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Tuesday, 09 February 2016 04:04 AFP
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Bangui, Central African Republic | AFP | Monday - A rebel group in the Central African Republic has captured and handed over to US forces a commander of the infamous Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), one of its leaders said Monday.

AFP PICTURE OF UPDF IN CAR

"Our forces captured the commander 'Sam' at the weekend at Mbangana in the north east," Mahamat Dea, a leader of the Popular Front for the Renaissance of Central Africa (FPRC), told AFP.

"They called and asked what they should do. We had hoped that Central African and United Nations authorities would be present for the handover," said Dea.

"But a communication problem meant our men promptly handed him over to US forces" based in the eastern town of Obo.

The handover, which authorities did not immediately confirm, followed recent LRA attacks in the east and northeast resulting in at least one death and dozens of abductions.

A year ago, the FPRC, a splinter faction of the former Seleka rebel group, said it had been behind the arrest of top LRA commander Dominic Ongwen.

Ongwen was transferred to The Hague shortly after he unexpectedly surrendered to US special forces.

International Criminal Court prosecutors earlier this month unveiled 70 war crimes charges against Ongwen, describing him as the "tip of the spear" of the group which sowed terror in northern Uganda.

LRA chief Joseph Kony continues to evade a years-long international manhunt, though much of his army has been dispersed by African Union troops with US support.

According to UN estimates, the LRA slaughtered more than 100,000 people and abducted 60,000 children in a bloody rebellion against Kampala that began in 1986.

The LRA emerged in 1987 seeking to overthrow Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and claiming to fight in the name of the Acholi ethnic group.

Car location on africa map

Kony commander Ongwen is at the ICC on trial

But in time it spread its influence across porous regional borders, sowing terror in southern Sudan before moving into northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and finally crossing into southeastern Central African Republic in March 2008.

The group profited from widespread unrest in eastern regions of the Central African Republic which had taken hold long before the Seleka, an alliance of rebel factions, overthrew former President Francois Bozize in March 2013.

Those areas lie largely outside the control of the UN's 10,000-strong MINUSCA peacekeeping mission stationed in main cities.

AFP

 
Monday, 08 February 2016 06:11 By Andrew M. Mwenda
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President Yoweri Museveni’s campaign in many parts of Eastern Uganda has run into serious trouble. From Jinja to Iganga, through Bugiri, Busia and Tororo all the way to Mbale, the president’s campaign is saddled with internal bickering, no clear message, lethargy, and an acute lack of money. Meanwhile, opposition candidate Kizza Besigye has gained a strong foothold here, winning the hearts and minds of thousands. And it is only three weeks from election.

However, Museveni’s campaign in Teso, Lango and Acholi has spread like wildfire, pushing Besigye from his traditional stronghold and thereby titling Uganda’s political and electoral map in a fundamental way. In both regions, the changes reflect that inability of each to easily relate to the changing dynamics. In the East which has enjoyed 30 years of peace, Museveni’s campaign has failed to respond adequately to increased youths unemployment and poor service delivery especially in health.

 
Monday, 08 February 2016 06:06 By Samuel Mondays Atuobi
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Choas in Kampala city after the 2011 elections INDEPENDENT/ File photoThis is a slightly edited report by Samuel Mondays Atuobi on the causes of conflict before, during, and after elections, and what can be done to avoid it. It first appeared in a publication by the Institute for Security Studies. Elections in most African countries are characterised by uncertainties, due to the possibility of election-related violence. Election-related violence may take place at different stages of the electoral process: before, during, or after elections. During the 2003 Federal and States elections in Nigeria, at least 100 people were killed and many more were injured.

Approximately 600 people were reported killed in the election violence in Kenya, following disputes over the results of the December 2007 presidential elections. During the August 2007 run-off elections in Sierra Leone, violence erupted following a clash between the supporters of the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) and the opposition All People’s Congress (ACP).

 
Monday, 08 February 2016 05:57 By Ronald Musoke
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Kayihura, Lumumba reveal NRM’s 2016 plan

Just days to the Feb.18 general election, tension and fear of election-related violence is rising across the country. Pressure has gone up over recent statements by the top leaders of the army, police, and the ruling NRM party warning opponents of President Yoweri Museveni that they will be killed and crushed.  Some commentators are calling the statements a form of “psychological rigging”. Others are saying the statements are an indication that the NRM party is in panic mode, according to some observers.

