Why ICC Must Indict Ugandan Warlord Gen. Kale Kayihura

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Museveni pins another medal on Warlord Gen. Kayihura--brutality rewarded

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General Edward Kalekezi Kayihura, more commonly known as Kale Kayihura, is a Ugandan lawyer, military officer, and policeman. He is also the brutal chief enforcer of Gen. Yoweri Museveni's dictatorship.

The dictatorship, financed and supported by the U.S. and Britain for myopic Western interests, has lasted 30 years. Gen. Kayihura is the Inspector General of Police (IGP) of the Uganda Police Force, the highest rank in that branch of Uganda's government. He was appointed in 2005 by dictator Museveni.

The IGP is appointed to serve a three-year term and so far Gen Kayihura is serving his fourth term which ends in November this year. It is not clear if Gen. Museveni will re-appoint him, however he is already facing much pressure from civilians and support is growing for his indictment for crimes by forces under his command committed inside Uganda and in neighboring Congo.

Gen. Kayihura has been sued by civilians in Uganda for the ugly beating by police of people who lined up the streets July 12 to cheer Dr. Kizza Besigye, who won the February 2016 elections stolen by Gen. Museveni. Besigye, who was arrested after his swearing in ceremony and charged with treason two months earlier had just been released on bail. Gen. Kayihura is not a brave man. He didn't show up at Magistrate's court on August 10 to answer torture charges but instead hired criminals armed with stones who appeared at court to intimidate citizens who came hoping to see the lawless police chief face justice.

Kayihura also faces internal discontentment and bickering from some senior police officers, with some even petitioning the Inspector General of Government (IGG) over the recent promotions, in which over 400 officers were promoted on a partisan ethno-centric basis, while lawyers in the force have also gone to court to sue the Force over salary disparities. In fact, even junior officers questioned his discretion of purchasing over 20 brand new Toyota Land Cruiser and Prado 4X4s for the Uganda Police Force (UPF) top officers and three choppers, all estimated at several hundred billions of shillings, when the juniors are accommodated in overcrowded and derelict police quarters not fit for human habitation.

Prior to his appointment as the head of the police, Kayihura served as a sector commander in Ituri, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, until 2003 when Uganda pulled out under intense international pressure Gen. Kayihura presided over a project to invade and destabilize parts of Congo by recruiting, training and supplying warlords like Jean Pierre Bemba with weapons and ammunitions at the same time plundering the country of its natural resources. Bemba has since been convicted on war crimes charges by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

For his role in nurturing warlords in Eastern Congo, it is against this background then Kayihura should also be indicted to face war crimes charges at the ICC. After all the International Court of Justice found Uganda liable for war crimes in the Congo in 2005 and ordered $10 billion in reparations to Congo. The ICC also opened its own investigation into the matter, the Wall Street Journal reported on June 8, 2006.

Kayihura was solely responsible for the creation and launching of Bosco Ntaganda famously nicknamed the "terminator" who turned eastern Congo into killing fields. It’s an open secret within the security agencies that Gen. Museveni and Kayihura created and sponsored many of the warlords in Eastern Congo. Ntaganda has also since been shipped off to the ICC. Kayihura also was involved in a deadly scheme designed to promote Ntaganda's militias over rival Thomas Lubanga's even though warlord Lubanga himself was once supported, financed and armed by Uganda.

In one of the incidents, Kayihura organized a secret squad that ambushed and killed UN peacekeepers including a Kenyan Major. As expected, the incident was blamed on the Thomas Lubanga group and as a consequence, the UN gave Kayihura a green light to suppress Lubanga's UPC. With the annihilation of Lubanga's forces, Ntaganda became the de facto point man for Gen. Museveni and Gen. Kayihura proxy wars in Eastern Congo assisted by local, Nyamulenge, Hema and Lendu leaders.

Kayihura coordinated the recruitment and training of Hema militia forces. Recruits would be flown through the Entebbe Airport and taken to the Semuliki Game Reserve for training under the 53rd battalion that was by that time under Lt. Col. Kimbowa. Another training camp for the Hemas was set up at Kasenyi in Congo under Chief Kisembo. In 2003 due to international pressure and the court ruling ,the UPDF were forced to withdraw from Congo but clandestinely maintained some UPDF military Intelligence operatives attached to Bosco Ntaganda.

Therefore, Kayihura just like the convicted duo of Ntaganda and Lubanga must be summarily referred to the ICC as soon as the prosecution of his criminal case in Uganda is brought to trial and completed. The people of Congo who were raped, displaced and killed in their millions by militias controlled and sponsored by Gen. Kayihura and Gen. Museveni, must get justice.

The Ntaganda militia, which had morphed into M23 have been absorbed into UPDF; some are freelancers operating loosely.

Many were involved in the election and post-election violence in Uganda. Ugandans and Congolese, on behalf of the estimated 5 to 7 million Congolese dead, demand justice -- it must start with the indictment of Kayihura, Gen. Museveni's enforcer in chief.

Editor's Note: Sign the petition demanding indictment of Kayihura

 

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