Warlords Unfit to Mediate in South Sudan
The International Community must appoint honest brokers
South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, lies in a dangerous neighbourhood. It is surrounded by countries with leaders who are warlords, dictators and/or indicted for war crimes by the ICC. These leaders have regrouped under the regional body IGAD. They blindly support President Kiir without first examining the root causes of the conflict and determining which party is at fault. South Sudan needs honest brokers from amongst past and present leaders with high moral standing who respect human values—not the current tainted IGAD leaders. The international community must not allow leaders investigated by the ICC for violations of serious international crimes to pretend to act like peace brokers. The people of South Sudan deserve better.
South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, lies in a dangerous neighbourhood. The ‘old’ Sudan, its most important and strategic neighbour, is headed by General Omar al-Bashir, an indicted war criminal at the International Criminal Court (ICC). He is busy pursuing his brand of peace with President Salva Kiir Mayardit.
South Sudan is one of the few countries he can visit without fear of arrest and transfer to the ICC. The Darfur conflict remains unresolved as women and children continue to be killed by his army and proxy militias.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is another unstable neighbour. The state is kept afloat by the United Nations peace-keeping force.
President Kabila faces a plethora of armed opposition groups; he used the ICC to get rid of his political opponents while protecting his soldiers and political allies from investigations and prosecutions. Since 1996, over five millions Congolese are believed killed by his army and by proxy militias of the governments of neighbouring Uganda and Rwanda.
The ICC is currently investigating situations in the DRC. Only a few weeks ago, one of the armed militias attempted, without success, to seize power by force in Kinshasa. In the process, many civilians were killed.
President Museveni, who seized political power in Uganda in 1986, has supervised the slaughter of more than 500,000 civilians in the various wars he has fought from Luwero, through eastern to northern Uganda. Outside Uganda, commanding the Uganda Peoples Defence Force (UPDF), President Museveni is responsible for many more civilians murders carried out by his soldiers and proxy militias in the DRC, South Sudan and the CAR.
Like General Kabila of DRC, General Museveni has also used the ICC to solve some of his political problems while fiercely defending members of the UPDF from investigation and prosecution by the ICC.
South Sudan’s other neighbour, the Central African Republic (CAR), is currently being ‘ruled’ by a war lord who cannot provide security even in the country’s capital, Bangui. The French and AU soldiers are responsible for keeping him in power.
Ethiopia, like Uganda and the CAR, has a government that came to power through the use of military force. For over twenty years Ethiopia’s ruling party has used the army to suppress the political opposition while periodically rigging elections to remain in power.
Like South Sudan, the so-called ‘liberation armies’ in Uganda, DRC and Ethiopia have transformed into ruling political parties without discarding their undemocratic and dictatorial tendencies.
The Kenyan situation is different from the traditional military regimes, but their leaders are currently facing charges of crimes against humanity at the ICC for the mass murders that took place after the 2007 presidential elections.
These leaders have regrouped under the Inter-Government Authority on Development (IGAD), a regional body in Eastern Africa. On 27 December 2013, at a meeting in Nairobi, primarily because of their track record, the IGAD leaders squandered an opportunity to demonstrate neutrality when they blindly supported President Kiir against Dr Riech Machar without first examining the root causes of the conflict and determining which party is at fault.
By issuing threats and taking sides with the principal antagonists, the IGAD leaders demonstrated their common dictatorial credentials and democratic deficit.
There is still a way out of the South Sudan political crisis which unfortunately is being addressed by military means. For a credible and lasting peace in South Sudan, individuals with high moral standing who respect human values from amongst past and present leaders need to be considered for appointment as mediators by the AU or the UN. South Sudan needs honest brokers and not the current tainted IGAD leaders.
One of the persons who enjoys respect from the antagonists is Kenya’s former foreign minister Mr Kilonzo Musyoka. He was a key player in the negotiations leading to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CAP) that led to the creation of the Republic of South Sudan. Similarly, General Daniel Opande, another impartial participant at the negotiations leading to the CAP, is neutral and generally respected by the antagonists.
Former OAU Secretary General, Salim A Salim is another suitable candidate He has an excellent track record for tackling difficult problems during his tenure. Ghana’s former President Kuffor is yet another candidate with respectable democratic credentials.
Africa is not short of talented mediators. It is unreasonable for the AU to send war mongers to negotiate peace. What the AU and the UN can do for South Sudan is to look at stable countries with democratic credentials like Botswana, Ghana, Namibia, Senegal or Tanzania and tap mediators from any of those countries.
On the other hand, it is neither shameful nor un-African to go outside the African continent and seek the best peace mediators from any part of the world. There are many competent and credible mediators in the Nordic region with excellent track record. They can provide the much needed neutrality in the Great Lakes Region in peace-making.
Occasionally mistakes are made and it is only natural to correct past mistakes. It was, for example, an error for the UN to request President Museveni to mediate in the South Sudan conflict. Uganda is already too involved in South Sudan going back to the mysterious death of John Garang. Uganda should be kept out of the South Sudan conflict.
President Museveni is neither an honest broker nor does he have democratic credentials. He is simply one of the many war lords on the Africa continent who has used force to achieve and retain political power. Over the years, he has tried to re-brand himself as a statesman but deep down, he remains a war lord.
Both his NRM and the SPLM are ‘liberation’ armies that failed to successfully transition to multi-party politics which accepts the separation of party and state. The NRM and the SPLM have remained undemocratic, dictatorial and has continued to use force, rig elections and retain power.
What Dr Machar demands in South Sudan is similar to demands made by Dr Kizza Besigye in Uganda: seeking reform of the electoral commission, an establishment of an impartial police force and an army with a national outlook. Instead, President Museveni has consistently threatened, arrested, tortured and detained Dr Besigye and other national politicians opposed to his regime. President Kiir is following his many bad examples.
President Museveni and the IGAD leaders are not only supporting President Kiir, they are supporting themselves. The undemocratic way in which President Kiir runs the state and the SPLM is no different from how President Omar al Bashir runs Sudan, President Museveni rules Uganda, President Kabila stumbles along in the DRC and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn controls Ethiopia. They are not the right people to act as mediators.
The international community must not allow leaders from the ‘ICC states’ that is, Uganda, Kenya, DRC, CAR, Sudan—countries that are currently being investigated by the ICC for violations of serious international crimes—to pretend to act like peaceful leaders seeking peace in that troubled country. The people of South Sudan deserve better.
Alex Obote-Odora, Consultant in International Criminal Law and Policy, Stockholm.
Dr. Odora’s piece is an excellent analysis of how the IGAD warlords protect each other, yet oversee some of the worst forms of human rights violations in their individual countries. The same warlords support ongoing atrocities on the African continent through their membership in the toothless African Union.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, for instance, should put his “house” (Kenya) in order by personally ascertaining that all the internally displaced persons (IDPs) who still languish in tattered camps since the post election violence (PEV) of 2007/08 are resettled. His Administration should also cooperate with the ICC by allowing them to access necessary documentation/data required to get the truth behind his alleged role in the PEV. It is not enough that the ICC’s Chief Prosecutor believes that Kenyatta’s case “does not satisfy the high standards of evidence required at trial.” The president should support a viable legal framework in Kenya to bring justice for the PEV victims.
Uhuru is seeking gravitas to endear himself with the Western world which is his political nemesis due to the ICC case. The Westgate Mall attack bought him some sympathy and regardless of Kenya’s economic interest in South Sudan, his role in the ongoing crisis is all about “cleaning” his image. With the support of his co-members in the East African Community’s “coalition of the willing” (Presidents Museveni of Uganda and Kagame of Rwanda), he took over the current chair of this regional bloc which was forfeited by Kagame. The more he is laden with political responsibility, the more negotiating power he bears to get him off the ICC yoke. It is the paradox of Kenya’s geopolitics which overrides justice for the PEV victims.
South Sudan: Making sense of December the 15th, start of war – Part 2
By John A. Akec
January 5, 2013 – It is a daunting task trying to sum up in one article the myriad of political causes behind three weeks of catastrophic violence in South Sudan in which over a thousand lives have been lost, tens of thousands displaced, incalculable damage inflicted on the national economy, and human rights and security undermined by the parties involved in the conflict.
In the part 1 of the series, the author had highlighted how the conflict was started based on firsthand accounts of the military generals in the army division of the Presidential Guards in which the shootout began on the night of December 15th 2013 at around 10:17 pm before spreading to other army divisions and thereafter to state of Unity, Jonglei, and Upper Nile.
This is the second and the last part of the article series.