Political temperatures went a notch higher on Jan.31 when an outspoken general, David Sejusa, who has sought to be a self-appointed coordinator of election-related protests, was arrested. A January 20 opinion poll by a local firm, Research World International (RWI), put Museveni at 51%, his nearest challenger Kizza Besigye at 32% and former Museveni ally and Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi at 12%.

 
Monday, 08 February 2016 03:39 Independent Reporter
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CHAN FINAL

DRC 3 Mali 0

Many international sports bodies, in a bid to protect their turf, sing the slogan “sports and politics should not mix”.

DRC celebrate win

They however recognize that politics and sports or sports diplomacy can help influence social, political relations and even diplomatic, situations in countries. The ban on sports relations with the apartheid South African regime in the 70s and 80s was one such case.

Sports often transcends cultural differences and bring people together, again as seen in South Africa, with Mandela using rugby to unite the nation.

Politicians however often see sports through other lenses. All they see is an avenue to ride on a brand and secure VOTES.

The latest came last night as The Leopards of the Democratic Republic of Congo cruised to their second African Nations Championship (CHAN) title in Kigali after a brace from Mechak Elia and the other by Jonathan Bolingi.

As the country celebrated the soccer victory, Henri Mova Sakanyi, the Secretary General of the People's Party, immediately tweeted “DRC Leopards give a third term to Kabila”.

DRC leader Joseph Kabila is facing mounting opposition at home in Kinshasa to his bid to get a third term.

Criticism of the tweet then flooded social media, and hours later Sakanyi deleted the tweet and claimed his account had been hacked!

President Joseph Kabila

 

The tweet

“After the match, someone hacked my account and posted messages that created confusion in public. We apologize.”

“Après le match,des inconnus ont piraté mon compte et posté des messages à la base de la confusion dans l'opinion. Nous nous en excusons,” @AmbHenriMova tweeted.

 


 
Sunday, 07 February 2016 13:40 Independent Reporter
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President Yoweri Museveni has launched the 2nd edition of his book "Sowing The Mustard Seed". He said, the new edition was necessitated by the need to tell a clearer story in good English.

Museveni launches book

"The English people are writing in Uganda today is terrible. That's why I decided to write the second edition," Museveni joked at the launch at Serena Sunday morning.

He said the first edition had grammatical mistakes, and therefore he had “instructed the editors not to edit the second edition.”

"About 3 years ago, when I met Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of USA, he told me he had read my book. I decided to re-write it personally so that I tell a clear story," he explained.

He decided not not talk about the  National Resistance Army NRA struggle as narrated in his book at the launch and instead encouraged Ugandans to read the book.

He thanked the people of Uganda and people of Africa “because they managed to stand up and fight the unnecessary killings.”

“I want to thank Maama Janet because she was always there for our family as I was fighting for the country,” he concluded.

 

Museveni speech

Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, speaking on behalf of NRM historicals, described Museveni as “an amazingly humble and patient man.”

“I have not doubt there has been a fundamental change in Uganda under Museveni.”

Guests included First Lady Janet Museveni, Archbishop Stanley Ntangali, Former Prime Minister A Nsibambi and Chief Justice B Katurebe.

(PHOTOS BY PPU)

 
Saturday, 06 February 2016 03:34 Independent Reporter
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Gen WamalaThe Chief of Defence Forces General Katumba Wamala has promised the country that the army will only play a secondary role to the police in managing the upcoming elections.

“The Army is only here to support the police on election day in order to have a peaceful free and fair election,” the General said at the Liberation Symposium held in Kampala on Friday, February 5 2016.

General Wamala, who was  keynote speaker at the event, moved the house when he requested to deliver his speech in commemoration of former UPDF army commander and internal affairs minister Gen. Aronda Nyakayirima who died last year. A 30-seconds moment of silence was observed.

The general highlighted the National Resistance Army’s journey from 1981 and earlier at the event held ahead of the Tarehe Sita celebrations at Kololo Independence grounds.

Wamala said the UPDF has always had a pan-African view, to safeguard its victory in Uganda.

