Tuesday, 14 August 2012

UPDF names pilots killed in helicopter crash

UPDF has identified the two Air Force officers who died the multiple helicopter crashes in Kenya as Capt. William Letti and Lt Patrick Nahamya.

Army spokesperson Col. Felix Kulayigye said in a statement Wednesday morning Letti and Nahamya were pilot and co-pilot of helicopter no AF 806, MI-24.

The choppers went up in flames as they crashed in the jungles of Mt. Kenya. The two bodies, burnt beyond recognition, were retrieved from the cockpit. Meanwhile another body has been discovered bringing the number of the dead to three. The serviceman is yet to be named.

“The Ministry of Defence and the UPDF regret to inform the country of the tragic demise of our comrades Captain William Letti and Lt Patrick Nahamya who died in a helicopter accident in Mt Kenya areas,” Kulayigye wrote in the press statement.

The search for the other five crew members still continues, he said. He condoled the bereaved families, adding that “Our hearts are with those family members whose dear ones we are still searching for.”

Kulayigye also promised to continue to keep the country abreast of the developments about the incident.

The three Mi-24 choppers that crashed were part of a fleet of four that left Soroti on Sunday to Garissa enroute for Somalia for war with the Al-Shabaab militants.

They landed at Eldoret and later left for Nanyuki where they were scheduled to refuel before flying to Garissa. While one helicopter made it to Garissa as scheduled three went missing.

President Yoweri Museveni yesterday appointed his advisor on defence, Gen. Caleb Akandwanaho alias Salim Saleh, to head investigations into the incident.

The board of inquiry also comprises of the chief of legal services in the UPDF, Col. Ramadan Kyamuresire and Eng. Dick Lutaaya of the Air Force, among others, according to state minister for defence, Gen. Jeje Odongo.

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IGG orders KCCA to hand over Owino to traders

A section of St. Balukuddembe Market (Owino) in downtown Kampala.

In a letter written to KCCA legal officer Mike Okua, the IGG instructed that the market lease be given back to the traders under their association of St. Balikuddembe Market Stall, Space and Lock-up Shops Owners Association.

The August 9 letter was signed by David Makumbi on behalf of the IGG.

It states that the IGG investigated matters concerning the market and found that it had been leased to the traders’ association.

“On February 3, 2010 the defunct Kampala City Council, (KCC) wrote a letter to the traders awarding a sublease to them,” reads the letter.

The IGG noted that in March 2010, the traders paid a premium of sh3.8b and on March 28, they paid sh200m for ground rent.

The IGG said to avoid doubt on the question of whether a tenant-landlord relationship existed between KCCA and the traders’ association, the matter was referred to the office of the Solicitor General for a second opinion.

He said he Solicitor General accepted that there existed a lease offer made by KCC and subsequent payments made by the traders. He also clarified that by leasing the market to the traders, KCC had effectively vested control and management of the market to the association.

“We accordingly advise that KCCA respects the contractual obligation that it inherited from KCC with regard to the traders’ association,” the IGG said in the letter.

In April, KCCA took over management of the city’s major markets of St. Balikuddembe, commonly known as Owino, and Nakasero amidst protest from the traders.
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Murder suspects pretends death scaring police officers

Olok Simon, a 26 year old man suspected of being one of the three people who are reportedly accused for murder of Orema Dickson, who was stabbed on the chest on the 3rd August at night and died at Lacor hospital on 5th August.

Olok Simon being carried to the hospital after pretending he was dead. Photo by James Onono Ojok

Police arrested him today in Gulu main Bus park, where he was planning to go to Kitgum. When they reached the central police station, Olok pretended that he was dead making police officers worry that there might be allegation that police are the ones who killed him, though report states that he was beaten by the mob by the time of the arrest.

“We took him to the hospital to confirm if he really was dead, but the doctor confirmed that there was nothing wrong with him so we have taken him back to the cell,“ Gulu officer in charge of crime Ozelle John Bosco told this reporter during press time.

Olok Simon, Rubangakene Samuel (18), and Ayella Francis (32), alleged to be securiko firm derserters, are being held at Gulu central police station as suspect in the murder case of Oryema Dickson over still unclear circumstances the police are investigating

Oryema Dickson, the deceased, who was staying in industrial area Layibi division Gulu municipality, left behind a widow only identified as Vicky and 2 children.

