4.2% between 2004 and 2014, to a contraction of 3.9% in 2015 and a contraction of 0.6% in 2016.

"People across society are paying the price. Farmers and traders are struggling because internal demand for their products has declined; civil servants' purchasing power has fallen; and shopkeepers report giving ever more customers credit," said the report.

It said that many Burundians sought second jobs or engaged in petty corruption to get by.

"A decade of progress in health and education has been swept away. Many doctors have left the country. Teachers are often paid in arrears. University education is under threat as student grants are cut."

In 2017 Burundi counted only 500 doctors for a population of over 11 million, with around 100 having left the country after the crisis.

Food and fuel shortages are rife, foreign currency reserves are low and a flourishing black market has driven up prices - with the black market exchange rate even published in newspapers.

The government "has introduced new taxes and obligatory public 'contributions', forcing civil servants and ordinary Burundians to donate extra money to state coffers."

The ICG urged the EU and its member states - who suspended direct aid to the government - to increase assistance to the population by strengthening the capacity of NGOs.

RWANDA: Kagame repression in spotlight #FreeDianeRwigara

She wanted to be president, but ended up jailed instead

By Kara Fox and Edward Kiernan, CNN

Kigali, Rwanda -- In the darkness of the Kigali night, Eric walks through a maze of cement homes crowned in corrugated metal. Using his phone he lights the road under his feet, a path of compressed red earth still drying out from the rainy season.
After nearly an hour of walking through a series of dizzying hills that make up the Rwandan capital, he reaches his safe house. Eric -- whose name has been changed for his safety -- says he's being watched by the government.

Staying more than one night is too risky. Tomorrow he'll move again.

"Eric" and another Rwigara supporter at their safehouse in Kigali.
Inside a two-room house, illuminated by a single light affixed to a cement wall, he starts his story. It begins with one name: Diane.

Diane Rwigara is a former presidential hopeful and women's rights activist who is currently in prison outside central Kigali awaiting trial.
The 37-year-old accountant, a fierce critic of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, launched her election bid three months ahead of the August 2017 vote. She was Kagame's sole female challenger in the poll.

But her campaign was short-lived. Electoral authorities disqualified her, claiming she doctored the number of signatures needed to qualify and accusing her of submitting the names of dead people, which she denied.

With her presidential bid over, Rwigara launched the People Salvation Movement (Itabaza), an activist group to "encourage Rwandans to hold their government accountable." Shortly after its inception, she was arrested on charges of incitement and fraud, which her family and supporters say are politically motivated.

Diane Rwigara, far left, is seen in a family portrait at the Rwigara home in Kigali.

Rwigara's supporters like Eric, who fear for their lives, say a state-sanctioned atmosphere of harassment, censorship and threat of violence make it nearly impossible to speak out against the government.

After Rwigara's August arrest, Eric was detained overnight with around 10 other supporters. Speaking to CNN in a Kigali safe house, he molds his hand into the shape of a gun and places two fingers inside his mouth. This, he says, is how he was told by police to stop supporting her.
Another Rwigara supporter who was with Eric at the time says he watched an officer threaten him with a gun, adding that he was beaten by another group of police also on the scene.

Rwanda is often described as the best place in the world for women in politics, with more female lawmakers in parliament than any other country, but it's not the case if you challenge President Kagame, Eric says.

Last year, Kagame won the presidential election Rwigara had hoped to contest with almost 99% of the vote.

The 60-year-old -- who in 2015 cleared the way to potentially stay in power until 2034 -- has been president since 2000, but has long been an instrumental leader in the country's modern history.

Kigali's expanding skyline. Rwanda has become more financially prosperous and stable under Kagame's leadership, but endemic poverty remains an issue nationwide, with around 51% of the population living under the international poverty line.

In 1994, Kagame led the armed wing of the Rwandan Patriotic Front or RPF (what is now the ruling party) into Kigali. That act helped to bring an end to a genocide that saw an estimated 800,000 people killed -- mostly from the Tutsi ethnic group -- in just 100 days. Two million people also fled the country.

Since then, Kagame has been widely credited with the nation's remarkable turnaround. His fiscal and social policies are widely touted by supporters -- and many in the international community -- as a blueprint for success in the region.

Part of that success has been measured by his commitment to gender parity. A post-genocide population skewed Rwanda's female population to 70%. Kagame placed value on women's roles and spearheaded many reforms to help build women's capacity in civil society.

The most notable is a constitutional law that requires at least 30% of all parliamentary seats to be occupied by women. Today, Rwanda far surpasses that quota, with 61.3% of its parliament made up of female lawmakers (compared with the global average at 23.8%). Four out of seven Supreme Court justices are women, and the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion ensures gender representation and equality in local politics across the country.

Women make their way to a morning market in Kigali.

Female lawmakers have been praised for supporting policy changes around domestic violence, land rights and inheritance. But Rwigara's supporters say this is a veneer masking a lack of real opposition and freedoms.

In a modern, luxurious Kigali villa only miles away from Eric's hideout, Rwigara's sister Anne and brother Arioste explain more.

Diane Rwigara lived much of her life outside Rwanda, traveling between California and Kigali. A family photo hanging on the wall of the living room shows a young, smiling Rwigara holding onto the shoulders of her father. She, like her father Assinapol Rwigara -- a successful businessman -- were at one time strong Kagame supporters.

"Blinded by how clean the streets are, how beautiful the city is... she thought it was the miracle country that had been talked about," Anne says.

"But when she got on site it was a different story."
In 2015, Rwigara returned to Rwanda from California after her father died in a car crash in suspicious circumstances. The official police report said that a truck driver had crashed into Assinapol's car, which resulted in his death. But the Rwigaras allege that members of Kagame's party harassed Assinapol -- who was an important financier of the RPF in the early 1990s -- after he refused to allow the government to seize control of his business and that he was killed on the president's orders.

Arioste and Anne Rwigara, at home in Kigali.

The Rwigaras wrote to Kagame calling the crash an assassination and asking for a full and transparent inquiry.
"They will come in and take over what you worked for your whole life," Anne says.
"Next thing you know you won't have that business, you will be working for them... at best... they will kick you out of the business."

Rwanda's National Police, the Office of the President and the RPF have not responded to CNN's request for comment.
Anne Rwigara looks outside, beyond the metal gates that guard the house.