HISTORY IS NOT FOR NOTHING
Not a while ago, I noted that everywhere in the world, lessons of history are learned to build a safe pathway into the future, except in South Sudan where events take place and are soon forgotten. And that, in my view, is a big mistake. And as Professor Abraham Matoc Dhal of Rumbek University’s College of Economic Studies recently noted: “History is not for nothing.”
Not only history, but in author’s view, anthropology matters also in understanding the root causes and parameters of ethnic conflicts.
Writing on Development Policy Forum, a policy discussion forum managed by Ebony Centre for Strategic Studies, a think-tank, Samson Wassara, a professor of political sciences at the University of Juba observed:
“The causes of the crisis are rooted in historical legacies of the long civil war that seemed to have ended by the signature of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in January 2005….origins […] can be traced back to the event. But causes of the current crisis are associated with the past. ”
Thus, in order to find our compass into the present quagmire, a glimpse into our distant and recent past will be an exercise worth doing, albeit imperfectly.
THE DINKA AND THE NUER: A SNAPSHOT OF ETHNOGRAPHY AND POWER DYNAMICS
Dinka is the largest single ethnic group in South Sudan. They exist in 7 out of 10 South Sudan states: Northern Bahr El Ghazal, Western Bahr El Ghazal, Warap, Lakes, Jongeli, Unity, Upper Nile state, in addition to Abyei. They total around 3.2 million strong according to South Sudan Population Census 2008 (excluding Abyei). The Dinka outnumber the Nuer by a factor of 2 to 1; namely, for every Nuer, there are two Dinka. The majority of Dinka are found in Northern Bahr El Ghazal, Warap, and Lakes staes. In Unity State, Dinka are minority occupying just 2 counties out of 9; while they have significant presence in Upper Nile where they occupy 4 counties out 13; and in Jonglei state, the Dinka occupy 4 counties out of 11.
The Nuer, on the other hand, is the second largest ethnic group in South Sudan. They are found in Unity, Upper Nile, and Jonglei states with a total population of about 1.6 million strong. In Unity state, they live in 7 counties out of 9 where they are the overwhelming majority. In Upper Nile state, the Nuer occupy 4 counties out of 13, and in Jonglei state, they have 5 counties out of 11.
Between them, the Dinka and Nuer make up 4.8 million or 57% of South Sudan population.
The two ethnic groups share common culture, have similar languages, and practice agro-pastoralist economy. The Nuer ethnographers include Edward Evans-Prichard (The Nuer: A Description of the Modes of Livelihood and Political Institutions of a Nilotic People, 1940), and Sharon E. Hutchinson (Nuer Dilemas: Coping with Money, War, and State, 1996), while Dinka were studied by Francis Mading Deng (The Dinka People of the Sudan, 1972), Geoffrey Lienhardt (Divinity and the Experience: The Religion of the Dinka, 1961) , and John Ryle (Warriors of the White Nile: the Dinka, 1982), among others. It is worth referring to these works to gain some background understanding of the Dinka and Nuer norms.
In one of his papers (The Nuer of Southern Sudan, 1940), the British anthropologist Edward Evans-Pritchard, who also described the Nuer as “wild offshoot of Dinka”, observed:
“Every Nuer, the product of hard upbringing, deeply democratic and easily aroused to violence, considers himself as good as his neighbour; and families and joint families, whilest coordinating their activities with those of their fellow villagers, regulate their affairs as pleased.”
The above accolade-imparting observation has a worrying side to it, though; namely, being “easily aroused to violence” and being “deeply democratic” do not make for good bed-fellows for advancing democratic values when Nuer interact with other groups in the state, for example. Pritchard also noted that while the Nuer do not follow leaders, they can listen to their spiritual/religious leaders such spearmen and rain-makers. Ngundeng is a good example of influential religious leaders.
The same could have been said about the Dinka, except that Dinka, in my view, are relatively slow to provoke to violence, although many of them have aggressive tendencies when interacting with others. This is what many outsiders find intimidating to say the least. And once provoked, are not easy to stop. What is more, Dinka communities maintain communal leadership structures with clear lines of communication; and it is not just anybody in Dinka society is considered a leader.
Moreover, leaders in Dinka society are heeded and the Dinka believe that people, even within the same family, are “not as equal as sticks in a match box,” or “have the same height as the herds of giraffes.” It means some are considered wiser than others. Some people deserve more respect than others, because of their age, education, or social status, for example. This stratification of Dinka society has positive implications for the way peace is maintained, conflicts resolved, and on how the society is organised and led.
Traditionally, the Dinka and Nuer raided each others’ borders for cattle rustling especially during the dry season from December to May each year. More often than not, when Dinka raids Nuerland, it is likely to be retaliation for a Nuer offence. However, in recent years, and with spread of small arms, the raids have become increasingly deadly, and more of Nuer’s Dinka neighbours increasingly taking the initiative to rob Nuer’s cattle instead of confining themselves to counter Nuer raids. And what is disturbing about all this is that rarely had the disputes been settled or have anyone been brought to justice for cattle rustling offences that frequently involve lost of life including the killing of women, children, and the elderly in cold blood.
DINKA-NUER HOLLY ALLIANCES
The politicians and military personnel from the two groups have often collaborated fruitfully at certain times, and clashed destructively in other times. In Sudan history on anti-colonial movement, for example, both the Dinka and Nuer made significant contributions to resistance movement against the British colonial rule in Sudan. The White Brigade was founded and led by Ali Abdalatif, a Dinka by origin, who was the political leader of the first Sudanese anti-British movement, and Abdalfadheel El Maz, a Nuer by origin, historically noted for bravery and a military heroism, and as martyr of 1924 armed uprising against British rule in Sudan. This is not to say that only Dinka and Nuer were the only active ethnic groups in the anti-colonial movement.
Furthermore, in author’s time, collaboration between two former Sudan army officers Kurbino Kuanyin Bol, a Dinka, and William Nyuon Beny, a Nuer; led to staging of a mutiny in 1983 in Bor and Ayod respectively, and marked the beginning of the second wave of North-South conflict led by Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) that ended with signing of Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in January 2005, and the declaration of South Sudan independence in July 2011.
BLOODY POWER STRUGGLE
And while there has never been a complete divide along ethnic lines, power struggle between leaders from Dinka and Nuer ethnicities has also involved a component of ethnicity when mobilising support base, or as the unintended consequence or a by-product of such power struggle.
For example, power struggle and clashes of visions pitted John Garang (a Dinka), Kuribino Kuanyin (Dinka), and William Nyuon (Nuer) of SPLM on one hand, against Samuel Gai Tut (Nuer), and Akuot Atem (Dinka) of Anya Nya II on the other hand during the early stages of founding of SPLM (1984-1985), and led to one of the first bloody splits within the leadership ranks in South Sudan resistance movement. The dispute over power eventually took ethnic line in which thousands of lives were lost, mostly in suppressing Nuer-led mutiny against SPLA which also resulted in the victimization of innocent Nuer civilians; and through revenge killings carried out by Nuer militia against Dinka, irrespective of whether or not the Dinka victims are armed combatants or unarmed civilians.
The conflict in SPLA began with killing of Samuel Gai Tut in an ambush by a force loyal to John Garang in 1984 while Tut was on his way to a meeting to settle differences with Garang’s group. After the death of Samuel Gai Tut, William Abdalla Chuol, a younger Nuer officer, took over the faction (Anya Nya II) after executing Akuot Atem, a Dinka compatriot of Samuel Gai Tut. This was followed by a massacre that claimed nearly 2,000 Dinka SPLA recruits from Greater Bahr El Ghazal en route to Ethiopia through Upper Nile. Abdalla Chuol was later assassinated by SPLA forces after leading a fierce counter insurgency against SPLA with the support of Khartoum government after his forces became known as government “friendly forces.” In pursuit of Nuer counter insurgents, SPLA committed many atrocities against Nuer civilian population which led to mass migration to North Sudan, and deepening the hatred between the two ethnic groups.
Furthermore, in 1991, Riek Machar broke away from SPLM and formed a faction known as SPLM-Nasir. Starting as a broad-based splinter group, Nasir Faction increasingly became an exclusive Nuer outfit, especially after Bor Masacre in 1991 in which 2,000 Dinka civilians were killed by Machar’s forces. In 1997, Machar-led South Sudan Independence Movement (SSIM), as Nasir faction was later renamed, signed Khartoum Peace Agreement (KPA) with Sudan government.