Gulu Oc crime Ozelle John Bosco warned the public of taking the law in to their hands, since most of them wants to take lives of suspect which he said derail police investigation and noted that the people will investigate matter properly, and if they gathered enough evidence suspects would be charged with murder.

The case is registered CRB/1609/2012 at Gulu central police station.
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Wanted MP Kipoi returns

The wanted Bubulo west MP, Tonny Kipoi is back. He arrived in the country on Monday aboard Rwanda Airways from South Africa (SA).

Mr. Tonny Kipoi

Speaking about his two-month absence from Parliament, Kipo said that he had gone to SA for treatment of chest pain.

The angry MP dismissed allegations that he is a drug trafficker and said he was not afraid of facing the law. He said the allegations were politically motivated by his political opponents.

He explained he had never recovered from the illness following an accident along Kampala-Mbale road in 2010 and usually goes to SA for review.

He told The New Vision that he is expected to go back to Bredhurst Hospital in Johannesberg for review on August 27.

Recently, Saturday Vision reported that the Speaker had summoned Kipoi over his absence from Parliament. The paper also quoted Sunday Vision as having said that the MP went missing after he was interrogated by the Criminal Investigations Department over allegations of drug trafficking.

Press reports said on June 14 Interpol was asked to investigate Kipoi over drug trafficking. This followed the arrest of Ugandan Moses Shaban Khuju in Brazil with 80 plastic capsules containing 1.19 kg of cocaine. The reports also said police are investigating a possible link between Kipoi and a Nigerian drug lord.

However, Kipoi said he had written to Speaker Rebecca Kadaga about his travel. He denied having been questioned by CID as alleged.

He asked why Intepol has not arrested him if he is a wanted person. “I landed in Kigali and I was cleared. I have also landed in Entebbe. Why didn’t the officers arrest me? I have discovered that my opponents want to scare me so that they take over my constituency,” he said.

He alleged that the Commissioner in charge on Narcotics, Fabian Amadi was being used by his opponents. Amadi was quoted by Saturday Vision as having said that they had failed to find the MP.

Kipoi wanted to know where the five kilogrammes of cocaine the police is talking about is and the woman who was arrested in connected with it. He also wanted to know where the Nigerian man is.

Displaying his passport, he denied press reports that he had travelled to Brazil.

When contacted Amadi said he is not arresting Kipoi but wants to get his side of the story. “The question is not arresting him but getting clarification from him. We do not arrest a person without clear proof.” He clarified that the MP was implicated in drug trafficking.

Amadi added, “I am not being used by his political opponents. I got information from Interpol. Interpol wrote to the Director CID. Who am I to be used?”
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FDC asks Police to release Kasese EC official

Forum for Democratic Change party has asked Police to release the Kasese district Electoral Commission registrar, Valey Kanzira.

Wafula says Kanzira did not commit any crime to warrant an arrest.

Wafula Oguttu said Kanzira had not committed any crime but was arrested last weekend by police over purported election-related offences.

He told a press briefing at the party headquarters at Najjanakumbi in Kampala on Monday that FDC did not bribe anyone to win the Kasese woman MP by-election after which the party’s Winnie Kiiza won last week.

Kiiza beat the NRM candidate Reheema Muhindo by close to a double margin.

“We ask Government to release the electoral commission registrar. He has no case. We won because our candidate was popular and the electorate is tired of NRM,” Oguttu said.

When asked to comment on Kanzira’s arrest, the police spokesperson, Simon Kuteesa said the suspect had allegedly committed several offences but he [Kuteesa] could not name them.

However it is suspected Kanzira tampered with the voters’ register and the tallying of votes cast during the hotly contest by-election.

Wafula asked the Electoral Commission to formally complain.

“FDC is not capable of rigging votes because that is like saying that a rat can chase a cat” he brought the journalists and party officials present into laughter.

He said that the Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Nandala Mafabi is expected to take leave [step aside] from his position during the time he will be campaigning for the FDC’s Presidency.

