Uganda Peoples Congress
UGANDA PEOPLES CONGRESS
(Office of the President)
RADIO RHINO INTERNATIONAL AFRICA
INAUGURAL BROADCAST ON 23 SEPTEMBER 2003
by A. MILTON OBOTE
UGANDA PEOPLES CONGRESS
- It is the characteristic of the human being the world over to shout when in pain or raise alarm when in danger.
- I make this broadcast as the President of Uganda's oldest political Party formed in 1952 under the name of the Uganda National Congress which adopted its present name of the Uganda Peoples Congress in 1960.
- I want first to thank very much the founders and organisers of Radio Rhino International Africa and also members of the Uganda Peoples Congress in the federal Republic of Germany. All of them have opened a powerful facility which will enable the people of Uganda to express the pain they have had since 1986 and to sound alarm should that pain continue.
- On behalf of the Uganda Peoples Congress, I state most truthfully that the people of Uganda as a whole have been in pain and that some ethnic groups have been in danger of total elimination since 1986. In this broadcast, I will refer to the Uganda Peoples Congress throughout by its popular name of the UPC.
- It was in the year, 1986, that a Terrorist insurgent army took over from a gormless military Junta the governance of the Republic of Uganda.
- The terrorist insurgent army issued a Proclamation on 26 January 1986 in which it was brazenly stated that the insurgent army which was known as the National Resistance Army (in short NRA) and its political Wing or Party had taken over on that day the powers of the Government of the Republic of Uganda and had vested them in a Committee of the Party which also became an Interim Parliament. Hitherto, those powers were exercised by the people through their elected Representatives and to date have not been returned to the people.
- In mid March of 1986 the insurgent army and its political Party launched a two pronged attacks against the people of Uganda. The attacks were first political where Uganda's otherwise would have been the opposition Parties were suppressed and removed from politics and from public elections. The second attack was the military operations which soon expressed themselves as war of massacres, devastations and despoliations against peaceful and unarmed people in Eastern and Northern Uganda.
- Radio Rhino International Africa officially opens today with this broadcast in a situation where in Uganda the free will of the people in the governance of the country have been suppressed and where wide scale aggressive massacres have been and continue to be committed in which over one million people have lost their lives in the hands of the NRA and its successor now known as the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF).
- Although the voice of the people has been suppressed in all matters concerning the governance of Uganda and regarding the war which is continuing and recently started to expand to cover wider areas and endanger more lives, the UPC has always in the past over 17 years sought and found a lacuna in the laws and spoke out and did so peacefully and within the Constitution and laws such as they are.
- Besides strenuously seeking the lacunas which enabled the UPC to speak out on crimes against humanity by the Uganda military cum one Party dictatorship, the UPC has also established offices abroad. The UPC offices are in the Federal Republic of Germany which also covers France, Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands, Sweden, the UK, Canada and the USA. An office is being established in South Africa where only a skeleton has existed.
- In a situation where no Government in Europe or North America sees neither the dire plight of the people of Uganda nor the military one Party dictatorship in Uganda, each UPC office has been faced with official Government Policy to sustain and strengthen the Uganda dictatorship through the financing even of its Annual Recurrent Budget.
- The people of Uganda and the opposition Parties in Uganda have heard about the war which democracies in North America and Europe are waging against the Terrorists and Terrorism and wonder why those democracies continue to support and even conceal from their own people Uganda's terrorist dictatorship.
- The leader of the Uganda dictatorship, who has even publicly praised Adolf Hitler, has been behaving as if he has been appointed by Governments in Europe and in North America to deploy his army to massacre millions of Africans and overthrow neighbouring Governments.
- Evidence is available that no Government in Europe or in North America condemned the Uganda dictatorship for:-
- The invasion of Rwanda in 1990 with the Regiments of its army disguised as rebel Rwanda Patriotic Army. The invasion was characterised by genocide which the Uganda Regiments being the victors made the International Community to blame on the former Rwanda Army and on Hutu militias and thereby to completely conceal what the Uganda Regiments had done when they went to Rwanda to oust Hutu Government and install Tutsi hegemony.