Machar forces, that were predominantly Nuer, mounted serious counter insurgency against SPLA and allowed the Sudan government to exploit the oil from South Sudan fields in Unity and Upper Nile, with catastrophic outcome for South Sudan liberation war. After the collapse of Khartoum Peace agreement, Riek Machar quit to sign an agreement with SPLM and was reintegrated with some of his forces in 2001. Paulino Matip and other generals stayed behind in Khartoum until 2005 when CPA was concluded before reaching a new agreement with SPLM.
Professor Wassara noted recently that the agreement was not good enough:
“The cosmetic reconciliation between the SPLM/A leading to the signing of the CPA did not heal the wounds of the 1991 rift.”
Yet this question remains: What actually constitutes reconciliation in what is increasingly ethnic-based power struggle?
After the signing of CPA and setting up of the government of South Sudan, anti-government militia activity in Unity, Upper Nile, and Jonglei that lacked clearly defined goals had continued unabated and posed security challenges to the nation. The solution has been amnesty and integration of militia leaders and their armies into the rank of SPLA, only for many of them to re-defect months or year later. The government continued to apply the same cure to militia problem and with the same results!
And despite all above, it would appear no one has internalized the root causes behind the Nuer unrest so as to identify more sustainable resolution.
THE STRAW THAT BROKE THE CAMEL’S BACK: OBSTACLES TO MACHAR’S AMBITIONS
It would be a grievous mistake to say that the re-integration of Dr. Riek Machar into SPLM in 2001, and giving him the second highest stake in the government after the president had done nothing to keep power dynamics between the two groups in check, leading to a peaceful conduct of referendum and standing up to Sudan’s intransigence over the post-referendum issue.
It is worth mention that the Nuer were given great stakes in the government across the board the level of which is commensurate with their size in the population. And as vice president of the republic for 8 years, it is understandable that Dr. Machar of late has began to set his eyes on the top job and to explore the political landscape to identify any obstacle to his political ambitions. And he did find many.
First, Dr. Machar wanted the term of presidency reduced to two terms maximum in the South Sudan interim constitution, but that wish was not granted. Second, he wanted the vice president to be acting president should the position fall vacant until elections take place. Instead, the job goes to leader of national legislative assembly as in the constitution. Although he had wanted to be nominated as the leader of the house, he was not. Next Dr Machar strove to remove the clause in SPLM constitution that gives SPLM chairperson to nominate 5% members to NLC and at all other levels of the party. That was roundly voted down in the last NLC convention (128 against 8). Again Machar want the decisions to be made in NLC using secret ballot rather than the show of hand (hoping to give the shy members to make their genuine choice without fear of intimidation). That was also defeated by a majority vote. Machar expected for a more reconciliatory speech from the SPLM chairman at NLC convention, but he got none.
Small wonder, Machar and his group walked out of NLC convention Saturday afternoon, and never to return. And the rest is history.
ROAD NOT TAKEN
“Machar should have known better that using ethnic means as a strategy to get power will have many unintendend consequences”, said a former SPLA combatant.
The most obvious thing that Dr. Machar could have done was to form his own party and contest the next election. Having come close to the front of the queue, the rules of the game were suddenly changed and Machar found himself thrown to the bottom of stairs; and then the stairs taken away. Instead of ballot, Machar went for bullet, with the intent to right those wrongs. Not a good choice.
THE IMPLICATION FOR FUTURE OF THE COUNTRY
At the moment, 55 to 60% of the army is Nuer, while they are 20% of population. And given the high defection rate among Nuer in recent conflict, the trust in members of Nuer in the armed forces has received a terrible bashing. One former SPLA general was quoted as saying: ” the dilemma for South Sudan is either the constitution disallows the drafting of Nuer in the army, or give them their own country.” This would sound extreme but minimizing risk of defection of Nuer in future would be a critical concern in the maintenance of national security.
It would require the passing of legislation to reorganize the army on the bases of the states representation and population size, including increasing the representation of Equatorians and other ethnic groups.
It is unlikely that Machar will win the war and compromise from warring parties would be necessary. International community can work to get the parties agree on transitional period to an internationally organised elections. Machar and group need a free space to promote their vision through peaceful democratic means.
The government also needs to reform the army to be more professional, representative of the whole population, and trustworthy. Compulsory military service should also be constituted for all below certain age to be agreed.
Security organs need strengthening and improve its technological capacity to detect crime and fight terrorism at the bud. Security holes created by non-registration of all mobile phone numbers needs to be addressed as a matter of national security.
And above all, the government needs to improve service delivery in areas of health, education, transportation, electricity, drinking water, and food security to the whole population. Those are the things that worth fighting for, and not on who should be the ruler.
Dr. John Akec is the Chairperson of Academics and Researchers Forum for Development (ARFD), an academic-led think-tank registered as an NGO in South Sudan. The views expressed in the articles are his own and do not express the position of ARFD.
From South Sudan’s Silva Kiir who is facing a rebellion against his tyrannical rule to Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan who lost majority in the powerful House of Representatives and South Africa’s Jacob Zuma who was booed down by South Africans in front of over 100 world leaders during the funeral of President Nelson Mandela because of corruption. Amandla to the people of Africa. It doesn’t look good for Mr Kenyatta either at home as the so called tyrany of numbers now faces its own rebellion. The time for total revolution against thieves and murderers of their own people is now.
Uhuru Kenyatta, the rich boy who stumbled on the presidency. Where are you heading us? Everything about your government is wrong! He should emulate the Uruguan president who spends 90% of his monthly salary on charity organization.
Garang’s son blames President Kiir for conflictPublish Date: Dec 23, 2013
By Samuel Ouga and Raymond Baguma
Question: In your view, where did the events in South Sudan start from?
Answer: We have to go back further than December 6th. The problems in South Sudan started way back in 2011; after South Sudan independence. A constitutional Review Commission was formed in South Sudan. After the signing of the CPO there was an interim constitution. The interim constitution was for the interim period from 2005 to 2011.
In 2011 we now had a transitional constitution. By 2014 we are supposed to have a permanent constitution. For this a constitutional review commission was formed and mandated to consult the people of South Sudan on a wide range of issues including how they want to be governed. But the Commission was poorly funded and its mandate expired in 2012 without achieving much.
It’s time was extended but still poorly funded, therefore making it impossible to fulfill its objectives. To me this was an indicator that there will be no national elections and a sign that this government is moving towards a dictatorship. After independence there was a lot of euphoria that many people of South Sudan failed to see the subtle moves towards stifling democracy.
The SPLM was in a period of transition from a liberation movement into a new reality of operating as a political party. SPLM was reviewing its Bush war guiding documents whose geo-political context had changed. Back in the bush way days the SPLM articulated in its documents a context of a united Sudan. But South Sudan gain independence and the context changed.
With this were also problems as the Chairman of the party; President Salva Kiir, frustrated efforts to review the current constitution, rules of procedure and how the national convention would be held. For instance, in the convention, one of points of contention is the system of voting for the Chairman by show of hands rather than through secret ballot.
The group of 13 progressive party leaders led by Dr. Machar rejected this among other provisions, because people could be intimidated by security during the voting process. So the document was not passed because after the passing of this document SPLM would then be registered as a political party. So SPLM today has not yet been registered as a political party.
The parties act; an important instrument that will regulate party activities, was passed by parliament and forwarded to the president for signing. But up to now it has not been signed into law. These are indications that the president is becoming more authoritarian and that there will be no elections. Because you can’t just wake up one morning and say let’s have elections.
There are due processes that have to be followed. For those who are more educated and understand political science, they knew a long time ago that things were not going well, but sometimes you have to give people time to see what the realities are.
This group that has now been accused of mounting the coup has over time also raised concern over among other things the unconstitutional sacking of governors deemed critical to the current government and imposing handpicked governors on the people of South Sudan because he wants all governors to be on his side so that they can doctor the results of the national convention.
According to our constitution when a governor’s seat falls vacant there should be elections within 60 days. But instead Chairman Salva Kiir unconstitutionally imposed handpicked Governors on the people of South Sudan.
When he sees a governor not doing his bidding, he removes that governor by first accusing him of something. Like he did to the Governors of Lake state, Western Upper Nile state…who were falsely accused and sacked. Like when he sacked the whole cabinet. He accused the top leaders of having stolen money yet he had no evidence. Why would you do that? It’s like defamation. Why didn’t he charge them in courts of law? He was just doing this to ruin their political image in the eyes of the people.
When in reality the office of the president has borrowed US$4.2 billion. Members of parliament are not aware of details of this loan because they were not informed about it. Nobody knows where it was borrowed from or what the money was used for.
There is nothing to show for it and yet the people of South Sudan are left to finance this loan. Since the oil started flowing government employees have not been paid. It’s a situation where somebody has to say something. Like the Americans say, you can’t keep pissing on people and then you tell them its raining.
