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Museveni Regime Involved in Massacres
By Dan Kashagama
25 Feb 2004
The regime in Uganda has been trying to intimidate people and continues to refuse investigation and mediation of conflict by an internationally recognized independent authority. In a state where the parliament serves a mostly ceremonial function and has no real power over the cabinet or the military, the president has all the power and impunity. That power has been used to carry out a program of “protracted war” against so-called enemies of Museveni. Initially an enemy was identified according to Bolshevik principles, and later, after Museveni stopped being a Marxist who believed and implemented “revolutionary Violence”, an enemy was anyone who presented a threat to Museveni’s accumulation of personal wealth and power.
The pattern of violence and impunity in Uganda is part of a well-orchestrated and well-funded policy to intimidate the African population and the international community. The government doesn’t want the world to know that the violence in Uganda and neighboring states is planned, and that in most cases special government army units carry out atrocities that are then attributed to rebels. In many cases special army units dress up in different uniforms and attack a community or a “regroupment” camp full of forcibly displaced people. Another way is to deploy paramilitary groups, government militias, and youth groups with orders to attack "rebel" camps that are in fact full of innocent civilians. Some of the rebel commanders and defectors are imposters working for the government.
War in Uganda is a racket that continues to generate millions of dollars, and publicity, for a certain group of people around Museveni. These individuals include David Tinyefuza, Commander Katagara, Caleb Akandwanaho, Commander Kazini, and several business associates of the president, including the late Tiny Roland, as well as careerists including William Pike, CNN reporter Catherine Bond, Tom Stacey and a host of foreign NGO heads. The Museveni regime is extremely belligerent and has been involved in instigating war and other forms of conflict in the Great Lakes Region of Africa, as well as supplying weapons in the rest of Africa and overseas.
Museveni and his cabinet have done everything to fan the flames of ethnic conflict, and to frustrate peaceful resolution of war in Uganda, the Congo, and the rest of the region. In spite of repeated requests by rebels and dissidents for negotiations, in spite of surrender by high ranking dissident commanders, in spite of offers for intervention by the African Union Commission and other institutions, Museveni has run a campaign of deception that confused the both the public and the opposition. The LRA, the ADF and other groups of questionable coherence have been framed and depicted as religious cults, deflecting any responsibility for violence by a government whose leader is famous for public threats to kill certain people, who uses torture and assassination, false imprisonment and summary executions.
The massacres of northern Uganda have continued since 1986, and every attempt at a peace process have been frustrated by a regime that has continued to arm communities, and to herd others into displacement camps, to instigate and provoke attacks against other communities. Many so-called rebels are in fact militia that are armed and trained by the government. When they do not carry out attacks, the army simply does the attacks and blames the same militia or the rebels, or so-called cattle-rustlers. Moreover, the regime has consistently undercounted the number of casualties that their policy has caused.
The arming of communities is Museveni’s favorite method of instigating violence. The most recent massacre in Lira is directly related to the many paramilitary groups created by the army. The army comes in, provides troops and training to young men from separate communities, especially if the communities have a history of conflict or tension, and then carries out an attack on one or both of the communities, blames the rebels or militia from another community, and does everything to obstruct peace efforts.
The result of Museveni's policies is invariably a war. Impunity and a corrupt, intimidated and abusive judicial structure leads to acts of desperation and massacres. Arming Langi youth, in spite of protests by parliament and religious and community leaders, and telling them to fight Acholi rebels could only have resulted in one thing, an expansion of the civil war, setting one community against another. After such a long time of government corruption, the population in Uganda has developed an ethos of tolerance for violence and human rights abuses. Many young people aspire to be soldiers, and the public believes that the quickest way to become rich is to go into politics. Museveni has to go if the society is to recover some sanity. He must not be allowed to serve another term.
Museveni has used this "rebel-vs-militia" formula to instigate violence in the Uganda beginning in the 1980s. Using the same method he instigated the expulsions of Ugandans in Kenya in the late 1980s, the expulsions of Ugandans from the Congo in 1991, the clashes between Kenya and Uganda in the late 1980s, the violence in north and west Uganda of the early 1990s, the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, the violence in Congo beginning in 1996, the escalation of violence in the Congo in 1998, and more recently, the war in Southern Sudan.