- The assassination of the elected President of Burundi in 1993 by including a former military dictator of Burundi and a Hutu later in the Uganda delegation sent for the Inaugural ceremony and a man who caused the assassination the outcome of which Burundi has not recovered.
- Invasion of Zaire (now the DRC) in 1996 and again in 1998 in which 4 million Africans have been massacred and even never condemned the Uganda dictatorship after the UN experts produced Reports that the Uganda army was used in the plunder of the natural resources of the country.
- The widespread massacres, devastations and despoliations in Eastern and Northern Uganda which began in March 1986 and still being prosecuted as this broadcast is being made.
- Although it was the dictatorship which launched military operations against the people, the reactions of the people particularly those inhabiting areas which border Sudan, made the dictatorship to be even more brutal. A large number of people went to Sudan and returned with arms. In guerrilla engagements with the NRA of the dictatorship, the dictatorship reacted in three horrible ways. First, the dictatorship raised an army in the name of its victims under the name of the Holy Spirit Army which marched from the Sudan border for 300 miles to within 50 miles from Kampala the Capital where it was routed and its nominal Leader was escorted by the NRA to the Kenya border and enabled to enter Kenya peacefully. The idea behind the Holy Spirit Army was to lure more than a million people to join the supposedly invincible army and to massacre all. Second, the soldiers of the dictatorship went to villages and cut off the lips and breasts of many girls and took the victims to towns and exhibited them while claiming that they had been mutilated by those who had returned from Sudan. Third, the dictatorship again uprooted the people from their villages and dumped them again on the plains at places now called protected villages.
- In 1988, the remnants of the Holy Spirit Army was re-organised under new leadership and name of Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). For reasons still unknown to me the LRA also operated by cutting off the lips and breasts of girls within their own communities and beyond. And apparently for purposes of recruitment, the LRA adopted abductions of the most horrible kind and took their captives to Sudan where the LRA was given sanctuary.
- The protected villages are an integral core of the war of massacres, devastations and despoliations launched by the dictatorship in mid March 1986 to deny the humanity of and even eliminate the victims from the face of the Earth. Initially, villages targeted for attacks were surrounded in the evenings by soldiers and at pre-dawn were subjected to much artillery and mortar bombardments.
- Helicopter gun ships were deployed at sunrise in strafing actions throughout the surrounded zones while foot soldiers entered the zone from all sides.
- The inhabitants of the zones were subjected to horrible cruelties and were arbitrarily and randomly chosen. The luckiest among the victims composed of men, women and children of all ages and gender were selected and arrested for the unknown crime of having been found in war zones and were sent to prisons.
- In the dictatorship's public statements and in the prisons such victims were called lodgers. While in jails where many died, their names or residences were not recorded.
- Besides the Lodgers, many victims were selected arbitrarily and randomly herded in houses. The houses were then blown up by explosives killing all of them.
- The majority of the victims were marched at gunpoint to open plains far from their homes to what were called Displaced Peoples Camps but presently called Protected Villages. The camps were and are cauldrons of inhumanity. They had no food, water, shelter or accommodation. When forced at gunpoint to leave their villages, the victims were forcibly prevented from going to their houses to pick up essential items such as food, blankets and clothing.
- In addition, there were other very horrible features of the original camps. Two of them were reported to me. First, soldiers who had been diagnosed positive with HIV were posted to camps and they together with the other soldiers raped the female inmates and even sodomised the male inmates in the presence of relatives and the other inmates. Second, able bodied young men were selected from time to time to go under escorts to forage for food, mostly cassava. On the return trips when at about two miles or so from the camps, the young men were all massacred by the escorts. The escorts returned to camps, rounded up inmates and took them to the compounds of the soldiers where they were issued with shovels and then marched to bury the dead food foragers and then to take the cassava to the kitchens of the soldiers.
