Uganda’s Genocidal President Eyes Kenya

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[Global: Africa]

With the ongoing attempt by dictator Yoweri Museveni to annex the island of Migingo, Kenyans have been able to see for themselves the machinations of the mad genocidal man who has presided over Uganda for nearly a quarter century now.

How wonderful and ironic when a mad man issues a libelous statement against an entire ethnic people, the Luos of Kenya, by referring to them as “mad.”

At the same time, the Ugandan dictator knows that ethnic tension in Kenya has elevated since the chaotic elections there at the end of 2007; he hopes to find allies among Kikuyus and other Kenyans. Kenyans must not allow themselves to be deceived into destroying their country. At some point it’s worth burying the hatchet and dealing with a common threat.

The Ugandan knows what he’s doing—crises elsewhere diverts attention from his despotism.

He demonized the Acholis in Uganda and the strategy sustained his tyranny for years. Now he can’t use anti-Acholi appeals because all other ethnic groups know he’s  Uganda’s problem.

Why is he stirring conflict with Kenya now? He won’t take chances with elections coming up in 2011 in Uganda; a Kenya crisis is convenient.

The Ugandan dictator recently said Luos are “mad” and want to fish in Lake Victoria in waters surrounding the Kenyan island of Migingo, which he has implied actually belongs to Uganda. He later said his comments, made while in Tanzania, were taken out of context, when in fact the verbatim audio remarks are available including on the BBC.

The instant debate is focused on whether the tiny rock fishing island of Migingo belongs to Kenya or not; it has always been Kenyan until the despot decided to try and annex it by having the Uganda flag hoisted there.

Yet dictator Museveni’s goal is not Migingo. His true goal is to exacerbate animosity between Luos and the Kikuyus in Kenya. After all, there were credible reports that he was fueling some of the ethnic violence that accompanied and followed the disputed Kenyan elections.

A shaky coalition government now runs Kenya, with Mwai Kibaki, a Kikuyu, as president and Raila Odinga, a Luo, as prime minister.  Animosity remains; the Uganda dictator wants to light a match and throw in more fuel. He thrives on chaos and massacres in surrounding countries.  He's trying to use Kibaki as his Trojan Horse.

Kenyans should beware. The man is not shy when it comes to massive bloodshed.

Recall that he seized power in Uganda through violent insurgency after his party lost the 1980 elections badly. Uganda’s Luwero Triangle became a Killing Field as his insurgents fought with Milton Obote’s army.

Later, the skulls of tens of thousands were displayed–he claimed they were all victims of Obote’s ruthless army. Yet, skulls can’t speak; so how could observers know which ones belonged to victims of Museveni’s  own ruthlessness? Even if he is granted the big lie that his victorious National Resistance Army (NRA) never massacred civilians --in fact it did-- it must have killed Obote's soldiers to have won. Where are the skulls of Obote's men; mixed up in the same trophy pile Museveni triumphantly displayed as Obote's victims?

If there was doubt about his propensity for blood, his Rwanda intervention put matters to rest. He allowed part of his army to invade Rwanda on October 1, 1990; they were led by U.S. trained Uganda military officers including Paul Kagame, who was chief of Uganda’s military intelligence.

Massacres against Hutus were committed from 1990 to 1994. Yet, Tutsis were also killed indiscriminately in some attacks by the Uganda forces according to a New York Times article by Raymond Bonner; the clear intention was to maximize the body count.

Might there not have been a plan to invest in skulls for future display? After all, who would be able to distinguish between Hutu and Tutsi skulls?

Then in 1994, the Ugandan seized an opportunity.  Rwanda’s president Juvenal Habyarimana was returning from a meeting in Tanzania to conclude a peace pact with the Ugandan invading army –by now called the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF). With U.S. backing the invaders had pushed Habyarimana’s back against the wall. Habyarimana never landed on that fateful April day. His plane was shot from the sky, according to some news accounts by a missile provided by Uganda.

The Ugandan dictator knew what would be the outcome of the death of Habyarimana and the Burundi president who was also on the plane.

Imagine, if Pakistan were to sponsor a predominantly Muslim invasion of India, and later, if these forces were to shoot down a plane carrying India’s Hindu president, what would happen to Muslims in India?

The outcome desired by the Ugandan president materialized. An orgy of killings erupted, directed primarily at Tutsis, as he knew it would be; the Rwanda government, and a whole ethnic people, Hutus, were discredited and destroyed.

The road was clear for the invaders from Uganda to take control; they did.

Again the skulls were displayed; they are still being displayed. Who can really tell whether some of those skulls were not imported from Luwero, or which ones belongs to Hutus or Tutsis? 

From there the Ugandan turned to what was then Zaire. The ouster of dictator Mobuttu was popular throughout Africa. But the Ugandan could not resist Congo’s great riches.

When Laurent Kabila whom he had helped install resisted, the Congolese president was soon six feet under.  Meanwhile terrible massacres were committed –indeed genocide of seven million people– in eastern Congo by Uganda’s army and Uganda trained militia. In 2005, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) found Uganda liable for the crimes against humanity, including massacres, pillage, burning of homes and mass rapes.

The court ordered $10 billion in compensation; not a dime has been paid. Please see:

More critically, The Wall Street Journal on June 8, 2006 reported that the International Criminal Court (ICC) is also investigating Uganda on the same Congo war crimes.  The seriousness of the matter cannot be underplayed.  The Journal reported that Museveni tried to get the UN to block the 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.”

Why would a whole president beg the UN chief to block investigation of mass murder? So, conceivably a cell may await Museveni at the Hague.

Domestically, Museveni’s hatred for the Acholis, who are also Luo like his new enemies in Kenya, caused him to herd the whole population of 2 million into concentration camps, under the guise of “protecting” them from the violence of Joseph Kony and his vicious LRA rebels.

In 2005, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that up to 1,000 Ugandan civilians were dying in those camps –there were more than 200– as a result of hunger, dehydration, and treatable diseases. There were also reports of targeted rapes, including by government soldiers known to be HIV-positive.

At 1,000 excess deaths per week, that’s at least 52,000 deaths per year. Since some of the camps have been in existence for more than 20 years, we are talking about the possible deaths of more than 1 million Luos, under Museveni’s policy of slow-motion genocide.

Even Kony, the LRA leader,  and the Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, must both marvel at the number of people Museveni has managed to annihilate and not face an ICC indictment; not yet, anyway.

So now; it’s on to Kenya.

What has Kenya not learned from the Ugandan despot’s excesses in Uganda, in Rwanda, and in Congo?

If he is willing to exterminate other Ugandans –such as Acholis; he derides them for being  “Luos” — why should Kenyans be surprised that he seems determined to export violence to Kenya?

If Kenyans are serious about their survival, they must help publicize the genocide now being committed against Ugandans in Acholi region. They must also join the citizens of the DR Congo in their demands that the ICC take action for the genocide in eastern Congo committed by Uganda’s army and allied militias.

After all, the ICJ has already rendered its verdict on the civil case. 

Guilty as charged.

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