There, two stationary cars, sit for hours at a time watching the residence. Anne and Arioste say they are government surveillance vehicles.

The 2018 World Bank Doing Business Report named Rwanda the second-best place to do business in sub-Saharan Africa and it's ranked among the least corrupt countries on the continent, according to Transparency International's 2017 Corruption Perception Index.

But when Rwigara sought to learn more about her father's death, her family says she found a very different picture. This was the "catalyst" for Diane's political awakening, her siblings say.
She questioned what she saw as suspicious deaths and disappearances of prominent businessmen, lawyers, journalists and a former intelligence official, among others, Anne says. Groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International previously have highlighted those cases.
Rwanda's National Police and the Office of the President have not responded to CNN's request for comment on those cases.

A photo of Assinapol Rwigara, who died in 2015, is displayed at the Rwigara home.
In the lead-up to her presidential bid, Rwigara traveled outside Kigali, where most Rwandans live below the poverty line. She garnered support from many young people in rural areas and worked with volunteers like Eric to gather enough signatures to run for president.
Her press conferences and meetings were well attended by young people and journalists alike. That support was a surprising concern to some ruling party leaders, say her family and a local journalist who attended the meetings.
"There was a lot of fear surrounding what she was exposing about the country," Anne says. Young people who attended her meetings would "see themselves in her," she adds.
"Diane would talk about things they'd (the ruling party) been trying to hide away from public eye: famine, persecution, etc. She could sense their pain and they wanted to support her. They were really behind her... a lot of people thought: 'enough was enough' at this point, what do we have to lose?'"
Diane Rwigara knew her political aspirations would amount to "suicide," Anne says, referring to a political climate marred by violence and jail terms. But she was willing to risk it. When Diane told her family she was planning to run for president, they were against it. They were concerned for her safety and her future.
Diane, they say, responded: "Is this a life? Do you even think you are living?"
Her brother Arioste Rwigara says that "in Rwanda, speaking of any injustice like that is a crime -- it's a sin," adding that Rwandans have accepted a status quo of censorship because they are afraid to voice their opinions.

Anne Rwigara: "We don't hide... you just reach a point and stand still and face what comes your way. They use a lot of pressure and fear to just silence people. You get to a point you realize you can't take it, you can't keep running and hiding. You feel better, when you are speaking the truth."

Arioste, like many of Kagame's critics, believes the president uses the context of the genocide to quash any dissent, using Rwanda's "Law relating to the punishment of the Crime of Genocide Ideology" -- which is designed to prohibit hate speech -- as a muzzle for any oppositional voices.
"I think the genocide is used as a pretext, as a justification for everything they do," he says.
The Office of the President has not responded to CNN's request for comment.
It came as no surprise to her family when shortly after Rwigara announced her candidacy, nude photos, allegedly of her, were spread across the internet. Rwigara and her family say the images were part of a smear campaign.
"They are fake nudes, altered in Photoshop, and it is one of many tactics that has been used to silence me," Diane Rwigara told CNN in an August 2017 interview. A spokesman for Kagame's party at the time denied to CNN having anything to do with the photos.
After Rwigara was disqualified, Rwanda's Revenue Authority slapped her family's business with a tax bill of 5.7 billion Rwandan francs (approximately $6.5 million) according to Anne, the company's representative.
"He really likes to send a message. He likes to remind people, warning them, don't even think about it," Anne says of Kagame.
The Office of the President and the National Public Prosecution Authority have not responded to CNN's request for comment.
Anne was initially arrested along with Diane and their mother Adeline on tax evasion charges and charged with incitement against the government. The tax evasion charges were eventually dropped, but only Anne was released and freed of all charges. Adeline now faces charges of discrimination and sectarian practices and inciting insurrection, based on WhatsApp messages exchanged between her and her sister, who lives outside Rwanda. The prosecution has called those private chats -- in which Adeline and her sisters criticized the government -- "dangerous meetings." Diane has been charged with forgery and inciting insurrection.

The family say police bashed in this door and damaged other parts of their property when Diane, Anne and Adeline Rwigara were arrested.
While Rwigara and her mother await trial, the government has seized the family's business, selling off their assets for more than 1.7 billion Rwandan francs (approximately $1.9 million) in auctions in March and June 2018, according to Anne Rwigara, the company's representative.
With their cash flow now squeezed, a trial that has been pushed back three times and concerns over legal fees, the siblings are more worried than ever. They believe that the likelihood of the Rwigaras' release -- and a chance for a woman from the opposition to run for president of Rwanda -- are slim.
Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International's Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes says that "criticizing the government is not a crime," and has called on the Rwandan judiciary to "ensure that this trial does not become just another means to persecute government critics."
For now, Diane and her mother, Adeline, are in separate cells at the newly constructed Mageragere Prison, a 30-minute drive from central Kigali. There, they spend most of their days alone, with short, highly supervised visits allowed once a week, according to the Rwigara family and other supporters who have visited them.
Attempts by CNN to speak with Diane Rwigara have been unsuccessful.
Most of Rwigara's supporters have stopped visiting the pair in prison, fearful of retribution. One supporter says he stopped visiting her after his phone and laptop were confiscated by authorities who, he says, beat him and told him: "I will kill you if you continue to do this."
In June he fled Rwanda, fearful to return to imprisonment, or lethal violence, he says. Some of Rwigara's supporters have gone missing and he worries they could have been killed.
It is not clear how the trial, postponed until September 24, will unfold.
Although Rwigara was seeking to run as an independent candidate and was not connected with a political party, her story is similar to other opposition politicians.
Seven years before Rwigara attempted to stand against Kagame, lawyer and leader of the opposition FDU-Inkingi party Victoire Ingabire returned from the Netherlands, where she had been living in exile, to contest the 2010 election.
Ingabire, a Hutu, was arrested shortly afterward on charges that included collaborating with a terrorist organization and "genocide ideology." She was initially handed an eight-year prison sentence that was later extended to 15 years. Kagame went on to win that election with 93% of the vote. Ingabire, now 49, is still in prison.
A former FDU-Inkingi treasurer who lives in exile and asked to remain anonymous because of safety fears says "anyone who will come out and try to say something different will end up in a prison or dead."
"This is the reality of Rwanda," the former treasurer says.