This group of 13, on the December 6th, called for a press conference. Before that we all know that he sacked the entire cabinet. He sacked the Vice president. Actually the national convention was supposed to happen before that.
It was so close to the national conference where if you didn’t want Dr. Machar to be your deputy, because you chose him in 2005 and again you chose him in 2011 as your running mate, didn’t you know about the atrocities of 1991 for which he accuses Dr. Machar?
When were reconciled as a movement in 2002 we had left that behind us in 2002 and we had started a process of reconciliation. Until 2005 we came together with Dr. Machar as a movement. When the CPO was signed we came with Dr. Machar as a member of the SPLM. So why would he bring up the 1991 massacre now?
President Kiir now keeps referring to Dr. Riek Machar as the prophet of doom and keeps mentioning the 1991 massacre. The 1991 incident is being used to politicise things on tribal and to remove attention away from his mismanagement.
The Group of 13 are not saying that they are the benevolent ones, what they are saying; for instance during the press conference The Governor of Lake state who was sacked by Kiir said; “we have all failed including us seated here together with you in government. It is only our children who are going to study in good schools in East Africa. When we fall sick we are air lifted out of the country. It’s our children
who are eating ice cream. The children of the local people are not eating ice cream Lets us all seat down and have a dialogue and see how to resolve the leadership crisis and see how we can move forward.” So they were calling for a peaceful reconciliation, because after sacking the entire cabinet there was mounting tension.
Presedent Kiir, after meeting Khartoum allied militias who were fighting South Sudanese people, he came back and sacked top Generals of the SPLM who had fought in the bush and instead integrated the people from Khartoum into the army. This created a lot of tension.
The group of 13 said, let us resolve this issues from within the party, instead of us forming another party through dialogue. But President Salva Kiir saw all this as a threat. Because he is aware that what happened Thabo Mbeki in South Africa, could also happen to him in a national conference.
Because if he is unseated as the chairman of SPLM that another person like Dr. Riek Machar or any other person would become the new leader of the party before the elections. He knows he will be defeated. If he Chairman Salva Kiir claims that Dr. Riek Machar is the prophet of doom then why not go ahead with the elections?
Because it’s up to the people of South Sudan to decide. He should have faith on the people of South Sudan. If he knows he is popular then why can’t he let the convention go ahead? If you want to stay in power you don’t throw away your party.
He is trying to compare himself to other African leaders who have stayed in power for long. Saying the “So and so has stayed in power for long so why not me.” But those people have not thrown away their parties. Those African leaders who stay in power for long use their parties. It’s the delegates in their parties who vote them to come back.
It was not unconstitutional but the sacking of the cabinet was bad politics. The national conference was so close. If he dint want the vice president he would have gone to the national conference. By doing this, you formant tribal divisions.
After the sacking of the president you would expect an outbreak of tribal conflict. But the vice president pleaded with his people not to orchestrate violence.
It would not have been a smart move to mount a coop since he has support from most of the delegates and Dr. Machar, had the president cornered diplomatically. Salva Kiir wanted to foment tribal violence by sacking the vice president. Any lay person in South Sudan would have known that if you sack this person you would foment tribal violence.
So Salva Kiir has now achieved through this alleged coup what he wanted to achieve through the sacking of the vice president because this draws attention away from the problems, he can now declare martial law and suspend civil liberties. He has now achieved what he wanted. What really happened in Juba, the 13 political prisoners on the December 6th, declared that they would hold another press conference to tell the people of South Sudan about what is really happening.
Tell them how the President was running a one man show, micro managing the government and not allowing other people to do their work. After hearing this, President Kiir scheduled a national liberation council meeting on the same day.
The group of 13 then said since we want a peaceful means of solving these issues lets then go and have dialogue within the same meeting. But when they went there they were informed that the only issue on the agenda was the passing the basic document and nothing else.
When it came to discussing other business they kept insulting them. The same thing happened on the second day. Realising that the meeting was not constructive the group of 13 decided not to show up for the meeting on the 3rd day.
Coincidentally there was an argument between members of the republican guard. A small argument between the presidential guards escalated into a gun fight that spread to other units. Apparently there was a rumour that an arrest warrant had been issued for the arrest of Dr. Riek Machar.
On Monday the president appeared on TV in full military uniform saying he had foiled a coup attempt. That he was in full control. There should have been more investigations. Because you can’t go and arrest politicians when there is a military coup. You first arrest the military commanders and find out from them. But the way they rushed to arrest the politicians and threw them in Jail raises questions. Up to now they have not been taken to court or allowed to access their lawyers. Our constitution states that suspects should be brought to court within 48 hours. They have not been charged.
They have not been given legal counsel. They are being detained illegally. One gets the feeling that everything was pre-planned because it happened so quickly. This is responsible leadership. The president of the republic started using genocidal language like calling people coach roaches.
Sometimes he speaks like it’s okay for some people to attack others. He can’t continue referring to people like “Those people of 91.” All the people of South Sudan know what he means. I will not tell you, but the people of South Sudan know what he means. There is a recording where he sanctioned violence. This is on record.
Recently during a memorial service of 80 people who were killed as result of cattle rustling by another tribe, while comforting the mourners, President Kiir told them in the mother tongue, that “You people have allowed this to happen and yet you are the ones holding the spears.” If you translate this, what he was actually telling them was that “the minister of defence is from your area. How do you let yourselves to be attacked?”
It’s like he has allowed the people of that area to use national resources to go against other people of South Sudan. He also mentioned that when such people use to attack “our villages my people came to me and asked what should we do? I told them organize yourselves.
And they orgnaised themselves and attacked those people. And up to now they have never come back to our village.” That is bad politics. That is inciting violence. So it’s the president who is the chairman of SPLA who has been inciting violence. He speaks one thing and does another.
Another important point is that the groups of 13 have been writing to the office of the president asking for them to meet through the office of party Secretary General.
The reason that made them call the press conference on December 6th was because they have it on record, of them sending letters to the chairman for dialogue several times but the chairman kept ignoring them and kept falsely accusing them. These people had reached out to the chairman for dialogue.
When the president kept on accusing them falsely and they would keep quite the president took it as a weakness. There was silence and the people didn’t know what was happening. He was the only one talking saying these people were thieves. But when does the buck start with you Mr. President? When do you take the blame?
You have been reshuffling your cabinet since 2005 and blaming everybody else. Can you take responsibility and say “People we have failed. What can we do?” These sacked people who fought for South Sudan have been humiliated. They have never been given any kind of military decoration. Nothing.
South Sudan You could say that south Sudan is a young nation Many African countries like Uganda, Kenya, and South Africa have offered us training opportunities for capacity building, but government selects and sends the oldest people who are going to retire in two years.
They are so old that they get bored in class and only go to enjoy the per diem. For a development of a country you develop the human resource and the human resource develops the country.
Question: But maybe the country is young with a largely untested constitution and laws. Could that be the case?
Answer: Many African countries like Uganda, Kenya, and South Africa have offered us training opportunities. But it’s up to the Government of South Sudan to show how serious they are. Yes, we could say South Sudan is a young nation but how serious have we been?
Look at some of these training opportunities for example. They send the oldest people to attend, yet they are going to retire in two years, and are so bored when they get in class. So they are wasting state resources. They are there because it is favoritism and a way of rewarding people for loyalty. They don’t get sent there in order to build a human resource.
South Sudan is two years old; but there was an interim period of five years when the guns fell silent and there was a time for nation building. On top of that, we did not just fall from the sky. We were in a liberation movement that had liberated territory bigger than the Republic of South Sudan today. We had a history of administration in the liberated territory that we could have transformed into the new political reality.
But what the President did when he took power was to first throw away the party. And that is a story for another meeting because that goes back to 2004. I am sure you are aware of the Rumbek meeting in 2004.
Question: You mean when Dr. John Garang apologized…
Answer: Yes, they had a meeting in Rumbek and they were reconciled. There was tension between Salva Kiir and Dr. John (Garang). When Dr. John died, they had just reconciled. In Kenya when Kenyatta died, President Moi said ‘Nyayo.’ But what happened in South Sudan is that Salva Kiir did not do ‘Nyayo.’
So, if we go back to 2005, this is where the SPLM got derailed. So we have to go back to 2005 and put the train back on the tracks. Otherwise the train cannot move.
Question: From what the Rumbek meeting and the reconciliation, do you think President Salva should have followed that path as well of reconciliation?
Answer: Definitely. Not only that; but even after the reconciliation with Riek Machar, there was a committee that was enacted to conduct something called the ‘South-South Dialogue.’ This is something like South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. During the reconciliation with Riek Machar in 2002, the South Sudanese had their own way to come together and resolve their conflicts.
