Mubarak Resigns: From Cairo To Kampala--Africans Must Seize Their Destiny

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From Cairo, the next call is Kampala, Uganda. There another U.S.-sustained tyrant, Gen. Yoweri Museveni, whose family and government ministers have also amassed phenomenal wealth over the last 25 years, needs to go.


[Editorial]

With the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, other U.S.-sustained and financed tyrants in Africa need to start clearing their presidential desks.

The Army forced Mubarak out after three weeks of street protests by the Egyptian people on the streets and at Tahrir square--the military has vowed to work with civilians towards free and open elections.

From North Africa to Southern Africa, and from West Africa to East Africa, the people must seize the day and demand to elect their own leaders. They must guide their own destiny.

From Cairo, the next call is Kampala, Uganda. There another U.S.-sustained tyrant, Gen. Yoweri Museveni, whose family and government ministers have also amassed phenomenal wealth over the last 25 years, needs to go.

Six years ago, Museveni arm-twisted Uganda's parliament and bribed other lawmakers into scrapping a presidential term limit, even though he had already been in office for 20 years, since his rebel army had marched into power in 1986.

In 2004, Johnny Carson, who had been United States ambassador to Uganda, and is today U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African affairs, wrote a critical Op-Ed in The Boston Globe, denouncing Gen. Yoweri Museveni's move to scrap term limits.

Yet, since President Obama took office, Carson and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have been equivocating. Carson recently said Museveni was "not a dictator," much in the same way that Vice President Joe Biden said the same thing about Mubarak two weeks ago.

Of course Gen. Museveni is a dictator--worse than that, he is a genocidal military ruler who wears civilian garb when meeting with his Western sponsors and army outfit when he visits Ugandan villages to intimidate the masses.

The United States has tolerated Gen. Museveni because his army has acted as America's policeman in Eastern Africa. He is the only African president who has posted a significant number of troops to Somalia to prop the puppet U.S. regime there which only controls a few blocks of the capital, Mogadishu.

Other African countries refused to provide troops insisting that all Somali factions needs to be involved for reconciliation to succeed.

But at what price does U.S. support for dictator Museveni come?

Gen. Museveni's soldiers have been accused of indiscriminately shelling civilian neighborhoods in Mogadishu, killing innocent Somalis. This has earned the U.S. and Uganda enmity from the people of Somalia. The U.S. should not link itself so openly to such war crimes.

The Ugandan army's behavior in Somalia should have come as no surprise. After all, Gen. Museveni's army was found liable in 2005 by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for what amounts to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and war of aggression against the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Army looted resources, massacred civilians, raped men and women, and burned Congolese homes.

The Court ordered Uganda to pay $10 billion. The International Criminal Court (ICC) then launched its own investigation --the same court which has indicted the Sudan's Omar Hassan al Bashir-- but Gen. Museveni, commander in chief of Uganda's Army, has yet to be indicted. This is likely because the U.S. has discouraged Prosecutor of the ICC, Luis Moreno Ocampo from seeking an indictment of Gen. Museveni.

During the Ugandan occupation of Congo, estimates of Congolese deaths exceeded five million people. Yet the United States is still Gen. Museveni's biggest financial and military backer, even though WikiLeaks recently revealed memos by the U.S. ambassador to Uganda, Jerry P. Lanier, condemning Gen. Museveni as an "autocrat" and complaining about corruption among his government officials.

The United States was behind the curve in Egypt and had the people not been adamant on the streets and on Tahrir Square, clearly Washington would have continued to cover for Mubarak. This type of damaging hypocrisy and duplicity --which also caused bloodshed in Egypt-- can be avoided elsewhere in Africa, including in Uganda.

Already Swiss authorities are investigating to determine if any of Mubarak's reported ill-gotten wealth are in Swiss banks, in order to freeze these assets. This newspaper is reaching out to Swiss authorities to inquire about any possible ill-gotten wealth in Swiss banks by Ugandan officials, including Gen. Museveni.

Several African countries will hold elections over the next 24 months, beginning with Uganda on February 18. There, newspaper readers' polling --including the Uganda government controlled "The New Vision"-- show that opposition leader Dr. Kizza Besgiye will defeat the dictator Museveni.

The big question is will he then agree to yield power and what would his sponsor, the United States do? The people of Egypt have shown the world that regardless of what the United States does or says, civilians can determine their own destiny.

The message was clear in Cairo; it must also be clear in Kampala and other African capitals.


"Speaking Truth To Empower."


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