He highlighted the UPDF's role on foreign peacekeeping missions, reminding the audience that "we can't be an island of peace when instability looms all around us."

"There's nothing as important as peace. Peace has no substitute. I would like to appreciate all the peace initiatives that have come out to advocate for peace ahead of the elections," he added.

He warned some actors on the political scene, including NGOs who thrive in chaotic situations. "Without chaos, they have no work." "Uganda is not ending on the February 18th. That will be an event and it will end, but Uganda will stay."

UPDF ready for Peace Times

He announced that the army is transforming itself for the peace times by engaging in developmental activities. UPDF will be launching customized water that will be unveiled at #TareheSita celebrations at Kololo.

“The UPDF is celebrating 30 years and like other armies that are celebrating the success, the UPDF has also come a long way. We have been able to defeat 28 insurgent groups over that time that have been planning to disorganize the security of the nation”, explained General Wamala.

“Security means freedom for all which the UPDF have been able to do all this while,” he added.

General Wamala revealed that like the rest of society, the army faces challenges managing youth. He said the army is dominated by youth, who he referred to as "joystick solidiers" because they are always on their phones tweeting and posting on facebook.

"The youth of today are on twitter and facebook and when you put them in the trenches for days like they used to do in our days, they complain. So the army has to also find ways of adapting and managing these youth otherwise they will run away."

African is like an 18-year-old-girl

Moderated by Colonel Felix Kulayigye, the dialogue was aimed at bringing to alignment the role of the UPDF in ensuring that there is a peaceful election process. The event was one of the highlights of the Tarehe Sita celebrations.

Kulayigye, describing the challenges the continent faces, said "Africa is like an 18 year  old girl in the village. Every young man wants to pass by for something. If her father isn't strict, she may be used by some."

The event was dubbed a state of the nation platform organized by ACODE in collaboration with the UPDF Liberation Symposium and organization partner the foundation for Youth Mentorship. The dialogue was dubbed #Peace- No Substitute! UPDF and the Youth for peaceful elections.

Lighting the torch

Also speaking at the UPDF Liberation Symposium  was a delegation from Tanzania represented by Dr John Kabudi Professor of Political Science from The University of Dar Es Salaam. He gave a lecture on "The Survival of the African State and Elections: The Case of Tanzania."

“I am not here to talk about our skin but by the true patriotism we believe in by our countries. Let’s create a nation and once we have created a nation, we shall go to popular sovereignty”, he stated.

Dr John Kabudi lashed out at politicians who use money to ask for votes. “Money can’t make you to be president”, he stressed.

“ I wish Uganda a better general elections. And I wish we East Africans had one general Election Day so that together we build our countries” remarked  Dr Kabudi.

Dr Arthur Bainomugisha, Executive Director ACODE, called upon the youth and Ugandans to be the champions of their own peace and transformation. “Africa loses 18billion per year due to insurgencies and if we didn’t have to lose that money, then Foreign Aid would not be necessary.”

The event was later crowned with the official lighting of the Peace Torch that symbolized a belief in the UPDF pledging and choosing peace in the fourth coming elections. Activist Maria Matemebe led in praying for peace for the nation.

 
Saturday, 06 February 2016 02:52 By Independent Reporter
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It was a tweet by NTV Kenya on Thursday that got Uganda Talking.

Uganda-bound Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) were spotted at the G-section of the Port of Mombasa, and the photographs shared thereafter, created a buzz on social media in Kenya and Uganda. It was even a top news item on NTV Kenya.

NTV tweets about Uganda on police

Reactions were swift after the news broke.

Uganda Consular General Tayebwa Katureebe said he has not received any information concerning the embossed vehicles, but denied they are related to the elections.

“I am not aware about police cars at the Port, but if they are there they are not meant for elections,” Katureebe told a Kenyan online news service.

He noted however, that Uganda has been part of the war against terror for a long time, including joining the fight against al Shabaab in Somalia in 2007.

Ugandans had mixed feelings towards the newly procured armoured police cars ahead of its general election set for February 18.

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) officials declined to comment on the ‘sensitive’ matter according to reports. Some of these vehicles embossed with the words ‘Uganda Police’ have features including water cannons, riot controls and wedged front plows.

Uganda Police spokesperson Fred Enanga confirmed that "indeed police is receiving a new fleet to replace the aging vehicles".