Early morning traffic near Kigali's Nyabugogo bus station.
But many female lawmakers from Kagame's ruling coalition, including Senate Vice President Jeanne d'Arc Gakuba, do not agree.
Gakuba believes the Rwandan political model is inclusive to all women, saying that it "absolutely" accommodates for female candidates from all backgrounds, including those with dissenting voices. She points to her own beginnings as a city councilor when she says she was supported in her bid to enter politics.
Margaret Nyagahura, a senator in the Rwandan parliament who was personally appointed by Kagame, agrees.
"It definitely has nothing to do with her being a woman or vying for the position of President," Nyagahora says of Rwigara's case.
Gakuba and Nyagahura, like many others, do not even want to speak about Rwigara or her case. Some female lawmakers scoff at the suggestion that the Kagame challenger was a legitimate candidate to begin with, using "that woman," or "the young girl," dismissively.
Kagame himself has made his thoughts on Rwigara known.
Shortly after he was re-elected, he spoke to an incoming group of ministers, many of them female. He referenced Rwigara.
"Even if you have been or want to become president of the country, you are not immune from prosecution. Those who are listening better be hearing me," he said.
In June, Anne and other members of the Rwigara family appealed to Kagame for Diane and her mother Adeline's release. They say both are in imminent danger in jail. But they believe their plea won't be heard.
Many of Rwigara's supporters fear the same. Eric remains on the run, swapping political activism for protecting his personal safety.
"If you want to go to prison, you can speak the truth," he says.
Others have fled the country, convinced that returning would eventually lead to a death sentence.
"She wanted everyone to feel free," one supporter, now in exile, said.
"When she went to prison, we lost something."

The As Equals reporting project is funded by the European Journalism Centre via its Innovation in Development Reporting Grant Programme. Click here for more stories like this.

SOMALIA: Govt asks NGOs to relocate to Mogadishu amid Al-Shabab threat -PHOTOS

MOGADISHU (GAROWE ONLINE) - As Mogadishu, Somalia's capital in a precarious security situation, the weak Western-backed government has threatened aid agencies with de-registration, Garowe Online reports.

The Minister of Planning for Somali Federal Government, Gamal Mohamed Hassan has asked all International NGOs based outside the country to relocate their offices to the volatile Mogadishu within four months.

The instruction will come into effect on January 1, 2019.

"Today [August 29] I met with the leadership of the INGOs operating in Somalia. I informed them of the Gov’t decision to have all INGOs fully and physically present in Somalia including their senior leadership effective from January 1, 2019," Hassan said in a Twitter post.

In addition, the minister warned the NGOs against failing to fully comply with the government's new directives that will eventually result in a de-registration, a move that could even lead disruption of humanitarian work.

The decision comes as the country remains particularly dangerous for humanitarian personnel.

Last May, a German nurse, Sonja Nientiet, working for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was abducted in Mogadishu by gunmen and has not been heard from since and her whereabouts are unknown.

After Nientiet's kidnapping, ICRC has pulled out its 10 remaining non-Somali staff and evacuated to Nairobi until further notice and movement inside the capital has been suspended.

According to the United Nations, more than 30 humanitarian workers were killed in 2016 and 2017 in Somalia, a country that has been beset by two-decade-long conflict.

In 2011, the Al-Qaeda Islamist insurgent group Al-Shabab has banned 16 aid agencies, including several UN bodies, from operating in areas under its control, accusing them of "illicit activities and misconduct".

Latest News: Winners of 2018 Literacy Awards -- Library of Congress

Latest News: Winners of 2018 Literacy Awards

Three organizations working to expand literacy and promote reading in the United States and worldwide were awarded the 2018 Library of Congress Literacy Awards at the National Book Festival gala, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced tonight.

Click here for more information.

Published August 31, 2018 at 08:15PM

ETHIOPIA: Chad signs deal with Ethiopian Airlines to launch national carrier

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Ethiopian Airlines and the government of Chad have signed an agreement to launch Chad’s new national carrier on Oct. 1, officials said on Friday.

Ethiopia’s state-owned flag carrier is in talks with a number of African states to acquire stakes and manage operations - a strategy aimed at gaining a competitive advantage against rivals such as those in the Gulf.

The airline is ranked by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as the largest carrier in Africa by revenue and profit, outpacing regional competitors Kenya Airways and South African Airways.

On Friday, the head of Chad’s Civil Aviation Authority Mahamat Adjam told Reuters the new company will be named ‘Tchadia Airlines’, with the government owning 51 percent and Ethiopian Airlines the rest.

“The inaugural flight is planned for October 1 but the first destination has yet to be determined,” he said, adding the carrier would start off with a fleet of two Bombardier Q400 turboprop planes.

“It (the airline) will serve the four main cities in Chad and traffic to neighboring countries,” Adjam said.

The move will help Chad as it will improve its international air connections. In 2012, Chadian authorities suspended international flights operated by state carrier Toumai Air after an investigation revealed serious safety problems.

The carrier operated flights to regional destinations including neighboring Cameroon, Gabon and Ivory Coast. It also operated seasonal routes to Saudi Arabia and Dubai.

For Ethiopian Airlines, the partnership is another step in its efforts to work with national carriers across the continent.

The company has been in talks with Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea and Guinea to set up carriers through joint ventures, and also aims to create a new airline in Mozambique that it will fully own.

Ethiopian Airlines is the frontrunner to set up and manage a new national carrier for Nigeria and has signed an agreement with the Zambian government to relaunch Zambia’s flag carrier at an initial cost of $30 million.

Last month, Ethiopian Airlines announced that net profit in the 2017/18 financial year rose to $233 million from $229 million the previous year.

The airline’s operating revenue rose by 43 percent to $3.7 billion in the 2017/18 financial year.

UGANDAN SPRING: Social media mobilization a bright spot in Uganda’s dark Bobi Wine saga

Social media mobilization is a bright spot in Uganda’s dark Bobi Wine saga

By George Ogola, August 31, 2018, QUARTZ AFRICA

President Yoweri Museveni has ruled Uganda with authoritarian firmness for the last 32 years. But even his most ardent supporters were shocked by the ferocity with which his security forces recently meted out violence on journalists and supporters of Robert Kyagulanyi, a musician-turned-politician popularly known as Bobi Wine.