There were not outside forces or interests that came in. South Sudanese have the capacity, and they have proven it in the past, to come together and solve their differences. In 2005, we got derailed and the process of south-south dialogue did not continue.
This is what was supposed to be. But it did not happen. Why it did not happen, I don’t know. This tension has been there since before the independence of South Sudan. But people have been exercising responsible leadership. Nobody wanted to be on the bad side of history.
People were waiting for independence; and after we can solve whichever differences we have.
Question: To what extent has ethnicity contributed to the existing tensions?
Answer: There is that dimension and it’s very real because people are killing each other. But I will say that it is in the interest of somebody who is fomenting it. If you look at the 13 political prisoners, they are from different region of South Sudan.
The tribal dimension comes in when somebody is trying to use it as a way of escalating the violence. It’s almost like hate speech coming from the President’s mouth. The year 1991 is a sad chapter in the history of South Sudan. But the President is talking about the 1991 tragedy in the context of the ‘prophet of doom.’
Yet the President should be talking of the 1991 tragedy in the context of reconciliation and truth. It was the President’s bodyguards in Juba who went house to house executing people because of their tribe. Yes it has a tribal dimension but in the context of it being used by the regime in order to create chaos and declare martial law and suspend civil liberties.
Question: Do you think it would have been different if Dr. John Garang was still alive?
Answer: There are no ‘what-ifs’ in history. But of course it would be different. There would still be a lot of challenges but the difference is that he was a person who was committed to his leadership and took it seriously. He would not have slept. I watched him as a leader during the war days.
He was always constantly educating himself. This is what leadership demands. You have to always be ahead of the people. This is what our President lacks. He does not take his job as a leader seriously. Otherwise, he would have constantly tried to find ways of solving the challenges.
Question: And the current role being played by Dr. Garang’s widow, your mother Rebecca?
Answer: It is up to her, but I think she would rather be a business person. She has been in that leadership position for 20 years with my father leading the movement. She knows the stress and hardships of leadership. If the people of South Sudan were managing, you would not hear from her. Through the private sector, you can do more for the people.
Two years ago, she started farming, cultivating sorghum. In the first harvest, she made at 300-400 percent more in a year than what she makes in government. She can be a leader in the private sector. But it is because the vision of the movement has been hijacked by people pretending to be using the vision on one hand while doing another thing.
They are using the family of Dr. John Garang to say that Salva is doing the right thing. With this, you get a crisis of conscience at some point and have to say something. When you see something you have contributed to being deliberately destroyed in your name, you have to say something.
So, she has been forced back into politics because at least, not because of her desire for political power.
Question: There were reports that she had been arrested. Is she safe?
Answer: She is at home. They have not harmed her. But if you go out, vigilantes can do anything. I don’t think there is any kind of presidential order for her arrest. They have respected her because within that group there are people who are trying to advise the president that this is not the way.
The senseless were saying that she should be arrested. But I think sense prevailed and they said they would not arrest her. I think if she tries to leave the country they will arrest her. So, she decided to stay home until the situation subsides.
Question: How about you? Are you not threatened?
Answer: I am in danger. Not to say from direct orders of the president. When a leader makes reckless statements, I am in danger from vigilante groups. I could be mugged. I am in danger yes; but God is good.
Question: How do you think what is taking place in Sudan will end? Will it be an all-out war or reconciliation?
Answer: It depends on the seriousness of the parties involved. Of course our priority is to have a peaceful resolution. We hope for the best. When we reconciled in 2002 with Machar, there were no outside forces involved.
I am confident the people of South Sudan will do it again and reconcile but it depends on the seriousness of the groups.
Question: Machar has been quoted as saying that the only negotiation they can have is to negotiate President Kiir’s departure. Do you think this will bring peace or escalate tension?
Answer: Well that’s what he said. We are all human beings. This is what negotiations are about. Now are going to enter into negotiations under IGAD. We shall see.
Question: Do you think President Kiir still has legitimacy given what has taken place?
Answer: He would not have legitimacy but for the sake of reconciliation and national unity, I think there are many components. In the case of Kenya, many people died but they found a way to resolve it. If mishandled now, it can lead to more violence.
There are people who said they would never allow Riek Machar to lead South Sudan. But if you say we are democratic, and then say that you can never allow him, you are denying people their civil rights and liberties. The people of South Sudan are not stupid.
Question: Do you have any political ambitions?
Answer: Sometimes you have to be what you have to be during certain situations. Under normal circumstances, I would rather be in the private sector. You go where your soul needs you most. If my country needs me I will not hesitate to answer that call.
Answer: Do you think from this crisis SS will emerge stronger?
Answer: Yes, people have been exposed and they will be stronger. Whether it’s a case where we will reconcile, we will become stronger. Where the party splits, we will still be strong because the enemy within would have come out. Still the party will be strong.
Question: Is your mother Rebecca Garang supporting Riek Machar?
Answer: Mama Rebecca is not supporting Riek Marchar. Both of them declared their interest to contest for the chair of the party during the national convention. They became allies and what they are pushing for is for the national convention to take place.
And if the national convention takes place, they will compete against each other. And one of them will emerge victorious and the rest will shake hands. This is the spirit of democracy we want to bring to SPLM. So they have become allies. But they are trying to present it as if Mama Rebecca is putting her weight behind Riek Machar.
She is not putting her weight behind Riek Machar. They are allies. Their interests convinced and politics is about interests. The crisis began because people were denied their right. That they should not contest against Salva during the primaries because of some issues of 1991.
If Mama Rebecca had jumped on the tribal bandwagon, then ethnic violence that occurred would have been much worse. The fact that Mama Rebecca and Riek Machar are allies, gives people hope that there is national unity. There is a group that is supporting the President.
They call themselves Dinka elders. And their objective is not to allow the Nuers to take over power. In a way the alliance is what is making the situation not to break into genocide.
NURSES AND DOCTORS Keep on striking in Kenya. lets face the facts,we are only one when the rich and wealthy die from an attack in westage and not when the poor man,woman,child and youth dies in hospital due to lack of medication.The leaders will only visit public hospitals to visit accident victims and will ask the press to accompany them just to make a public appearance.Just check where our leaders get medication.. Beth Mugo went to USA for breast cancer treatment. Anyang Nyong’o went to USA for prostrate cancer treatment. Raila Odinga went to Australia to seek medical treatment. Uhuru Kenyatta was born at Pumwani Maternity Hospital when it used to be posh. Now look at it and Tell me then: ARE WE ONE when 8 babies die before delivery?
I will come for you, Museveni warns Machar
By Risdel Kasasira & John K. Abimanyi
Posted Tuesday, December 31 2013 at 02:00
Kampala-President Museveni yesterday flew to Juba where he warned South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar to embrace a ceasefire suggested by that country’s government or face “defeat” by the regional forces.
“We gave Riek Machar four days to respond (to the ceasefire offer) and if he doesn’t we shall have to go for him, all of us. That is what we agreed in Nairobi,” he told reporters in Juba.
Foreign Affairs ministry spokesperson Fred Opolot yesterday acknowledged that he had been briefed about the stern position adopted by the Ugandan President but said: “The warning must be in line with the position taken by IGAD.”
IGAD member states include Uganda, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti.
Mr Opolot said the President’s visit was part of IGAD effort to end the fighting that broke out on December 15 as a power struggle but has now turned tribal.
On Friday, leaders from the IGAD countries held special discussions on the
fighting in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi and resolved that the warring parties immediately cease hostilities and embrace dialogue.
However, critics have questioned the language used by President Museveni, saying he has “overstepped” his position as President of Uganda.
“What Museveni is doing is not good for Uganda. It will cause us problems. Let him encourage the warring parties to dialogue but not take a one-sided view,” Aswa MP Reagan Okumu, the former Shadow minister for foreign affairs, said yesterday.
President Museveni visited Juba amidst reports that the White Army, a militia composed of Nuer youths reported loyal to Dr Machar, were planning to attack Bor, the capital of Jonglei, which was recaptured by government forces on Friday.
President Kiir, who sacked Dr Machar in July, accused him of starting the violence in a move to seize power – an allegation first denied by Machar. However, Machar has since retreated into the bush and acknowledged he is leading rebel fighters.
Meanwhile UPDF yesterday entered Heglig, the Khartoum-controlled territory and evacuated 110 Ugandans who were rescued from Jonglei.
They landed at Entebbe Airbase at 3pm. Mr Opolot said Khartoum government had cleared UPDF to rescue Ugandans from Heglig.
