U.N. Secretary General Guterres Ignores Gen. Museveni's Crimes Because U.S. Supports Ugandan Dictator

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Museveni and Guterres. Photo: Twitter.

[Commentary]

Since the Ugandan dictator Gen. Yoweri Museveni seized power 32 years ago in 1986, there have been six U.S. presidents and five United Nations Secretaries General. All of the U.S. administrations --under Reagan, H.W. Bush, Clinton, W. Bush, Obama, Trump-- have supported Gen. Museveni and ignored his egregious crimes.

Since the U.S. cuts more than 30% of the U.N.'s check, the U.N. Secretaries General go along and play blind, deaf and dumb when confronted with Museveni's atrocities even though they violate the U.N.'s charter and principles.

As for the U.S., propping up an African puppet, no matter how brutal he is, is part of policy. Back in the day, Mobutu was a useful tool during the Cold War, West vs. East era. He supported CIA-backed guerrilla organizations like the F.N.L.A and UNITA during Angola's war of independence from Portugal because the MPLA, which eventually won, was regarded by the U.S. as ideologically aligned with the East.

The U.S. maintained Mobutu as dictator for 37; he ruined Congo and also stole $5 billion. Likewise the U.S. has maintained Gen. Museveni in power for 32 years now. His regime receives more than $1 billion annually in U.S. financial and military support; American taxpayers' money. He continues to ruin Uganda's institutions, he's shredded the constitution, and he and his inner circle have amassed vast fortunes from public coffers.

Museveni --a reincarnation of Mobutu, who pimped himself as a bulwark against the alleged spread of communism in Africa-- sells himself as a reliable U.S. partner against "Islamic fundamentalism" and he's stationed thousands of Ugandan soldiers in Somalia to combat al-shabab fighters. He's therefore allowed to get away with any crime, to the detriment of people in East and Central Africa -- even when they result in millions of deaths, as this commentary shows.

About two weeks ago, about 200 villagers from Apaa, in the northern part of Uganda, fled to the city of Gulu and entered the compound of the offices of U.N. High Commission for Human Rights. The numbers have now reportedly swelled to over 340, including women and children. They fled from a violent land-grab campaign led by the regime's military, the Uganda People's Defense Force (UPDF), the Uganda Police Force, and armed Wild Life Authority officers.

The brave resisters are singing in order to uplift their spirits as they wait for a response from the U.N. to their plea for an intervention. 

Reportedly as many as 800 homes have been burned and since the campaign started more than a year ago, over a dozen people have been killed, scores wounded, many left homeless and some have gone missing. The regime has also stoked inter-ethnic fighting between Acholis and Madis to depopulate the area when people flee their homes. The regime's military and political elite covete the fertile land which they want to lease to foreign investors; and, to expand hunting reserves for tourists. In the process the Museveni dictatorship has imposed misery and destruction on its own citizens. (This cruel attack belies the now debunked public relations lie that Gen. Museveni is a humanitarian statesman who was hosting "a million" refugees from neighboring South Sudan; more on this below).

Since the Apaa victims sought sanctuary the U.N. has not issued a statement or commented on the occupation. It has not addressed the grievances the victims outlined in a letter. The Apaa victims want the U.N. to call upon the Museveni regime to halt its armed attacks, stop the killings, remove road blocks, and compensate victims and survivors for the loss of lives, homes and properties.

Media inquiries to both U.N. headquarters in New York and to Geneva, headquarters of the high commissioner of human rights, have been ignored.

Since the U.N. can't operate without the U.S.'s check, and Trump has vowed cuts, Secretary General Antonio Guterres, has to ignore his conscience and remain silent when he sees atrocities and other crimes committed by leaders favored by the U.S., including Museveni.

Last year, Guterres found himself used in an embarrassing scheme by Museveni. In 2013, while other East African leaders were trying to broker reconciliation between South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and his Vice President Riek Machar, Gen. Museveni sent his army to support Kiir, and ignited a full scale civil war. The U.N., under Ban ki-moon, Guterres' predecessor, never condemned the invasion. The war caused tens of thousands of deaths and displaced millions of South Sudanese. Many of them were herded towards Uganda.

Cynically, Gen. Museveni duped Guterres into co-hosting, in Uganda, a global refugee solidarity conference where both men made a worldwide appeal for money to assist these refugees; victims who would not have been in Uganda in the first place had Museveni not invaded South Sudan. No sooner had Guterres returned to New York when reports emerged that not only had the Museveni regime inflated the figure for the number of refugees but that the money raised for their care was being stolen by Ugandan officials; this is precisely what The Black Star News warned would happen in an editorial published in September 2017. Guterres has not issued a statement condemning the Museveni refugee funds embezzlement.