Wine, an opposition MP, has emerged as a threat to Uganda’s old political order. Against many odds, including systematic state intimidation, in 2017 he won the Kyaddondo East constituency seat at a canter. He got nearly 80% of the vote and beating the ruling party and the main opposition’s candidates. In subsequent by-elections, the candidates he has backed have all won.

But the weight of this success is becoming painful for Wine. He and 11 others have been charged with treason after one of the vehicles in Museveni’s convoy was pelted with stones at a campaign rally. Wine was initially charged in a military court with illegally possessing a firearm. When the military dropped that charge, he was released – then immediately rearrested and charged with treason in a criminal court.

This shows how desperate authorities are to deal with the threat Wine poses. The way Museveni’s government has moved to keep a lid on how the case is being reported is raising fears that Uganda’s democratic regression is deepening.

In full view of the public, journalists covering protests in Kampala calling for Wine’s release were brutally assaulted. Their recording equipment was either confiscated or destroyed by security forces. This has sparked national and international outcry.

Museveni’s grip on power remains exceptionally strong. His control of the country’s civic and political institutions is nearly complete after 32 years in power. But there are pockets of dissent emerging from digital platforms whose practical political consequences are being slowly realized.
Controlling information

Museveni runs a brutal regime. The control of information seems key to eliminating public dissent. A number of newspapers, as well as radio and TV stations, have been shut down over the years, always at the whim of the president.

Individual journalists have also borne the brunt of the state’s violence. Arrests, kidnapping, and torture are common. Some of Uganda’s best journalists have fled the country over the years of Museveni’s rule to seek refuge in neighboring countries.
“What cannot be published in the newspapers or broadcast on radio or television finds expression in tweets, memes or other forms of social media.”

The Ugandan government’s tight grip on the flow of information can also be seen in its various attempts to control the use of social media. It has obviously recognized this as a new platform for political expression. In 2016 the government shut down social media during the country’s elections. Museveni defended the move, calling it a security measure to avert lies intended to incite violence and illegal declaration of results.

In July this year, Uganda introduced an unprecedented tax on the use of social media services such as Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp. Critics see the 200 shilling tax as being specifically targeted at the youth and intended to discourage their use of social media for communication.

Despite these measures, social media has become an important form of political participation – especially for young Ugandans who are institutionally excluded from meaningful participation in the country’s economic and political processes.
New political platforms

Museveni has previously dismissed social media as a platform used particularly by young people for gossip.

But that “gossip” has become an important form of political participation and protest vernacular. What cannot be published in the newspapers or broadcast on radio or television finds expression in tweets, memes or other forms of social media.

In fact, social media is becoming a formal political platform in its own right. Following Wine’s arrest, social media users in Uganda and across the continent popularised the hashtag #Freebobiwine to focus attention on him and his co-accused. The hashtag quickly attracted significant interest and led to peaceful protests in Kenya, South Africa and at Ugandan embassies around the world.

It’s on the back of this kind of attention that more than 80 world-famous human rights activists and artists – including Angelique Kidjo, Chris Martin, Wole Soyinka and Damon Albarn – expressed their support for Wine. They’ve also called for international organizations to censure Museveni.

This international attention prompted an unusual climbdown from Uganda’s government. The military has apologized for its brutal handling of journalists and Wine has been given bail on the treason charges.

Other repressive governments are no doubt watching this story unfold, and are worried. Such transcontinental alliances forged and popularised through social media are undermining many governments’ attempts to control information and invalidate legitimate dissent. More importantly, the conversations enabled by hashtags like #FreeBobiWine borrow from international norms of conduct. This invests local campaigns with agency as well as legitimacy.

Looking to the future

Bobi Wine’s story of political intimidation by powerful government forces, detention and alleged torture, is a dark one. Social media’s potential to organise and mobilise is a bright light in that darkness. This case may very well reveal how Uganda could look once Museveni’s iron grip on traditional media is loosened and citizens have more space to debate, discuss and dissent.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

LIBYA closes Tripoli airport after rockets fired

Libya closes Tripoli airport after rockets fired

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libyan authorities closed Tripoli airport on Friday after some rockets were fired in its direction, a spokesman for the state airline Libyan Airlines said.

Flights will be diverted to Misrata airport, the spokesman said, without elaborating. Misrata lies about 190 km (120 miles) east of Tripoli.

Rival groups have been fighting in Tripoli for several days but clashes had been focused on the south of the city. Matiga airport lies in an eastern suburb.

The spokesman said Matiga airport would be closed for 48 hours, citing a directive of the civil aviation authority.

KENYA: Hitman dies in police custody after being offered freedom by police

The key suspect in the murder case and self confessed shooter David Wanjiru Mwai
Revealed: Strange police offer to hitman before his death

A governor, a woman, a lawyer and a dead hit-man are currently embroiled in a macabre dance of a killing gone wrong in what is quickly shaping up to be one of the most intriguing crimes of our time, with money at the centre of it all.

Probe into the attempted murder of former Garissa County Finance Executive Idriss Mukhtar were dealt a blow after a key suspect in the case and self confessed shooter, David Wanjiru Mwai, was found dead in his police cell in what appears to be a well calculated cover-up of the attempted killing.

We demand answers on the death of a key witness in police custody
Governor denies knowledge of shooting of ex-Garissa official
Plot thickens as ‘hitman’ found dead in police cell
Suspect in ex-Garissa CEC’s attempted murder case 'kills self'

The Saturday Standard has unearthed a treasure trove of information that points at possible state involvement, collusion of those who had been entrusted with the suspect’s life and an attempt at luring Mwai, alias Mwas, from state custody just hours before he was found dead in his cell.

New information also shows that detectives investigating the matter were pulled off the case the day Mwai died under unclear circumstances, further pointing to the bloody plot that has culminated in the death of a suspect, a victim fighting for his life at a Nairobi hospital and a governor caught in the middle of the saga.

And now, Mwai’s family claims that the police had offered their kin an escape from lawful custody to jam the case.

Mwai’s sister, whose identity has been protected by the Saturday Standard, says his brother called her on Wednesday morning to seek her advice on a proposal that had been put to him. She says he ‘committed suicide’ after they realised he had informed the family of their plan.

“He called through a number saying a police officer had approached him and asked him to agree to escape from the cells. He wanted to know what my take was on this,” she said. “I advised him against agreeing to the request because he had confessed to his actions. I told him this would expose him to more danger.”