Meanwhile, an envoy of the Government of South Sudan yesterday said they will not free three key prisoners, whose release Dr Machar, had set as a precondition for talks.
At a press conference at the country’s mission in Kampala, Amb Samuel Luate Laminsuk said his government would not offer any concessions to Dr Machar. It, however, would accept him back if he put down his guns and drew to the discussion table.
Dr Machar told the media last week that he particularly wanted the release of suspended SPLM Secretary General, Pagan Amum, before dialogue with Salva Kiir’s government. But Amb Luate said the government had released two of the 10-arrested former ministers, and was considering releasing more.
“Some political detainees will not be released because they were implicated in other activities, before the coup,” Amb Luate said. These detainees are the former finance Minister, Mr Kosti Manibe, former cabinet affairs Minister, Mr Deng Alor and Pagan Amum.
This creates a sense of uncertainty as to what direction the impasse will now take, especially as the four-day deadline given by IGAD for the start of talks between the Government and Dr Machar’s forces, expires today.
Explaining why there would be no concession ahead of talks, the ambassador said: “Riek Machar is a Member of Parliament and is the vice chairperson of the SPLM. He has not been dismissed from these posts…You can only concede to someone from a different organisation.” He added the Dr Machar should come back home and have dialogue with the government.
Asked to deny or confirm whether the UPDF was actively involved with his government’s forces in combatting the rebels, Ambassador Luate said: “I have no idea whether Uganda is fighting in South Sudan.”
However, he later said that UPDF’s welcome in South Sudan “depends on whether they (UPDF) want to evacuate people in one day or to go on and evacuate in other states”.
Status since conflict started
South Sudan government says it has fully recaptured the town of Bor and was in the final stages of recapturing the town of Malakal.
The government also says it is turning its troops to retake the town of Bentiu, which is still in rebel hands.The government says it has shut down 20 to 25 per cent of Oil Production in Unity State, but that in Upper Nile State, oil production was still at 100 per cent.
The current impasse is traced from what the South Sudan government calls an attempted coup on the weekend of December the 15, which the government has blamed on Dr Riek Machar, who was sacked as VP in July 2013. Machar denies there was ever a coup attempt.
Daily Monitor Uganda
Kwame Nkruma came out of prision and bacame presiden,Jomo Kenyatta came out of prision and became president, Nelson Mandele came out of prision to become president ,Obasanjo from prision and became president, Jerry Jhon Rawlings from prisons and became president ,Raila Odinga from prision to Prime Minister, Uhuru Kenyatta from icc suspect to president Mike Sonko from prision to senator , my dear friends prision is far better than education,Am off to Kamiti prision!
THE 10 William Ruto “FIXERS” HAVE VOWED TO TEACH HIM (RUTO) a lesson of his life time. Apart from fixing him at The Hague, the Mt. Kenya gang has usurped Ruto’s powers and given them to JOSEPH KINYUA who is now in charge of government coordination. Besides, any budget in Ruto’s office including the 10:00am tea (famously identified with government offices) must be approved by Kinyua otherwise NO MONEY. Ruto is now number 3 or lower. He has now got a quarter of the bread or even less while three quarters have gone to nyumba kumi. In the meantime the boss to the 10 fixers, Uhuru Kenyatta is juggling with three livers in his hands, potentially ready to be used – Hassan Omar, Evans Kidero and Gideon Moi. One of those is his plan B once the fixed has been fixed. Akina Charles Keter hata wakipiga kelele wata do? Ulizeni Jaramogi Oginga Odinga alioko kaburini – used, dumped and spat on.
Reblogged this on ambulivictor's Blog.
To hell with African dictators To hell with Salva Kirr and his Annihilation Policies>
INTERPOL IMPOUNDS RUTO CAR
Thursday, 02 June 2011 00:03 BY STAR TEAM
SEIZED: William Ruto’s Range Rover at KRA compound in Eldoret yesterday.
INTERPOL has impounded a car registered in the name of a company associated with Eldoret North MP William Ruto in Eldoret. The Range Rover House is among several vehicles netted by the International Police Organisation a probe into an international car theft ring.
The vehicle’s engine number was traced by Interpol with the assistance of the Kenya Revenue Authority. The vehicle chassis and other identification numbers tally with those of a vehicle which had been reported stolen in the UK in 2005.
The Star learnt yesterday that the vehicle was registered under Amaco Insurance Company, one of the biggest underwriters for public service vehicles in which Ruto has interests. “Amaco bought the car for Ruto a few years back after Ruto requested a car. He has been using it until it was impounded.He does not seem bothered by the development because he has several cars,” said a Ruto confidant. The vehicle is now parked outside Kiptagich House which has offices for the KRA and the Central Bank in Eldoret.
The KRA officials on the lookout for the vehicle impounded it as it was being driven by one of Ruto’s drivers. They removed the number plate — KBL 001H — before driving the dark blue car valued at slightly more than Sh8 million to their yard. “We have all the documents for the car showing its origin, who sold it to us, at how much and the bill of lading that came with the car and KRA receipts showing the duty paid. The lawyers have been dealing with the matter and we hope it can be resolved soon so that Mheshimiwa (Ruto) can get back his car,” said a senior manager at Amaco who cannot be identified as he had not been authorised to comment on the matter.
Four other cars with foreign registration numbers are being held within the same parking as police investigate how they were brought into the country.
Interpol has in the last few weeks been sweeping Kenyan roads in search of stolen cars following reports that Kenya is becoming an important market for four-wheel-drive vehicles brought in by an international criminal ring operating in the UK and other parts of Europe. Agents from Interpol have carried out an operation in which dozens of expensive cars stolen in Europe were recovered. The operation ended last Thursday.
Kenyan police confirmed that they worked jointly with Interpol to recover vehicles, some of which were on the road and locally registered.
Seventeen vehicles were impounded on Wednesday. However, the Criminal Investigations Department director Ndegwa Muhoro said they were not in a hurry to take their owners to court. “Most of these people are innocent and we have to fully investigate to determine who is culpable,” said Muhoro in a report published on the website of the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators. The association, founded in 1952 in the US, has members from 33 countries.
A source at the Office of the President said the operation was carried out in secret so that those who had bought the stolen vehicles do not hide them. More swoops for stolen vehicles, this time saloons and station wagons, are planned based on the information received from Interpol, the source said.
The engine and chassis numbers of the vehicles impounded are being checked to establish if they were reported stolen in other countries.
Muhoro said the cross-border operation, which started in Burundi and Rwanda, will be extended to other countries in the region. He urged those intending to import vehicles to consult the Regional Interpol Office in Nairobi to make sure they are not buying stolen cars. “The service is free of charge but sadly, Kenyans are not making use of it,” he said.
Some unscrupulous people have been defrauding insurance companies by selling their vehicles in neighbouring countries and claiming they have been stolen.
The Interpol office has an inventory of all vehicles stolen across the world and at a click of a button they are able to tell whether a car was stolen or not.
Last September, a similar operation was conducted in Tanzania and 51 vehicles impounded. Twenty two of the vehicles were stolen from Japan, 12 from South Africa, eight from Malaysia, three from UK and one each from Kenya, Tanzania, Slovenia, Germany, Mozambique and Australia.
Self-driven hired cars are increasingly becoming targets of an international car theft syndicates in Kenya. The cartel has been stealing an average of 10 vehicles each month from major towns and smuggling them to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Malawi via Tanzania and Uganda. They hire the cars posing as clients or hold drivers of hired vehicles hostage, drug them or tie them up before driving off with the vehicle.
Another coordinated Interpol operation conducted in 2007 in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda netted hundreds of stolen vehicles. Head of Flying Squad Munga Nyale said car thieves had changed tactics and were hiring self-drive vehicles for an extended period, which they then drive across the border before they are reported missing.
The syndicate had reportedly infiltrated the Registrar of Motor Vehicles offices, where it obtains blank logbooks that are used when smuggling stolen vehicles across the border.
A Specialized Kikuyu Woman thief caught by CCTV Cameras in a restaurant in Nairobi.A well known to police as a Prostitute at night and a thief during the day! here she is see stealing a laptop >
Who is Paul Kagame?
Last night, Tuesday July 20, the Uganda Record received a distress call from J. B. Gasasira, the editor of the banned Rwandan Kinyarwanda-language newspaper Umuvugizi.
Gasasira, in hiding in a safe house somewhere in Kampala, said he has recently got credible information and signals that suggest that Rwandan President Paul Kagame is determined to hunt him down and eliminate him.
The acting editor of Umuvugizi, Jean-Leonard Rugambage, was shot dead in front of his home in Kigali on June 24.
