Uganda’s And United Nations’ Despicable Travesty

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[Black Star News Editorial]

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

The outrage must be denounced and rejected.

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

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."

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:

Please also 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;

(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 and register
your outrage to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at (202) 647-2492 Fax (202)

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

Also visit out sister publications Harlem Business News and The Groove music magazine at

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