That was on Wednesday at 2pm after a magistrate had visited Mwai in the cells for a confession and to allow the police to hold him. Mwai’s wife Hajila is also missing since Monday when the six suspects were arrested. Her phone number is not going through and the family has visited several police stations but she has not been found.

Whereabouts of his wife

“Every time Mwai called me he wanted to know the whereabouts of his wife but we can’t get her,” said Mwai’s sister.

Mwai, who hailed from Chokaa and ran a video game arcade, was picked up from Dandora on Monday by police in several saloon cars. The key suspect in the attempted murder was a father of two children aged two and three. He was the only son in a family of three.

After being arrested they were initially taken to Kilimani Police Station before being transferred to Parklands. And by yesterday the police were unable to explain how a person was able to hang himself in a cell filled with other people and during the day. Internal police communication seen by the Saturday Standard shows the incident entered on the Parklands Police Station Occurrence Book number 32/30/8/2018 says Mwai had tried to hang himself by using one of the pipes that connect to a toilet water tank.

This was at 12.18pm on Thursday as reported by a constable Kennedy Njuguna and Sikukuu Galgalo who were manning the report desk located just next to the cells.

“The OCS, Moses Shikuku, Inspector Mary Nderitu and other officers rushed to the cell and found constable Njuguna trying to save the victim,” says the communique.

“He had hang on one of the pipes on the metallic water tank in the cell’s toilet using a clothing material. He showed signs of breathing and was rushed immediately to the MP Shah Hospital where doctors attempted resuscitation but he died in the process,” it says.

Still many questions remain unanswered; like who would want a lead suspect in a murder case dead? We have reliably established that although the six suspects in the case who are being held at Parklands Police Station are in separate cells, none of them is entirely alone.

There were three other suspects in the cell where Mwai allegedly hanged himself, including a foreigner.

ALSO READ: Governor arrested over city shooting

They are the ones who alerted two police officers of the incident long after it had happened. It is also standard procedure for the police to make sure they store away any item on you that can be used as a weapon, including all metallic objects, shoe laces and belts before booking you in a cell.

With the person who admitted to have pulled the trigger now dead and the one who was to be killed in a coma, the new team formed by the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to probe the attempted homicide have their hands full.

DCI George Kinoti, we have learnt, has directed the matter to be investigated from his office on Kiambu Road where he can monitor it closely. Those in the know say there will be a fresh round of questioning for all those who witnessed and are considered as suspects in the case.

No issues

Garrisa Governor Ali Korane yesterday distanced himself from the matter, saying he had no issues with Mukhtar who is fighting for his life at Nairobi Hospital. Korane said he is even part of the people trying to assist Mukhtar to get treatment.

“I have never in my life imagined getting in a plan to eliminate anyone but this matter has been heavily politicised,” he said. “The drama this unfortunate incident has generated has created an environment where it would be difficult for the matter to reach its logical conclusion but you can never hide the truth forever.”

We learnt Mukhtar and Korane had met at the governor’s office at Chania road in Nairobi two weeks before he was shot. He had gone to discuss with the governor a payment plan on how some Sh53 million awarded to him and two other former CECs by the court over wrongful dismissal would be paid.

“We agreed that we would pay the first tranche of the money immediately national government releases money for the first quarter to us, which was to happen in three weeks,” said Korane.

Mukhtar had on several occasions complained of threats to his life to police. He shared his statement in which he named possible suspects behind the threats with his lawyers.

UGANDA: Opposition pop star Bobi Wine flies abroad for treatment - #FreeBobiWine #PeopplePower

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — A Ugandan pop star-turned-opposition lawmaker flew out of the country for medical treatment after alleged torture while in detention, his lawyer said, a day after security forces blocked him from boarding a flight to the U.S. and set off a new round of protests.

Bobi Wine, whose real name is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, departed Entebbe International Airport on a KLM flight near midnight after authorities said they had given him the necessary clearance, Nicholas Opiyo said on Twitter.

Video posted by Opiyo showed the 36-year-old singer in his trademark red beret and carrying crutches as he was wheeled to the departure gate, saluting and thanking supporters along the way. It was not immediately clear where he was headed.

The actions by security forces against Ssentamu escalated a political dispute between the government of longtime President Yoweri Museveni and a youthful generation that fears he intends to rule for life after 32 years in power.

The drama began earlier this month when Ssentamu and several other lawmakers were charged with treason over an incident in which the president’s motorcade was pelted with stones.

Another lawmaker who was blocked on Thursday from flying to India for treatment, Francis Zaake, was still being held in a hospital Friday night.

Ssentamu had been stopped Thursday night while trying to board a U.S.-bound flight and was checked into a hospital in the capital, Kampala, in a “worrying condition,” according to another of his lawyers, Asuman Basalirwa.

Authorities said a government medical board had to examine Ssentamu before any travel abroad because of the claims of torture, which security forces have denied.

The singer was freed on bail on Monday but faced no travel restrictions after he and other lawmakers were charged. His lawyers say the treason charges are false.

Ssentamu has emerged as a powerful opposition voice among youth frustrated by Museveni, especially after the constitution was changed last year to remove an age limit on the presidency. The singer won a parliament seat last year without the backing of a political party.

Dozens of global musicians including Chris Martin, Angelique Kidjo and Brian Eno last week issued an open letter condemning the treatment of Ssentamu, who in his first public appearance after his arrest had to walk with support and appeared to cry.

Ssentamu and Zaake both have alleged serious injuries at the hands of security forces during detention. The government denies it.

The treason charges have heightened concerns about a crackdown on the opposition in this East African nation. Security forces earlier Friday deployed heavily in Kampala’s Kamwokya neighborhood against protesters.

“If a member of parliament can be treated like that, what of me who is on the street now?” asked one Kampala resident, Charles Ssenyange.

The 74-year-old Museveni, a close U.S. security ally, has held power since 1986. He has spoken in recent days about “unprincipled politicians taking advantage of our unemployed youth to lure them into riots and demonstrations.”

UGANDA: Musician, activist Bobi Wine freed from Kampala hospital, on way to USA - #FreeBobiWine #PeoplePower

Ugandan Activist Bobi Wine Freed from Kampala Hospital
FILE - Ugandan singer-turned-politician Robert Kyagulanyi, center, better known as Bobi Wine, reacts as he gets into an ambulance after being released on bail at The High Court in Gulu, northern Uganda, Aug. 27, 2018.
VOA - A Ugandan legislator allegedly tortured by security officials will be allowed to travel to the United States for medical care, a Ugandan political activist has told VOA.