Even when Museveni's military carried out a massacre of more than 100 people --including women and children-- in Kasese, in Western Uganda, in November, 2017, Guterres maintained his code of silence. To its credit Human Rights Watch has called for an independent investigation of the Kasese killings. The organization, in a statement this week, also called for a "remedy" to the ongoing crisis that forced the Apaa victims into the U.N. compound.

On the other hand, we now see how and why the U.N. has been corrupted into playing a role in aiding and abetting successive U.S. administrations in sustaining an African puppet who serves Washington's interests. Museveni is to Trump, what Trump --to a lesser degree-- is to Putin. As for Guterres, he merely continues a long established tradition of U.N. Secretaries General carrying out the U.S. agenda. Here's a brief review of his predecessors' performances in office: Ban Ki-moon as Secretary General, didn't condemn Museveni's invasion of South Sudan as noted, even though his army used internationally banned cluster bombs. The U.N. itself, during Ban's term, became a direct victim of the regime's corruption when Museveni's foreign minister Sam Kutesa -- who became U.N. General Assembly President in 2014-- stole about $30 million from the U.N. (much of it, again, U.S. taxpayers' money) through a fraudulently-awarded contract to Kutesa's company. 

The loot is all in the family; Kutesa's daughter is married to Museveni's son. (Both Kutesa and Museveni are also implicated in an ongoing money-laundering and bribe case in U.S. federal court). Ban's predecessor, from 1997 to 2006, was Kofi Annan. During that period Uganda launched the first of its numerous invasions into Congo. Annan didn't condemn the invasions. In 2005, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) awarded Congo $10 billion --still unpaid-- for war crimes by Uganda's military in Congo. The Wall Street Journal reported on June 8, 2006 that Museveni urged Annan to block a separate ICC investigation that, using the evidence the ICJ weighed, would have likely led to his indictment.

Boutros Boutros-Ghali was Annan's predecessor and served from 1992 to 1996. He was the only one not regarded as subservient enough by the U.S. and that's why he did not get a second term. Boutros blamed world leaders, including Clinton, for not providing sufficient resources for peacekeeping, including during the massacres in Rwanda. However, he too, was not forceful enough in linking the 1994 genocide in Rwanda to the military invasion from Uganda four years earlier. In any event Boutros could not have accomplished much since the U.S. also did not support an investigation of the assassinations of the presidents of Rwanda Juvenal Habyarimana and of Burundi Cyprien Ntayamire. The New York Times, quoting a French official, reported that the missile used to shoot down the plane carrying the two presidents -- and thereby sparking the genocide-- had been provided to Uganda by the U.S. from stockpiles seized during the first Gulf War.

When Museveni seized power in 1986, the U.N. Secretary General was Javier de Cuéllar whose term was from 1982 to 1991. The invasion of Rwanda from Uganda occurred on October 1, 1990. At the time, Paul Kagame, who was head of Uganda's military intelligence was being trained at the U.S. Officers Command College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He returned to Uganda and took command of the invading army. He is today Rwanda's president. The attack -- which led to four years of war, inflamed simmering tensions between Hutus and Tutsis, and culminated in the 1994 genocide-- was never condemned by the U.S. So, as a matter of course, Secretary General de Cuéllar didn't condemn it.

After Clinton became president in 1993, he later hailed Museveni as part of a "new breed" of African leaders -- that included Kagame and the late Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia-- as part of the public relations campaign to sanitize his dictatorship, and he visited Uganda.

Subsequently, multiple invasions of Congo by Uganda and Rwanda, began in 1997. They have been documented in numerous U.N. reports; they have unleashed wars, atrocities, campaigns of mass rapes, and dislocations that have led to an estimated more than six million deaths. Meanwhile, U.S. and other mining corporations were plundering Congo's resources and exporting them through Uganda. These crimes were ignored by Clinton, and successive U.S. administrations since Western corporations benefitted.

So we now see why today, Secretary General Guterres, who possibly considers himself an honorable man --just as his predecessors probably thought of themselves-- ignores the cries of the victims of Museveni's atrocities in Apaa, Kasesse, elsewhere in Uganda, in South Sudan, and in Congo. 

Guterres is well aware that condemning crimes by a U.S. puppet like Museveni could cost him a second term.

Honor can only go so far, right?

A PETITION for the Apaa victims

https://www.change.org/p/prince-zeid-ra-ad-al-hussein-prince-zeid-un-hum...

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