And that will be a period of three months, Wafula revealed. The reported stepping aside of Mafabi is intended to stop him and those contesting from using resources of their offices.

Wafula also said Nandala’s opponents to the party’s helm, Maj. Mugisha Muntu and Geoffrey Ekanya are also required to ‘take leave’ as by a condition set by the FDC party’s National Executive Committee (NEC).

Muntu is the secretary for mobilization of FDC while Ekanya is the shadow minister for finance.

The three were nominated and cleared last week by the party’s electoral commission to contest for the FDC party presidency to replace three-time presidential contender, Dr. Kizza Besigye.

Wafula expressed concern over increased fire outbreaks which he says Government should stop. His complaint is that reports on fires such as that of Kasubi tombs have not been published.
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Uganda, Israel honor 1976 Entebbe raid

Wreaths were laid, a moment of silence held, speeches made and a poem recited as both Uganda and Israel Monday commemorated an Israel-led raid on Entebbe in which 100 hostages were rescued from terrorists.

The Civil Aviation Authority structure near the airport

And in the somber ceremony held at the base of a tower at the Old Entebbe Airport, where Yonatan Netanyahu, the commander of the elite Israeli commando unit was killed in the July 4, 1976 raid, both countries renewed their commitment to fight terrorism and to work towards humanity.

To symbolize their strong bilateral relations, flags of the two countries flapped wildly in the windy afternoon, standing on either side of a huge plaque with a complete history of the raid erected on the bullet riddled tower.

At the base of the tower four wreaths were laid, one by Ugandan State minister of animal industry, Bright Rwamirama, another by Israeli deputy foreign affairs minister, Daniel Ayalon and the the other two by the Israel community in Uganda.

Both Ayalon and the Israeli Ambassador based in Kenya, Gil Haskel paid glowing tribute to Nentanyahu and his comrades.

Ayalon noted that though the mission was successful, it had come at a heavy price – the death of Netanyahu which ironically led to many walking into freedom.

“But today we follow in his footsteps and come with a different mission of peace and cooperation with the great people of Uganda,” Ayalon said.

Rwamirama hailed the relation between the two countries which he said is historical.

The raid, popularly known as Operation Thunderbolt and later renamed Operation Jonathan in Israel in memory of Nentayahu’s heroic feat was executed at midnight by about 100 Israel commandos, having flown undetected from Israel.

At the end of the nine hour operation, 102 hostages were rescued ad five Israeli commandos were wounded.

All the hijackers, three hostages and 45 Ugandan soldiers were killed. A fourth Israeli hostage, Dorah Bloch was later killed in Uganda.

Netanyahu, a brother to the current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the only Israeli soldier killed in the raid.

About 248 passengers aboard an Air France plane were taken hostage on June 27, 1976 by terrorists of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the German Revolutionary Cells and flown to Entebbe, prompting the raid.

A bulk of the hostages, many of them non-Jews were released prior to the raid.

Ayalon will today inaugurate a new trauma center and emergency Ward at Mulago hospital, funded and constructed through MASHAV – Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation.

The centre has a capacity to handle emergencies and will serve as a regional referral centre.

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Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi is plotting a deadly mission against NRM, President Yoweri Museveni has said.
Museveni told a meeting of Buganda leaders at State House last Thursday that the NRM secretary general was planning to fail the party if he is relieved of his duties and that the move would be disastrous if he succeeded.
During their meeting with President Museveni at Entebbe State House, NRM leaders from Buganda region made very radical demands to Museveni.
The Buganda leaders bashed Amama Mbabazi and identified his allies as Robert Kabushenga and Paul Kihika.
The leaders told Museveni to be careful adding that Mbabazi was serious about ousting him in 2016 and that the two media personalities are using their respective state media organizations to prepare the population to accept candidate Mbabazi in 2016.
Among those who were very vocal was Sebina Sekitoleko, who until a few months ago was a senior personal assistant to Mbabazi.
Sebina was vehemently supported by Mubende ex-LCV chairman Maj. Joseph Kakooza and historical, Gertrude Njuba and Capt Oliver Zizinga.
They told Museveni to stop treating Mbabazi leniently adding that their perceived close relationship was being used to tell NRM supporters in villages that Museveni had secretly endorsed Mbabazi’s bid.
Sources say Museveni angrily reacted to this telling Kakooza to stop accusing Mbabazi falsely.
Big name NRM leaders such as Abdul Nadduli, Amelia Kyambadde, Ruth Nankabirwa, Nyombi Thembo and others were all in attendance but didn’t speak out as much against Mbabazi. However, Sebina’s outbursts can easily be construed to be Nadduli’s because the two hail from Luwero and are very close political associates.
In a rare show of courage, the Sebinas told Museveni it’s high time NRM produces a secretary general who is a Muganda. This they argued would bolster mobilisation in the hostile region. They then proposed four names of potential secretary generals Museveni should appoint. Museveni clarified to them saying whereas he was determined to purge Mbabazi out of Kyaddondo-based NRM secretariat there was need to tread carefully. He told them Mbabazi has prepared a team of lawyers to sue NRM should anyone force him out without going through the delegates conference which ushered him in. “That is why I’m careful. I will appoint someone but won’t be referred to as secretary general though will be doing the same work as the SG,” Museveni counseled before the Sebinas proposed their names.

