February 13 - March 04, 2014
Compiled by Alessandra Willsher
- Uganda – South Sudan relations
- Elections UN/FARDC operations against Ugandan rebel group ADF-Nalu in the DRC
Private media (domestic and regional)
February 27, 2014, The Sudan Tribune - South Sudanese in Uganda Call for Harmony Among Tribes
- Group of South Sudanese living in the Ugandan capital, Kampala have agitated for unity among the various tribes in the new nation, in spite of the ongoing violence that has killed thousands and displaced nearly a million.
- Nyawat Reth said she was deeply concerned about the suffering meted upon South Sudanese women and children as a result of the outbreak of conflict.
- "From day one of conflict thing have totally change into ethnicity cleansing in South Sudan capital of Juba. And from states it goes around and killing continue on the tribal line target. Government must admitted that it has done wrong decision at the beginning other
Private media (foreign)
February 14, 2014, AlertNet – Fear of Attack Stops South Sudanese Returning Home Despite Truce
- Hundreds of thousands of displaced South Sudanese are too afraid of being attacked or killed to return home despite a three-week-old ceasefire to end fighting that brought the world's youngest nation to the brink of civil war, aid workers say.
- Aid worker who had visited Bentiu, a town where fighters loyal to Machar had looted warehouses, commandeered aid agency vehicles and ransacked property, said burnt buildings and soldiers were all that could be seen driving through the streets. "If you were staying in a camp, would that fill you with confidence to return home, that is if your home is still standing?" he said.
- The fighting, which has taken on an ethnic dimension with Kiir's Dinka battling Machar's Nuer, has delivered South Sudan its biggest emergency since independence from Sudan in 2011.
March 2, 2014, International Federation Red Cross - Refugees By the Thousands Search for Safety in Uganda
- Two months after violence broke out in South Sudan, there is still a flurry of activity at the Nyumanzi transit centre in Adjumani District in northwest Uganda, the first stop for refugees fleeing to safety.
- Thousands are waiting for their turn to be moved from this transit centre to settlement camps within the district.
- Just as the trucks drive off, loaded with people, another drives in with a new lot of refugees, weary from the long journey they have endured over several weeks. Since December, more than 48,000 refugees have made the trek.
February 19, 2014 - Voice of America (US, state-owned) Uganda Considers Troop Withdrawal From South Sudan
- Uganda's Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa says troops from the Uganda People's Defense Force (UPDF) currently fighting rebels in neighboring South Sudan will be withdrawn beginning in April.
- Fred Opolot spokesman for Uganda's foreign ministry denied the proposed troop pull-out was in response to pressure on the government in Kampala.
- He says the proposal for a pull-out follows consultations with the government in Juba, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), as well as the African Union (AU), which plans to send in replacement troops to help stabilize the security situation in South Sudan.
- Uganda opposition groups have criticized the government for the troop deployment saying they have turned UPDF troops into mercenaries.
February 19, 2014, Voice of America (US – state-owned) – No going back to South Sudan, Refugees say
- Nyuon Isaac – a South Sudanese refugee - "I became displaced on December 15," Isaac explained to VOA."That was in Juba. I lost most of my relatives and brothers. I will not come back soon to South Sudan, so... I decide to make a house around here so that my family manages to reside here until maybe the time comes for me to go back to South Sudan," he said.
- Isaac is one of more than 156,000 people who have fled to neighboring countries since fighting broke out in South Sudan. Nearly half of them -- 76,000 -- went to Uganda, a country that has been welcoming refugees for decades.
- The refugees are reluctant to go back to South Sudan, even though a second round of peace talks is under way in Addis Ababa. The first round, although difficult, resulted in the pro- and anti-government sides agreeing to stop fighting and expedite the release of 11 political figures who were detained shortly after the fighting began.
February 25, 2014, New Vision – Parliament gets order to expel rebel MPs
- Parliament has received a Constitutional Court decree instructing the Speaker of Parliament and her deputy to effect the landmark court ruling barring the four MPs expelled by their party from accessing the House.
- The NRM sacked the quartet over indiscipline and contravening party rules. Subsequently, the party asked Kadaga to declare the seats vacant. However, Kadaga declined the party’s request, saying the 1995 Constitution does not prescribe the declaration of a seat vacant in the event that an MP is expelled from a party.
March 2, 2014, New Vision – Migereko Ssemogerere clash over reforms
- Drama unfolded on Friday as the minister for lands and urban development Daudi Migereko attempted to dispel allegations by the former DP president Dr. Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere that President Yoweri Museveni is already using state resources to campaign for the 2016 elections.
- While presenting a paper on campaigns and money, Dr. Ssemogerere alleged that in the tours the president is making in various parts of the country, he has already stated using state resources to campaign for his presidency for 2016 – one year ahead of the official start of the process in the second half of next year.
- Migereko said, “It is not true that the President is campaigning. He is simply doing his work as the president of the nation to ensure that the services he promised in the manifesto are well implemented.”
- Arguing that all Uganda’s past elections have not been free and fair, Dr. Ssemogerere encouraged both the NRM and the opposition to intensify dialogue efforts through a joint committee to result into implementation of constitutional reforms which will result into an electoral process agreeable to all the stakeholders.
March 4, 2014, The Observer – NRM Power Struggle escalates
- To prove that his prime minister has been mobilizing politically against him, President Museveni presented audio recordings and transcripts to the NRM parliamentary caucus on Monday.
- The Observer has learnt that Museveni told the caucus members during their meeting at State House Entebbe that detractors within NRM have been telling people that the president has run out of ideas.
- The prime minister reportedly surprised many at Entebbe when he questioned Museveni's conduct, blaming him for accusing him and his wife before the caucus even when he (Mbabazi) had led his wife to Museveni for a discussion over the issues.