Gasasira said Kagame has been sending his intelligence agents to Kampala, partly to try and persuade Gasasira to return to Rwanda and partly to kill him. He says the latest method being considered by Kagame’s agents is to have him poisoned.
World news media in recent months has been dominated by reports of state-inspired assassinations and attempted assassinations of prominent Rwandans, including Rugambage, the former army chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa, André Kagwa Rwisereka, the vice chairman of the opposition Democratic Green Party, and Denis Ntare, a former chief of staff of the Tutsi rebel leader Laurent Nkunda.
The latest spate of assassinations and attempts in President Paul Kagame’s Rwanda have come as a surprise to western and African commentators only because amid all the positive media reporting on Rwanda since 1994, they scarcely asked questions about many such incidents spread over two decades since 1990.
Kagame’s trail of murder and genocide
The article on the Wikipedia online encyclopedia on Kagame leaves out many key details on him, thus leaving the reader with an incomplete picture of one of the most prominent guerrilla leaders in Africa over the last 25 years.
The Uganda Record will attempt to render a more complete picture.
Paul Rutagambwa Kagame was born on Oct. 23, 1957 in Ruhango, Rwanda to Deogratius and Asteria Rutagambwa.
He is reportedly from the Abaganza clan of the Tutsi, although other sources say he is from the Abega clan. Kagame’s home area is said by some sources to be Gitarama, while his wife, Jeanette Nyiramongi Kagame, is from Gikongoro.
In 1962, the Rutagambwa family, along with thousands of other Tutsi refugees, fled Rwanda following an aborted Tutsi uprising against the mainly Hutu independence government of Rwanda. They were re-located to the Gahunge refugee camp in the then Toro district of western Uganda.
Kagame attended Rwengoro Primary School in Kamwenge in the then Toro district of western Uganda. Kagame speaks fluent Rutooro, the language of the Batooro tribe.
After his primary school education, he was moved to the Nakivaale refugee camp in Ankole, in western Uganda. Kagame also enrolled in the leading secondary school in Ankole at the time, Ntare School.
While the date he joined Ntare is unclear, it can be assumed to have been about 1970 or 1971.
Most of Kagame’s publicly-known life story jumps from his Ntare School days to his joining Yoweri Museveni’s Front for National Salvation (FRONASA) guerrilla group in 1979.
Much of the period from about 1975 to 1979 is left as a blank space. It is one of several passages in Kagame’s life that he keeps out of the public domain. For example, the Kagame life story as it is publicly known stresses Ntare School but is silent on his period as a student at Old Kampala Secondary School.
In the mid 1990s, a Ugandan journalist who attempted to write a biography on Kagame had all his materials and photographs seized by Rwandan intelligence agents on behalf of the then Vice President Kagame.
In or about 1976, Kagame joined the Uganda Police force, something he has been careful to keep out of the public’s knowledge. Information gathered from a source on Dec. 13, 2008 states that in that period, Kagame lived in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu along with many other Tutsis.
The source believes they were working as spies on behalf of Museveni’s FRONASA. Considering how many FRONASA men had been infiltrated into Idi Amin’s State Research Bureau national intelligence agency in the 1970s and Kagame’s penchant for intelligence and other covert work, the Uganda Record can only speculate whether Kagame as a Uganda Police officer might have doubled as a State Research Bureau operative as well.
In Feb. 1979, when the Tanzania-Uganda war reached Mbarara town in western Uganda, Kagame joined FRONASA, or openly joined FRONASA. What Kagame did under FRONASA between 1979 and 1980 or where he was based or deployed is also not clear or public.
He emerges again in the records as one of the “original 27” or “original 36” or “original 41” men that Museveni says he invaded the Kabamba Infantry Training School with on Feb. 6, 1981 as a new guerrilla force known as the Popular Resistance Army (PRA).
During that Feb. 6, 1981 attack, three PRA guerrillas Hannington Mugabi, Jack Muchunguzi, and Paul Kagame received slight injuries.
After the PRA merged with the Uganda Freedom Fighters of the former President Yusufu Lule on June 9, 1981 to form the National Resistance Army (NRA), Kagame was appointed to head the NRA tribunal in Luwero Triangle.
This tribunal executed captured soldiers of the UNLA government army and tried and executed NRA guerrillas suspected of being agents of the UPC government of Milton Obote. Rather than use bullets for the firing squad, the NRA used small, blunt hoes called “Akafuni” to bludgeon their victims in the head.
Kagame’s ruthlessness earned him the nickname “Pilato” among his fellow NRA guerrillas.
When the NRA cut off western Uganda in Aug. 1985 following the military coup that overthrew the Obote government, Kagame was transferred to the NRA’s new headquarters in Fort Portal town.
In Aug. 1985, the NRA hijacked a Uganda Airlines Fokker Friendship F-27 aircraft after it landed at the airfield as Kasese town, about 74km west of Fort Portal. It was Kagame whom the NRA charged with handling the hijack.
Coordinating the hijack from Entebbe International Airport had been NRA guerrillas Winnie Byanyima and Lt. Fred Mwesigye who was a secret NRA guerrilla but working as a UNLA intelligence officer based in Entebbe.
In this same period in 1985, the NRA set up a roadblock at the Katunguru bridge area along the Kasese-Mbarara road in the Queen Elizabeth National Park in western Uganda.
The UNLA sent a contingent of soldiers to reinforce Kasese town. These UNLA troops then traveled in trailers to the area.
The troops were ambushed and surrounded by the NRA at the Katunguru roadblock. The NRA officer, Paul Kagame, ordered the trailers to be locked up with all the UNLA soldiers inside.
Several days later, a major stench came out of the trailers and when it was opened, the decomposing bodies of the UNLA soldiers lay on the floors.
Kagame at the NRA’s Military Intelligence Directorate
After the NRA seized state power in 1986, Kagame was deployed at the Military Intelligence headquarters at Basiima House as an intelligence officer.
He rose in office to become the head of administration in the Directorate of Military Intelligence. He shared an office cubicle with another NRA intelligence officer, Aronda Nyakirima. Contrary to a widely-held belief, Kagame has never been the director of Military Intelligence in Uganda but only the head of administration in Military Intelligence.
As director of administration in the NRA’s Military Intelligence, an NRA intelligence officer, Lt. Kenneth Kanyogonya, recalls an incident in which he, Kanyogonya, investigated an NRA officer called Alex who had brought into Uganda a machine that printed fake bank notes.
Kanyogonya had Alex arrested and he reported the case to Kagame. That afternoon, Kagame ordered the release of Alex and sharply rebuked Kanyogonya, ordering him to leave matters alone that were none of his business.
Lt. Kanyogonya, today a Kampala businessman, says he marvels when he reads and hears the many reports that portray Paul Kagame as “incorruptible.”
In 1990, the army sent Kagame to the United States’ military college at Fort Leavenworth for advanced military instruction.
Intrigue and murder within the RPF
Late in Oct. 1990, more than three weeks into the invasion of Rwanda by a Tutsi-led guerrilla force, the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA), a mutiny or infighting of some form took place.
The overall commander of the RPA invaders, Maj. Gen. Fred Rwigyema, was shot dead in the back of his head, reportedly by a clique in the RPA led by Maj. Dr. Peter Bayingana, Maj. Chris Bunyenyezi and Maj. Frank Munyaneza.
Hundreds of RPA guerrillas were massacred by their fellow RPA guerrillas and their bodies thrown into the Akagera River. It was the first report of bodies floating down the Akagera River.
After Rwigyema’s death, Maj. Gen. Salim Saleh, the former army commander and younger brother to Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, personally took Kagame to the RPA headquarters inside Rwanda whereupon Kagame took charge of the shattered force and reorganised it.
In its early days, the RPF — the political and administrative wing of the RPA — tried to allay fears of Rwanda’s Hutu majority that the RPF was a Tutsi force bent on seizing power and installing a Tutsi-only regime.
A number of Hutu, including a Col. Alexis Kanyarengwe were recruited and given prominent positions in the RPF. Kanyarengwe, a former Rwandan army officer who had fallen out with and been jailed by President Juvenal Habyarimana, was named the RPF’s Chairman.
However, on May 17, 1991, John Shyirambere Barahinyura, head of Information and Research, RPF and a Hutu, resigned from the RPF “after finding out that RPF has no other intentions for Rwanda other than being in power.”
In his statement of resignation, Barahinyura said: “Nobody can take orders from Kanyarengwe without first asking Paul Kagame.”
On Jan. 29, 1991, a Kampala newsletter, The Shariat, reported that Kagame had been injured in fighting in Rwanda or in some kind of assassination attempt.