"The replacement was planned two years ago. The new vehicles are needed tools now that we are in this critical period," he told NBS TV.

"We imported 49 fire fighting equipment & five ambulances which the media is not talking about. Public order management vehicles are just six."

The Ugandan imports come just a few days after President Uhuru Kenyatta commissioned Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) for the first time for the Kenya National Police Service.

enanga in file photo

He said they are for the defence of the frontiers so that police can act without seeking help of any other agency."The purchase is a very important milestone in our drive to secure the frontier areas of our country. "

"This way, Police will not be dependent on the military or other security agencies for them to perform their duties," Kenyatta said.

"These will enable them to increase their mobility and protective gear when deployed in volatile areas."

 

The  APCs launched by Kenyatta


Below are the thoughts of some Ugandans

“Well done General Kale.Prevention is better than cure. Uganda must stay peaceful.” Said a joyous Naome Agaba.

Journalist Justus Amanya said,” I think Uganda's opposition is becoming funny...

What's wrong with Uganda Police acquiring new Protection Equipment? Why would a LAW ABIDING citizen get worried of Police being re-enforced?

These equipment are not NRM's...they Uganda Police's. Uganda Police is for Ugandans...whether NRM is here or not. Some of the equipment is even for construction... Uganda Police is planning to construct Police Headquarters and residential for its officers and men across the country.

The one who took the pictures is biased...they are more than these but many of them are construction equipment.”

The NTV tweet

“If we can afford to ship such heavy duty anti-riot trucks in time,we should afford passport books adlib. Priorities” concluded Jimmy Kiberu.

Tusiime Aaron was rather perturbed “See what they are bringing for us! Seen at Mombasa port. INSTEAD of importing CT-Scans, Standard Digital X-Rays etc for ‪Mulago ‬‬ National Referral, they are bring for Ugandans "Mambas".‬

They are scaring no one,we are ready to choose an understanding president! let it come 18th,its not only actually a change for saving our beloved country Uganda from an iron hand of wild animals,but also resurrecting it from hell where it has been burning for the past 30years!.....

who is that blind that does not see that Mr.President Besigye has already won?” , roared Twinomujuni Isaac.

 

This year’s election pits incumbent President Yoweri Museveni, who is seeking to extend his 30-year rule, against longtime opposition leader Kizza Besigye and his ally-turned-rival, Amama Mbabazi.

 
Wednesday, 03 February 2016 22:52 Independent Reporter
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Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta and Muhammadu Buhari have pledged to work together to fight Africa’s many obstacles to development, one of which is corruption.

Buhari last week concluded a visit to Kenya, in which together with Uhuru, they promised to join hands in addressing the many challenges facing Nigeria and Kenya in rooting out corruption, terrorism and radicalization.

“We have exhaustively discussed security, the economy and even touched on corruption and how it destroys the system and morale of the nation state,” Buhar said.

The comments come in a week in which the Corruption Perceptions Index 2015 ranked 169 countries for corruption, with Nigeria and Kenya not doing well.

A new report released by Transparency International (TI) shows Kenya and Uganda were ranked 139 out of 168 in the 2015 Global Corruption Perception Index (CPI). Nigeria was ranked better that the two by TI with Rwanda the best performer in East Africa at 44.

Kenya and Uganda scored 25 on a scale of zero to 100. According to TI officials, Zero is perceived to be highly corrupt and 100 very clean. The global average is 43 and sub-Saharan Africa's mean of 33.

According to the report, North Korea and Somalia are currently tied for the most corrupt countries in the world. The Corruption Perceptions Index 2015 ranked 169 countries for corruption, finding that the two countries tied with a score of eight out of 100.

“I look forward to continuing to work with you my brother in ensuring that Africa’s children enjoy happier, more peaceful and prosperous lives,” Kenyatta told Buhari during the three-day visit.

“We have also reaffirmed our own commitment to the fight against corruption, understanding that this is a fight that demeans, not just the African, but denies us the much needed prosperity, that our respective countries and continent deserve.”

Uhuru concluded by saying that “Our commitment is to work together to combat this vice so that we create a more prosperous, inclusive, and growing economies that are beneficial to our people, as opposed to third parties.”