- He challenged MPs to show proof that he has been promoting himself ahead of 2016.
March 2, 2014, The Observer - NRM Teams in Early Museveni Campaigns
- Teams of NRM loyalists have started forming countrywide to sell President Museveni, after ruling party MPs recently endorsed him as their candidate for 2016.
- Supporters are now establishing regional teams "to market Museveni in the best way possible and make him acceptable to even those that are fed up with the government," a campaigner said on February 23.
March 3, 2014, The Independent – It Is Not Up to Museveni to Say He Is Going Nowhere – Muntu
- FDC President, Mugisha Muntu spoke to The Independent's Haggai Matsiko about his party's road map.
- President Mugisha Muntu gave an interview to The Independent, he answered questions about the 2016 elections. His interview can be found at:
March 2, 2014, The Observer – Mbabazi to Opposition - Bring Electoral Reforms
- Strengthening the foundation of true democracy can't be hurried but it requires more time and sustained political commitment, Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has warned.
- UN Rapporteur on Human Rights, Margaret Sekaggya, cautioned against politicizing the reform process and trading accusations. She called for inclusion of all stakeholders and sufficient facilitation for enforcement of the reforms.
- While discussing the political landscape prevailing in the country, Oguttu said that judging from the voter turnout statistics over the past elections; Ugandans had lost confidence in the electoral system.
February 20, 2014, The Observer – Constitution to be overhauled
- NRM lines up 50 amendments to the constitution
- In 50 planned constitutional amendments to be introduced soon, the NRM government aims largely to check growing internal dissent and clip MPs' powers.
- Among some:
- MPs to vacate Parliament upon expulsion from party o Judicial Service Commission to nominate EC
- Special courts for terrorists, the corrupt
- MPs' powers to vet appointments reduced o Primary election losers can't stand for Parliament
- MPs to vacate Parliament upon expulsion from party
- Changes relating to Parliament are the most dramatic, perhaps reflecting President Museveni's frustration with internal dissent arising from stubborn party MPs. The party seeks to do away with independent MPs by prohibiting a person who has participated in a primary election of a political party from seeking election as an independent candidate after losing the primary
February 20, 2014, The Observer – NRM Fused With State, Museveni
- After 28 years of NRM in power, it is now hard to draw a line between the state and NRM the party.
- The bigger problem, however, is that even NRM the party is too fused with Yoweri Museveni the individual.
- Our president seems to have outlived his usefulness, but because there is no leadership above or around him that can advise him to leave power peacefully, being the party himself, he sees himself as having a fresh mind today like he did ten years ago.
- NRM leaders, like many other Ugandans, are always guessing with every election that passes, hoping that maybe this will be his last term in office.
February 17, 2014, Daily Maverick (South Africa) – Uganda's Gays Are Just the Latest Victims of Museveni's Lust for Power
- After two months of prevaricating, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni confirmed on Friday that he would sign into law the controversial anti-gay bill passed by his parliament in December.
- Museveni was also influenced by the popularity in his country of the anti-gay bill – especially within his own party. So far, 2014 has been a tricky year for Uganda’s long-time leader, who has been President since 1986. Such longevity inevitably breeds resentment, and opposition, and there have been a few signs that some of his top lieutenants are starting to demand more power for themselves. With presidential elections coming up 2016, Museveni is under pressure in some quarters to either step down or reaffirm his commitment to the top job.
- The main challenge comes from his Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi, who has been quietly mustering NRM support for a bid to unseat Museveni as the party’s presidential candidate in 2016. Mbabazi is also NRM secretarygeneral, and is very influential within the party.
- It’s not easy to keep hold of power for nearly 30 years. Along the way, Museveni has made enemies and sacrificed innocents in his bid to stay in State House. Uganda’s gay population is just the latest victim of his lust for power.
March 2, 2014, New Vision – UN Gunship strike ADF base in Congo
- UN gunships targeted a base of the Ugandan Muslim rebel group ADF-Nalu in the eastern DR Congo for the first time Saturday, the UN force said.
- ADF-Nalu is led by Jamil Mukulu, a Christian convert to Islam, and has never really managed to take its fight against Yoweri Museveni's regime to Uganda.
- International Crisis Group said in a report last year the rebel group had "shown remarkable resilience attributable to its geostrategic position, its successful integration into the cross-border economy and corruption in the security forces".
- Some observers have voiced concern that it could become a link in the growing network of radical Islamist groups in East Africa.
March 4, 2014, New Vision – Five UN troops wounded in DR Congo Attack
- The UN mission for the stabilisation of the country (MONUSCO) said in a statement the attack occurred in the area of Beni in North Kivu province.
- Beni is more than 300 kilometres north of Goma, the capital of North Kivu, a restive resource-rich province that borders Rwanda and Uganda.
- On January 16 the FARDC regular army launched an offensive against the Ugandan Muslim rebel group ADF-Nalu and announced in mid-February that it had inflicted severe losses on the rebels.
- ADF-Nalu stands for Allied Democratic Forces-National Army for the Liberation of Uganda. It is one of the oldest but lesser known rebellions based in North-Kivu and is considered the only Islamist organisation in the region.
March 5, 2014, New Vision – Museveni orders on early campaigns
- President Yoweri Museveni has told NRM leaders, who are reportedly engaged in underground campaigns, that it is not yet time for politicking.
- “We are supposed to be working now and not campaigning,” Museveni reportedly said, adding that those politicking are confusing the people who voted NRM for a five-year term of office.
- One MP reportedly sought clarification from the President about reports that State House has deployed spies to snoop on MPs and ascertain those deemed not loyal to the President, a thing the MP reportedly said has caused panic among some MPs.