“Lt. Col. Paul Kagame the man who succeeded the late Maj. Gen. Fred Rwigyema as the overall Commander of R.PA is missing. According to reliable sources, Lt. Col. Paul Kagame was seriously injured and was quietly taken to a military hospital abroad. But it is not known whether Lt. Col. Paul Kagame was shot by fellow R.P.A soldiers or by the enemy (Rwandese government soldiers). After the incident Lt. Col. Kanyarengwe was immediately appointed overall commander of R.P.A and Chairman R.P.F,” The Shariat reported.
On July 28, 1991, the deputy commander of the RPA at the time of its invasion of Rwanda on Oct. 1, 1990, Lt. Col. Adam Wasswa, died in a car accident at Lyantonde town in south-central Uganda where he and Kagame were in the same Toyota Landcruiser traveling for an RPF High Command meeting inside Rwanda. A one Captain Kairangwa also died in the accident.
Adam Wasswa’s family lived in Mbarara and he had been recruited into FRONASA in 1979 by Yoweri Museveni. Wasswa was a Rwandan Tutsi royal and was close to and supported the ambitions of the ousted Rwandan King Kigeli V.
The Citizen newspaper of Kampala commented on Jan. 3, 1991: “The Rwandese Patriotic Front which stormed Rwanda on October 1, 1990…are said to be tied up in a historical power struggle. Reports reaching The Citizen say that RPF is divided on three ethnic groupings within the Tutsi tribe. It is alleged that among the Tutsi there are three different groups each with its own objectives.
“The groups are referred to as Abega, Abanyiginya and the commoners. It is further alleged that Abanyiginya are the true Kings of Rwanda…Reports further say that after the death of the top three commanders, Major Paul Kagame who is said to be from the Abega group took over leadership, which is said to be unacceptable to the Abanyiginya led by Kigeli the last king of Rwanda and Major Adam Wasswa. It is alleged that [the] King Kigeli group has played a very significant role disorganising the RPF, distorting the whole cause to a mere power struggle…On [the] Uganda side,it is reported that from Kamwezi through Kishuro hills down Kahondo valleys [valley] insecurity is on the increase.”
A strong rumour had persisted among Rwanda’s Tutsi ever since Adam Wasswa’s death that he was, in fact, killed by Kagame and he did not die in a car accident. However there are no independent details to confirm or refute this belief.
Rose Kabuye’s revelations about the RPF’s methods and beliefs
In 1993, for reasons not clear, Kagame ordered the arrest and jailing of Lt. Rose Kabuye, one of the most prominent female RPF guerrillas. She spent a year in the RPF jail.
Kabuye had left Uganda as a Lieutenant in the NRA at the time of the Oct. 1, 1990 invasion. She was one of the RPF officers involved in the preparations and discussions that became the Arusha II peace talks in 1993 in Arusha, Tanzania.
One part of the RPF prison was called the “university”, for those prisoners condemned to die. Kabuye was in the prison designated for senior RPF officers.
Kabuye, during her detention, told her guards that during the Arusha peace talks with Habyarimana’s government she personally pushed for the RPF to be given the Ministry of Internal Affairs even if it did not get any other ministry.
The RPF felt that the Interior ministry controlled all the vital grassroots local government institutions they needed to reach the common people.
She handled logistical and administrative work in Mbarara for the RPA during the first weeks of the October 1990 invasion.
Kabuye, while in prison, said that one of the strategic plans of the exiled Tutsis after 1959 was to select beautiful girls to marry rich Ugandans. Then once they got children, the Tutsi women would discreetly poison their Ugandan husbands and inherit the money and property.
Some of the money was to be used to educate the young refugees in camps in Uganda. That is why, said Kabuye to her guards, most beautiful Tutsi women in Uganda are almost all widows.
RPF takeover and Paul Kagame’s reign of terror
The RPF guerrillas took power in Kigali in July 1994 in an assault on the capital led by Col. William Bagire and the field operation commanded by Lt. Col. Stephen Ndugute. Ndugute had been a Marine in the 1970s Uganda Army of President Idi Amin.
Kagame was named Vice President and Chairman of the RPA High Command. Dr. Emmanuel Ndahiro, who today is director of Rwandan state security, the National Security Service, was the spokesman of Maj. Gen. Kagame.
In the parts of Rwanda that the RPF rebels controlled in 1992 to 1993, massacres of Hutu civilians were widely known but little reported in the major western news media. A man called Rubulika Kayongo was the Mayor of Kyaruhogo; he and a Colonel Twahirwa Dodo coordinated these killings with hoes in the area. Kagame selected them to coordinate the massacres because of their ruthlessness.
Massacres of Hutu and seizure of their land continued after the RPF took power. At an army barracks at Karangazi, Hutus killed were concealed in a pit in the barracks covered by wooden boards. The barracks is located in the middle of a wooded and forested area.
As vice president and Minister of Defence, Kagame used to visit the Karangazi army barracks and he knew about the massacre of the Hutu there.
According to Maj. Furuma Alphonse, a former officer of RPF, in an open letter to President Kagame, “From the time Arusha Peace Agreement was being negotiated up to as late as 1996, you [Kagame] carried out a deliberate policy of using all means possible to reduce the Hutu population in the Umutara, Kibungo and Bugesera regions”.
These Hutu areas were deliberately resettled by Tutsi returnees from Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi respectively. Families of many top RPF leaders are among those who were resettled here.
In 1995, Sixbert Musangamfura, a former director of Rwanda’s intelligence services, issued a statement to the press in Nairobi, Kenya saying he had information on the killings of 312,726 Hutu who were then buried in over 300 graves.
Theoneste Majoro Lizinde, a Hutu who joined the RPA about a year before they took power, became the Commandant of the RPA’s General Headquarters. It was he who actually planned the RPA war in detail in its final phase.
After the RPF formed a government, he was part of the army but later fled to Nairobi after falling out with the government.
A sergeant called Jean Pierre of the RPA’s Directorate of Military Intelligence was dispatched by the Director of the RPA’s Military Intelligence, Lt. Col. Jackson Rwahama, to search for Lizinde in Nairobi.
Jean Pierre was a Rwandan Tutsi who had grown up in Mushiha in Burundi. Lizinde was then gunned down in Nairobi by Jean Pierre and other Kagame’s agents.
A Hutu and former Interior Minister under the RPF, Seth Sedashonga, at that time in exile in Nairobi and who also was to be gunned down on Kagame’s orders, told the British newspaper the Sunday Express whom he thought could have killed Lizinde.
“There is no doubt who sent the assassins. A Rwandan diplomat was arrested nearby, carrying a pistol. So why should Protector Kagame want to kill his former colleagues in the rebel movement and in government ? “Because I and Sixbert know too much. We know there is a deliberate policy of ethnic cleansing. We know they are attempting social engineering on a vast, murderous scale. Why? First, to instill terror. Then to even up the population figures. Look at the Rwandan equation: how can a minority tribe of 1+ million govern a country dominated by a tribe of enemies who outnumber them three to one ?” He pauses, and looks back at their lists that litter the table and patio. They want to make it Hutus 50 per cent, Tutsi 50 per cent. But to do that they will have to kill a lot of Hutus.” (Sunday Express, April 21, 1996)
Sixbert Musangamfura added: “When I was in charge of civilian intelligence I started to make a list. I had a network of informers, and soon saw that something bad was going on. By the time I left in August 1995, we had the confirmed names, dates and methods of killing of 100,000 people. But the killing still went on after I fled, and we are investigating the fates of another 200,000 people.” (Sunday Express, April 21, 1996)
In one of its March 1999 editions, the French newspaper Libération described the disappearance of Collège St André in Kigali. Libération disclosed that more than 100,000 Hutu had been burnt in crematorium created by the RPF in Mutara. SOS Rwanda-Burundi was the first to compile a list of criminals of the RPF.
There have been many more reports of Kagame’s atrocities going back into the 1980s and 1990s, including the Kibeho Hutu refugee camp in 1995 to the gunning down or disappearance without a trace of many Tutsi RPF army officers, to the gunning down of journalists and the recent attempt to murder Lt. Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa.
8,000 Hutus were massacred by the RPF in the Kibeho camp in southwest of Rwanda in April 1995. The Shariat newspaper, reporting on the gruesome massacre of Hutus in 1995, said:
“Before RPF attacked Rwanda, there was no time in the history of that country when any government ever surrounded defenceless civilians there and bombed dead 8,000 of them as RPF recently did at Kibeho camp in south western Rwanda…”
This is the RPF’s Rwanda, the “Singapore of Africa”.
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