Kiwanuka Lawrence Nsereko, who lives in New York State, told VOA's Africa News Tonight radio program Friday evening that Robert Kyagulanyi has been freed from the Kampala hospital where he was held, and taken to the airport.

Nsereko said he’d spoken with Kyagulanyi’s family shortly after the news came out in Kampala. His family is “trying to scramble” to find him a flight, Nsereko said. His understanding is that Kyagulanyi will come to the Washington area, but it will depend on the availability of flights.

Thursday night police detained Kyagulanyi and fellow opposition lawmaker Francis Zaake at the Kampala airport as they tried to leave the country. The police said the two opposition figures, who both face treason charges, were fleeing the country. Zaake has not yet been freed.

Both men said they were tortured after their previous arrests, and a Kampala hospital had referred them for medical care abroad. Kyagulanyi, a popular singer known as Bobi Wine, was headed for the United States while Zaake was headed for India.

Upon reaching the airport, the opposition legislators were told they did not have clearance to travel and were taken to a government hospital in police ambulances. Their arrest sparked protests around Kampala, which were at times met with police gunfire and tear gas Friday.

Ugandan army soldiers stand in front of a crowd during protests by supporters of Ugandan pop star-turned-lawmaker Bobi Wine, whose real name is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, in Kampala, Uganda, Aug. 31, 2018.
Their lawyer, Asumani Basalirwa, says the director of criminal investigations, Grace Akullo, told him that since the legislators said they were tortured, government doctors needed to examine them.

“After the examination, they could then decide whether to take them to court or not. So today the government doctors were here. They were able to speak to the Honorable Robert Sentamu Kyagulanyi and we don’t know what will be the result of that discussion. But they didn’t carry out any examinations. And strangely they didn’t meet Honorable Francis Zaake,” Basalirwa said.

Nsereko says the international media and social media campaign by supporters of the opposition politicians appears to have helped free Kyagulanyi. “The government is realizing they are making a mistake.”

He says this new development, however, while a relief for many people in Uganda, has not defused tensions entirely. In addition to Zaake, other protesters and critics of the government remain in prison and have been beaten. “The world needs to understand that it is more than just one person.”

Kyagulanyi, Zaake and three other opposition lawmakers originally were among more than 30 people arrested in early August after a protest broke during campaigning for by-election. Protesters threw stones at and damaged President Yoweri Museveni's vehicle.

Museveni has been president since 1986. Many older Ugandans still support the 74-year-old leader. But about 75 percent of Ugandans are under the age of 35, and they are beginning to tire of his authoritarian rule.

At the same time, human rights organizations and opposition politicians say the government has grown increasingly repressive toward critics.

This article originated in VOA's English to Africa Service, with contributions from Kim Lewis and Halima Athumani.

UGANDA: Police Shut Down Capital After Opposition Figure Re-Arrested

FILE - A Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) soldier stands guard as supporters of Ugandan singer-turned-politician Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, stand outside of Kyagulanyi's recording studios in Kampala's Kamwokya suburb, Aug. 27, 2018.
Uganda Police Shut Down Capital After Opposition Figure Re-Arrested

VOA - Protests broke out in Uganda's capital Friday after police arrested a prominent opposition figure who was trying to leave the country for medical treatment.

Pop star-turned-lawmaker Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, was arrested at the Kampala airport Thursday night. His lawyer told VOA that Kyagulanyi was taken to a government hospital, allegedly so authorities can determine whether he is truly ill.

The attorney, Medard Ssegona, says Kyagulanyi is "not in good health" and was referred for a medical examination in the United States.

Kyagulanyi was one of five lawmakers arrested earlier this month in connection with an incident where protesters threw stones at the vehicle of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. Kyagulanyi and other lawmakers have said they were beaten and tortured while in detention.

Police Friday re-arrested another one of the five lawmakers, Francis Zaake, as he also tried to leave the country for medical treatment.

The protests erupted early Friday in the Kamwokya neighborhood of Kampala. Police and soldiers have deployed around the capital and that by midday there were no protests or clashes in the city.

One reporter was attacked and beaten by security forces while covering the events amid growing signs that security personnel are now deliberately targeting journalists.

The 74-year-old Museveni has led Uganda for 32 years. In July, a presidential age limit was removed from the constitution, allowing him to run for re-election when his term expires in 2021.

UGANDA: Pop star MP Bobi Wine allowed to leave country for medical treatment

Ugandan pop-star-turned-MP Bobi Wine allowed to leave the country, official says

(CNN)Ugandan youth movement leader Bobi Wine has been allowed to leave the country, Patrick Onyango, the deputy spokesperson of the Uganda Police Force, told CNN on Friday.

The pop-star-turned-MP boarded a KLM flight out of Entebbe Airport, Wine's lawyer, Nicholas Opiyo, said Friday on Twitter.

The day before, Opiyo tweeted that Wine had been "violently arrested" and "bundled into a police ambulance" as he was on his way out of the country to seek medical treatment in the United States.

Ugandan politician Robert Kyagulanyi, known as Bobi Wine, center, is helped down stairs before appearing at the general court martial in Gulu, northern Uganda on August 23, 2018.

In a statement issued Friday, Uganda's Police Force said they had to prevent Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, from traveling in order to give him a medical check-up so they could investigate allegations that he was tortured.

"As a result, Hon Kyagulanyi was halted from departure and was taken to Mulago National Referral Hospital (Kiruddu Complex) in company of specialist doctors from the same hospital for the purpose mentioned above," the statement said.

Wine has been allowed to leave the medical facility because he underwent a medical examination, police statement said.
Human rights group Chapter Four Uganda, where Opiyo serves as executive director, has tweeted that "medical records obtained without free & full consent of the legislator cannot be used as evidence."

Wine was first arrested by the military on August 15 after rioting broke out between rival parties ahead of a local parliamentary election.

His youth movement has rattled the regime of President Yoweri Museveni, and he has been in and out of court since then, most recently having been freed on bail Monday.

Wine was heading to the airport Thursday when police arrested him and took him to a government-owned hospital, according to his legal team.

Kenyan activists and civil society groups protest in solidarity with Ugandan pop star-turned-lawmaker.