- The outcome of the rapes and sodomies in the original camps of the 1980s was death of soldiers on an alarming wide scale caused by HIV/AIDS. The death of soldier forced the Uganda dictatorship to adopt the policy which President Bush in July praised.
- How the inhabitants of the zones were treated in their villages and in the camps and the features of the camps together with what was done in the areas where the people lived before being taken to captivity in the camps, suggested strongly that the ultimate objective of the war was to eliminate in entirety from the face of the earth all evidence that people ever lived in what were called war zones.
- When the people were in captivity, their houses, schools, Health Clinics, Co-operative stores, water wells and boreholes were destroyed and their food in the granaries and farms as well as livestock and poultry were either taken by the soldier or were also destroyed. Huge areas in Eastern and Northern Uganda became desolate without evidence except ruins of ever having had inhabitants.
- After four years of massacres, devastations and despoliations, the soldiers of the dictatorship haphazardly abandoned the camps. Just as there was no formal or gazetting of the establishment of the camps, there was also no formal abandonment of them in 1990. The inmate victims at first cautiously and in small numbers but later in droves also left the camps to return to the ruins in their villages.
- In the Eastern Region where cattle population was large, the NRA soldiers in some Districts kept the people in the camps without themselves having compounds within the camps which, over the years, have been expanded and made Protected Villages which still exist.
- When going for a visit to the United Kingdom, the Head of the dictatorship publicly ordered the army commander (his own brother) to finish off rebellion in his absence. Thus the military operations which the dictatorship had launched on unarmed civilians became rebellion and the stigma has remained to date. In response to the order, the army rounded some 600 young men, shot dead some 300 and imprisoned around 400 in Railway wagons. Fire was then lit under the wagons and most of the victims were incinerated in the wagons.
- In the North in Districts bordering Sudan, the army massacred thousands of people in two incidents and nothing has ever been done.
- In 1993 the people in the North having acquired farm implements by various means, produced a bumper crop of simsim. The brother of the Head of the dictatorship himself a General formed a company to export the entire simsim crop to various markets. Another General was posted to the North to supervise the collection of simsim for export. When politicians of all Parties who included a Vice President of a Party and a Deputy Minister in the dictatorship complained about the very low price being paid to producers, the politicians were arrested and without being taken to Court the General ordered for them to be given and were given very severe corporal punishment.
- Uganda has been since January 1986 ruled by a terrorist army who together with its Intelligence wings are in every village and Town ward. In the year 2001, it was widely reported that over 1,000 bodies were discovered in shallow graves in a District bordering the DRC. How over 1,000 citizens could lose their lives in a situation where the army and Intelligence personnel are everywhere and with everyone keeping silent is an example of the plight of the people of Uganda.
- From the month of March 2002, there was much fanfare that the army of the dictatorship was entering Sudan with the agreement of the Government of that country to destroy the LRA at its sanctuaries in the Sudan under what was called Operation Iron Fist. The leader of the Uganda dictatorship went to live in a Town on Sudan border to oversee the destruction of the LRA.
- Under Operation Iron Fist, there have been much massacres and abductions in District bordering with Sudan. Reports of the successes of the UPDF in Sudan have never been given but massacres and abductions in Uganda have increased and now cover Districts in the North and East which have never been the operational areas of the LRA.
- The situation has deteriorated so much so that the leader of the dictatorship appears to have forgotten the Operation Iron Fist and he is no longer living in a Town on Sudan border but now he is mostly in Eastern Uganda where a phantom army claimed to be LRA has been massacring and abducting an increasing number of people in extending areas of operations.
- The people in six Districts outside the known LRA areas of operations are now being cajoled by the agents of the dictatorship to raise ethnic militia forces to be provided with weapons by the dictatorship to fight the phantom army when it is not even clear whether the phantom army is LRA or UPDF.
- The pain which the people of Uganda have suffered and are suffering in the situation where the gun and not the Rule of Law has been Supreme has been, real, deep and constant for over 17 years since January 1986. I have given its nature and others will do the same and also give details.
- I end this broadcast and I affirm what I have said with and in the spirit of the Uganda Motto.