 

Here are 10 countries that the index found to be the least corrupt:

1. Denmark

2. Finland

3. Sweden

4. New Zealand

5. Netherlands

5. Norway

7. Switzerland

8. Singapore

9. Canada

10. Germany

Status of Selected African countries

28. Botswana

40. Cape Verve

40. Seychelles

44. Rwanda

45. Namibia

45. Mauritius

117 Tanzania

136. Nigeria

139. Kenya

139. Uganda

150. Burundi

167. Somalia

Highlights of Buhari visit to Kenya January 2016

During the visit, President Uhuru Kenyatta assured investors that Kenya is open and safe for business and investment.

He said the country is an ideal investment destination given the business-friendly reforms the Government has implemented as well as the access to the larger East African Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) markets.

“Kenya is on a positive reform trajectory and the Government has implemented far-reaching structural reforms and sound macro-economic management with an impressive turnaround in economic performance,” President Kenyatta said.

The President cited Kenya’s proximity to the East African countries with a population of 135 million people, COMESA with a population of over 430 million people and wider the market of 650 million people provided by the Tripartite Free Trade Area as some of the incentive for investing in the country.

“Kenya thus avails enormous opportunities for investment in ICT, manufacturing, agriculture, mining, finance, transport, infrastructure and energy that would serve the above cited regions,” President Kenyatta said.

President Buhari called for the removal of business restrictions to allow for a smooth flow of trade between the two countries.

“Our business people should be allowed to operate within the ambit of law unimpeded,” President Buhari said.

Taking a trip down memory lane, President Buhari recalled that Kenya’s founding father President Jomo Kenyatta was among the most inspiring first generation of African freedom fighters who included Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Abdul Nasser of Egypt, Nnamdi Azikiwe of Nigeria and Kwame Nkuruma of Ghana – leaders who paved the way for the independent Africa of today.

“That generation of heroes brought our continent back to us. Now it is our task to make them proud by elevating Africa to a level beyond their dreams,” President Buhari said, adding that his visit to Kenya was the first state visit since he assumed the leadership of Nigeria.

As one of the promising emerging economies in Africa, President Kenyatta said Kenya is keen to expand and upgrade infrastructure to deliver the required efficiency – in terms of time and cost – to facilitate trade and investment and attract private sector investments in critical sectors of the economy.

“In this regard the Government has taken steps to improve trade and investment climate by implementing key policy initiatives which include:The enactment of the Public Private Partnership Act 2013; The roll-out of e-Procurement; The enactment of investor protection; Ease of doing Business initiatives; The establishment of One–Stop-Shop and the Reduction in the cost of power among others,” he said.

“Kenya thus avails enormous opportunities for investment in ICT, manufacturing, agriculture, mining, finance, transport, infrastructure and energy that would serve the above cited regions,” President Kenyatta said.

He also promoted the Lamu Port Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) corridor project as an open area for investment.

Following the discovery of oil in the country and the Nigerian experience in the sector, President Kenyatta invited Nigerian investors to invest in Kenya by going into joint ventures with Kenyan companies or through Public Private Partnerships.

President Buhari called for the removal of business restrictions to allow for a smooth flow of trade between the two countries.

“Our business people should be allowed to operate within the ambit of law unimpeded,” President Buhari said.

He commended President Kenyatta and former President Goodluck Jonathan saying they “brought the West to the East” in terms of trade relations.

CORRUPTION PERCEPTIONS INDEX 2015

Based on expert opinion, the Corruption Perceptions Index measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption worldwide.

Dark red indicates a highly corrupt public sector. Lighter red and orange countries fare a bit better, but corruption among public institutions and employees is still common. Yellow countries are perceived as cleaner, but not perfect.

The scale of the issue is huge. Sixty-eight per cent of countries worldwide have a serious corruption problem. Half of the G20 are among them.

Not one single country, anywhere in the world, is corruption-free.

All are corrupt

No country is free of public corruption, a scourge that has wide-ranging effects on the lives of billions of people. But in 2015, more countries saw drops in corruption than those that saw gains, according to the new Corruption Perceptions Index.

A map shows countries with the most corrupt public sectors in dark red, followed by orange and yellow — which "are perceived as cleaner, but not perfect," according to the group.

 

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