Another of his attorneys, Robert Amsterdam, alleged Uganda's special forces tortured the MP in the ambulance that took him to the hospital, while a doctor watched. Police also prevented MP Francis Zaake from leaving Uganda on Thursday, saying he was a suspect in a criminal case.

Onyango, the police spokesman, denied the MPs were tortured in custody and accused them of attempting to flee the country.

"He (Wine) was put in an ambulance well equipped with all the equipment you can think of, so they were really basically handled in a professional way," Onyango told CNN.
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Pockets of protests broke out in Kampala on Friday, as angry youths took to the streets to protest the MP's arrest.
Police and soldiers moved through the city, particularly downtown Kamwokya, where Wine's studio is located, to quell demonstrations by his supporters, who had blocked roads in the neighborhood with rocks and tyres.
Musicians around the world such as Chris Martin, Angelique Kidjo, Damon Albarn and others joined the campaign to #FreeBobiWine.

Anna Cardovillis reported from Nairobi and Stephanie Busari and Bukola Adebayo wrote and reported from Lagos

TANZANIA: Teacher beats student to death

Tanzania anger as 'pupil dies after beating'

BBC - There has been an outcry in Tanzania after a teenager was allegedly beaten to death by a teacher who accused him of stealing, AFP news agency reports.

Sperius Eradius, 13, died on Monday a few days after being punished for allegedly taking a teacher's handbag, AFP adds.

In protest, his family are refusing to bury the child until the teacher is suspended.

The country's health ministry has also condemned the incident, saying it violated the country's Children's Act, which seeks to protect every child, Tanzania's Guardian newspaper reports.

Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu said that an independent pathologist has been sent to Bukoba, north-west Tanzania, where the pupil died, to investigate what happened, the Citizen newspaper reports.

The Tanzania Media Women's Association is quoted by AFP as describing the incident as a "cruel and inhumane act" and called for "beatings and murders" to stop.

Tanzanian law allows for corporal punishment but says that it should be done in a "reasonable" manner and focused on the hands and buttocks, AFP reports.
Getty ImagesCorporal punishment is legal but the law says it should be administered in a reasonable manner

UGANDA: Museveni's military courts to cure his Chief Justice's empty threats


Museveni's Chief Justice who is the head of the Judiciary has warned that courts of law will no longer entertain tortured suspects to be charged.

“In court we want to receive people who are alleged to have committed an offence but we don’t want you to bring people in court when they are bleeding, who are unable to walk, with broken backs because they were tortured; those people only belong to the hospital,” he said.

He also warned security officers thus;

“I think people must understand that what you do to someone today can also be done to you tomorrow.”

Chief Justice Bart Katurebe has his son in Museveni's army, Brig. Octovious Butuuro who was rushed through the ranks on account of his relationship. Brig. Butuuro was one time the Deputy Chief of Military Intelligence before he was posted to Army Industries as MD. At the right time, Ugandans will also probe his son's tenure at CMI.

However, Katurebe's empty threats are misguided because there is another Chief Justice in the country; Museveni and his chain of military courts. The tortured victims will continue to appear before military courts and be detained in military barracks. Moreover, every Ugandan is a potential subject of military law. 

Katurebe should just apologize to Ugandans for having upheld the fraudulent election of Museveni in 2016.



RWANDA: Refugee organisation wants Uganda to account for treatment of Rwandese - WHAT ABOUT UGANDANS?

Abuses against Rwandan refugees in Uganda: Has Time Come for Accountability?

REPORTfrom International Refugee Rights Initiative, Published on 27 Aug 2018 —View Original

For many years, Rwandan refugees in Uganda have faced abuses, including arbitrary detention, forced return to Rwanda and attacks on their physical security, without any form of accountability. However, last Friday, 24 August, former Inspector-General of the Ugandan police, General Kale Kayihura, has been charged with aiding and abetting the kidnapping and repatriation of Rwandan refugees, amongst other charges. In October last year, other security officers had already been arrested and indicted under similar charges. Is it finally time for justice?

The case of Joel Mutabazi

Kayihura is accused of aiding and abetting the kidnapping of Rwandan refugees Joel Mutabazi, Jackson Karemera and Innocent Kalisa by Ugandan police officers. Six Ugandan police officers, one Rwandan security officer and one Congolese individual are on trial for their involvement in the abduction and forced return of Mutabazi. A senior police who had been arrested earlier in connection to this case has since been released.

Joel Mutabazi, a former bodyguard of Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, had been arrested in April 2010 in Rwanda and detained and tortured in military custody for his suspected links with opposition groups. After he was released in October 2011, Mutabazi fled to Uganda, where he was granted refugee status. In 2013, he was abducted from a UNHCR safe house near Uganda’s capital Kampala, and taken back to Rwanda. Mutabazi’s whereabouts were unknown for several days, until the Rwandan police stated that he was in their custody. UNHCR, which failed to protect Mutabazi, expressed its concern over the breach of the principle of non-refoulement and called for accountability.

In 2014, a Rwandan military court sentenced Mutabazi to life in prison, including for forming an armed group and for terrorism. His younger brother, Jackson Karemera, and another co-accused, Innocent Kalisa, also lived in Uganda before the trial and were themselves abducted back to Rwanda. They were sentenced respectively to four months and 25 years in prison. Karemera was rearrested after his release, his family hasn’t heard from him since. All three said during the trial they had been tortured in detention in Rwanda, but the court did not order an investigation into those allegations.

Abuses against Rwandan refugees

The illegal transfer of Mutabazi and his co-accused to Rwanda was not an isolated case. Over the years, including more recently, International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) has received several reports about threats, illegal arrests, attacks and forced returns of Rwandan refugees in Uganda. Many of such cases remain unreported, given the secrecy surrounding such abuses and the fear of reprisals, and are difficult to confirm. A few examples include:
In July 2010, Rwandan refugees were forcibly removed en masse from refugee settlements in south-western Uganda to Rwanda. Ugandan police officers used live rounds, wounding several in the process, to force refugees onto buses which dropped them in Rwanda.
In November 2011, Charles Ingabire, a Rwandan journalist, was murdered when he left a bar in Kampala. He was a fierce government critic who had obtained refugee status in Uganda. An investigation was opened, but to date, nobody has been charged for involvement in this crime.
In 2017, according to judicial documents, a Rwandan refugee was illegally detained for almost two months in Kireka police station in Kampala, and threatened with return to Rwanda, on the basis of his alleged involvement in the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Rwanda and Uganda do not have an extradition treaty. He was never charged and was eventually released.
Multiple sources confirmed to IRRI that on 20 December 2017, five Rwandan nationals were arrested in Mbarara, and one in Kampala. They were detained incommunicado for several days and allegedly tortured. Five of them were driven to the border with Rwanda nine days later and deported. According to Uganda’s army spokesperson, one was not deported because of her refugee status, and remained in incommunicado detention.

