Uganda's And United Nations' Despicable Travesty

>> Tuesday, September 23, 2008

[Black Star News Editorial September 23rd, 2008]

The United Nations is on the verge of embarrassing itself by committing a travesty of incurable proportions; member states may vote for Uganda, whose president's militarism may be responsible for nine million deaths in Africa, and several wars of aggression, to take a seat on the UN Security Council.

The outrage must be denounced and rejected.

The role of the United Nations Security Council is to protect and enforce international law; it is preposterous for a nation-state that wantonly and repeatedly violates these laws to sit on the Security Council.

In 2005, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) found Uganda liable for crimes against humanity, war crimes, massive destruction, and looting, as a result of its national army's occupation of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): please see

The United Nations itself as an organization was created to prevent these types of outrages against humanity.

Estimates of deaths in eastern Congo have reached seven million. Uganda was assessed $10 billion after the ICJ found it liable for the Congo crimes; not a single dollar has yet been paid. The Commander-in-Chief of Uganda's army is the president, Lt. General Yoweri K. Museveni. He is in New York this week addressing the General Assembly. It's because he enjoys US protection that he will not be served with an arrest warrant.

The Congo crimes, committed by Uganda troops and allied militias, and detailed in the World court's findings, include mass rapes –using sexual assault as an instrument of terror, which was hitherto unknown in Congo—mass killings, burnings of people alive in their huts, and theft of Congo's mineral and natural resources.

The ICC earlier this year indicted Jean Pierre Bemba, a Congolese warlord who was financed by Uganda, on separate war crimes; Bemba already is at the Hague awaiting trial. Human Rights Watch in a 2003 report, "Ituri: Covered In Blood," identified at least 10 militias it said were Uganda-backed. These insurgent organizations were accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Congo's presidency, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal on June 8, 2006, referred the same allegations of crimes for which the ICJ found Uganda liable, to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague for criminal investigation.

According to the Wall Street Journal's report, once the court started its probe, Gen. Museveni contacted then U.N. Secretary General Annan and urged him to derail the ICC investigation. The Journal wrote: "President Museveni of Uganda asked U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to block the Congo investigation, according to one person familiar with the matter. Mr. Annan replied that he had no power to interfere with the court, this person said." [Editor's Emphasis]

Uganda also is tied to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

Whereas there had been relative peace between Hutu and Tutsi since the genocide that accompanied independence in the early 1960s, Uganda upset this delicate balance and re-ignited deep seated ethnic fears by invading Rwanda in October 1990; the warfare ended in genocide four years later after the assassination of Rwanda President Juvenal Habyarimana.

The officers that led the invasion into Rwanda were senior officers in the Ugandan army, including Fred Rwigyema and Paul Kagame; they were both sent for training in the United States by President Museveni before invading Rwanda. Citizens of Rwanda should contact a smart American lawyer and explore legal options against the United States for collaborating in the invasion that culminated in genocide.

Domestically, within Uganda itself, nearly 2 million ethnic Acholis, more than 90% of the population, have been confined inside death centers, where, according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), up to 1,000 civilians were dying per week through governmental neglect, resulting in starvation, dehydration, and deaths through treatable diseases.

Critics have denounced the Uganda government administered centers as "concentration camps" and the 10 to 15 years confinement as "slow motion genocide." Between 600,000 to one million Acholis may have died in these camps during the period of these illegal detentions over the last decade. Please see:

By comparison, the number of civilians killed by the vicious Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels, during its 22 years war with the Uganda government, may not reach 22,000 since there has never been a report of 1,000 civilians being killed by the rebels in any one given year.

Now that the owners of fertile tracts of land in Acholi have been buried in mass graves, the Uganda government has cynically invited foreign investors to seize the land for commercial farming.

To reward General Museveni's regime–after being involved in the deaths of seven million Congolese; one million Rwandese, and possibly another million Ugandans in Acholi—with a seat on the Security Council amounts to the following:

(1) Travesty that exposes the United Nations and the Security Council to global ridicule, scorn, and contempt.

(2) Interfering with the ongoing ICC investigation of alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against the people of DRC by Uganda's army and its allied militias, as already established by the ICJ. The UN would, incongruously, be inviting a suspect –commander in chief Lt. Gen. Museveni—in alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity to sit on the very body, the Security Council, which is empowered to either suspend or to not suspend an indictment by the ICC.

(3) Irreparably tarnishing the reputation of the Security Council; in particular challenging its mandate to end impunity of state and non-state actors.

(4) Squandering the moral stature of the Security Council, without which its authority is compromised and its actions rendered meaningless.

(5) Undermining the Security Council's ability to deal with future crises, including wars of aggression, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.

(6) Violating the UN's own charter, which forbids wars of aggression, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, which Uganda already has been established to have committed in DRC by the ICJ.

(7) Promoting future wars of aggression, war crimes and crimes against humanity, and genocide, since the Security Council would no longer be able to play any deterrence role, having been compromised by rewarding a country that already was found to have committed these crimes, to sit on the Security Council. Moreover, the UN has also condemned Uganda –as well as the Lord's Resistance Army rebels—for continued use and deployment of child soldiers in contravention of International laws. Please see:

(8) Emboldening the Ugandan dictatorship to continue human rights abuse domestically and wars of aggression, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, regionally, having nothing to fear from the United Nations and the international community.

(9) Betraying legitimate domestic opposition and resistance to the dictatorship, within Uganda.

(10) Confirming to the world that hypocrisy rules regardless of beautiful phrases such as "the rule of law" and "human rights."

In order for Uganda to be elected, it needs the support of the five countries that hold permanent seats on the Security Council –the United States, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, and China.

The Bush Administration is grateful to Museveni for sending a token military force to Somalia, ostensibly on a peace keeping mission; in reality, to shore up the U.S.-backed Ethiopian occupation.

Ironically, some members of the Uganda armed force now stationed in Somalia may have been involved in the Congo atrocities; the Bush Administration has been willing to disregard genocide in Africa as a result of General Museveni's militarism, in return for short-term gains.

Anyone with a sense of human dignity, or any organization that still takes human rights and the UN Charter seriously and is horrified by this outrageous travesty, should protest in the strongest possible terms to ambassadors from the Five Permanent Member countries on the Security Council.

Send your letter of protest, or an e-mail message, or forward this Black Star News editorial, or call and speak with the respective ambassadors of:

The United States (212) 415-4000 Fax (212) 415-4443 ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad;

China (212) 655-6100 fax (212) 481-2998 ambassador Wang Guangya;

Russia (212) 861-4900/4901 Fax (212) 628-0252 ambassador Vitaly I. Churkin;

United Kingdom (212) 745-9200 Fax (212) 745-9316 ambassador Sir Emyr Jones Parry;

and, France (212) 308-5700 Fax (212) 421-6889 ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sablière.

Also call the United States Department of State as register your outrage to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at (202) 647-2492 Fax (202) 647-0244.

Please copy your letters of protest to or faxes to(866) 242-9689.

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About This Blog

The X.U.G (Xpose Uganda's Genocide) Coalition was created to bring to light the truth about Yoweri Museveni's woefully undemocratic regime and the ongoing secret genocide in northern Uganda, with the aim of the restoration of human rights and peace.

The coalition's secondary goal is to ensure accountability for reconstruction and development funds slated for war-torn N. Uganda by the US and other donors.

A crisis of epic proportions, the genocide being carried out against the Acoli for the last two decades has produced devastating consequences.

For the sake of current and future generations in Uganda, the world must recognize and end the genocide in Uganda. All Ugandans have a right to basic human rights, including the right to health, protection and education.

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