In addition to abuses against refugees, there have been several allegations, in the past year, of abuses against Rwandan nationals residing in Uganda. According to several sources, two Rwandan citizens were arrested in Uganda, respectively on 9 November 2017 and 3 January 2018, and detained incommunicado before being sent back to Rwanda. The first says he was tortured, which was confirmed to IRRI by a source knowledgeable about the case on 24 January 2018: “He was beaten up and tortured… and dumped at the border with Rwanda. He couldn’t walk and barely could talk.” The other man also reported to the media that he was tortured before being taken to the border with Rwanda.

For none of these cases has there been any apparent effort to provide meaningful accountability. Other reports have been difficult to verify, but as a consequence of such events, Rwandan refugees in Uganda continue to fear for their safety. Rwanda and Uganda have had close but turbulent bilateral relations in recent years, and many connections remain between individuals within the countries security services. There have, however, been reports that relations between the two countries have deteriorated.

Many interpreted the decision by Uganda, in early 2018, not to invoke a cessation clause against the more than 15,000 Rwandan refugees still currently living in Uganda as an illustration of this dynamic. This cessation clause, if invoked, would have forced refugees who fled Rwanda before 31 December 1998 to return to Rwanda, reapply for refugee protection or acquire citizenship in their country of exile. Seven countries have already begun implementing the cessation clause.

Concerns about right to a fair trial

While the arrested officers have themselves been accused of involvement in human rights violations, their own right to a fair trial and lawful detention seemed to have also been in jeopardy since their arrest. The arrest of General Kale Kayihura seems to have violated legal provisions on judicial review and detention terms. According to judicial documents and interviews with several people knowledgeable of the case, at least one of the accused in the trial against senior police officials has been detained incommunicado and tortured, in an attempt to extract testimony against other senior figures. Court documents show that the court told a bail applicant to edit out details of torture, but on 31 January 2018 a judge ordered an investigation into torture allegations. There have also been concerns about the prosecution of civilian suspects in a military court, a common practice in Uganda, and about settling scores within the security apparatus.

These trials against former senior Ugandan security officials could send a welcome signal to Rwandan refugees that abuses against them will be no longer tolerated. But justice can only be done if arrests and trials are conducted in accordance with standards in Ugandan and international law. More efforts must be done to end ongoing abuses against Rwandan refugees, and bring all perpetrators to account.

RWANDA: RNC in panic over Gen. Kalekyezi's release


Museveni's former police chief, Gen. Kalekyezi was sacked, his movements restricted and later charged with the forced return of Rwandese refugees to Rwanda. He had been a stumbling block in the RNC's covert activities in Uganda and its relationship with the Museveni regime. The dissident Rwandese RNC celebrated over that victory.

However, its joy has been short lived by the surprise release on bail of Gen. Kalekyezi. It is a heavy blow to them but they still have a way out. RNC dissidents have been and remain Museveni's major source of intelligence gathering on suspected hostile activities by the Kigali regime. Therefore fear of being dumped does not stand.

The RNC however, can still pursue Gen. Kalekyezi using the earlier petition that they lodged before the ICC. If he dares to go abroad for specialized medical treatment he may be arrested and arraigned for crimes against humanity.

UGANDA: NTVUganda has added Security forces besiege activists in church video

Security forces besiege activists in church

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UGANDA: A country is at war when Intelligence Chief goes to "battle front"


“The military involvement is very minimal. The Chief of Military Intelligence collects intelligence; he can choose to get on the ground and see what is going on.”
Army Spokesman quoted by - 30/8/3018
Indeed, the Chief of Military Intelligence (CMI) would be one of the last people to physically go on the ground in a combat situation. Museveni's CMI, Brig. Abel Kandiho was physically in the middle of heavy deployment in the city centre today amidst heavy army deployment to quell protests. What is most baffling is the fact that he was donning a full combat gear including camouflage uniform and helmet (see photo).

The last time Ugandans witnessed a top army officer donning combat helmet was at the fall of Iddi Amin in 1979 and during the swearing in of Gen. Tito Okello and at that time, David Oyite Ojok was in combat mood after defeating Iddi Amin and in 1985 Gen. Tito Okello was also sworn in after leading a rebellion against the Obote II government. A combat helmet is designed to protect the head against bullets. Helmets are usually worn by field soldiers during combat action. Structurally, the higher one ascends in rank, the further he goes from the actual battle field.

The Chief of Military Intelligence (CMI) heads a big network of staff members. From informers, Intelligence Staff (I.S) at different levels of military formations, Unit or battalion intelligence officers, Brigade I.Os, Division I.Os, and at headquarters level there is his deputy, Directors and their assistants for different departments, staff officers and a number of operatives. Kampala city in particular is demarcated into different Military Intelligence zones manned by his staff members. All these different players under his command are supposed to gather information and feed him. In turn, he processes this information and feeds both the CDF and the President.

Therefore, for the whole CMI to physically be on the ground amidst violence in the middle of the city, it signifies the extent of the regime's panicky mood and hence its vulnerability. For the army spokesman to downplay such a development is hypocrisy of the highest order. When the CMI dons full combat gear and goes on the ground to collect raw intelligence, then it means that the centre can no longer hold.


RWANDA: Kagame's death squads murder trail



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UGANDA: Aging Museveni tries to connect with youth, makes total fool of himself

Uganda's Aging President Struggles to Connect with Youth

VOA - Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has in a week written four letters on his Facebook page to his "grandchildren," a term he uses for Uganda's youth, one of affection and a reminder of his authority.

While Museveni's supporters see him as a freedom fighter deserving of his three decades in power, many of Uganda's young population, who have known no other leader, see him as a patronizing, disconnected and aging ruler who is failing to address their concerns. Halima Athumani reports from Kampala.