The Buganda delegation fronted before Museveni four names of potential appointees for the job. These included Nyombi Thembo who is ICT minister besides being long serving Kasanda MP. The other was Ruth Nankabirwa who is the fisheries minister and long serving Kiboga woman MP. The other is Janet Mukwaya a former minister and MP from Mukono in Kyaggwe. In case he is unable to appoint someone from Buganda, the group proposed the name of senior presidential political strategist Moses Byaruhanga for the job.

Nankabirwa: As Museveni widely smiled, the group marketed Nankabirwa by revealing that she has lately been using personal money to buy bicycles and motorbikes for NRM chairmen to ease mobility and mobilization in all parishes and sub counties in Kiboga district. They also claimed Nankabirwa was energetic, not involved in intrigue and not a lukewarm supporter of the Party. Without declaring any support for her as yet, Museveni admitted these are credentials he also sees in Nankabirwa who has been his minister and MP since 1994. We are told the gracefully ageing Nankabirwa is terribly interested in the job and has lately been quietly marketing herself for it.

Nyombi Thembo: The Kasanda MP has been an active NRM activist since leaving DP in Rubaga where he was a councilor in KCC under both Sebaana Kizito and his predecessor Seya. Thembo even one time pondered running on ticket for Rubaga North MP Seat but chickened out and went for Kasanda. The Kasanda thing was initially a by-election (incumbent had left) which saw Thembo resign his KCC job as a councilor to join parliament. He had previously served as RDC Busia and once in parliament, Thembo easily caught Museveni’s attention and became minister initially at education where he was overseeing UPE. At some point, he was also minister Luwero triangle. He is vibrant, outgoing and accessible and that is exactly how mobilizers marketed him to Museveni who gave no immediate responses. All he did was to tell them he was fascinated by the discussion “which we must carry forward in December at Kyankwanzi when we have more time.”

Mukwaya: She is wife to Abbey Mukwaya who heads political desk in State House. The couple has history with NRA war having taken part in it and worked with Museveni very closely. Until 2011 when she bowed out, Mukwaya had been MP and minister since 1986. She is currently doing commercial farming both in Mukono and Wakiso along Hoima road. In the 2011 campaigns, she was deputizing Specioza Kazibwe as head of Museveni special taskforce which operated at a small house near Kati-Kati bar and restaurant in Kololo. While there, she several times clashed with Mbabazi’s wife over who should control campaign logistics and at some point, she drew a pistol at her saying she had no reason crowding the office with mobilizers from Kigezi. In the end, Mbabazi’s wife left the office and began operating from home. It’s that fearless character NRM leaders told Museveni must be harnessed by fronting Mukwaya for the job.Moses Byaruhanga: He is the senior political strategist for Museveni and has worked with him for over 15 years, his younger age notwithstanding. He has spearheaded mobilization almost in all parts of Uganda and delivered beautiful results wherever he has been deployed. He was the invisible hand behind NRM’s unexpected great performance in northern Uganda and Teso regions in last year’s elections. He is calm, well collected and calculative in his approach to political issues. He isn’t an intriguer and rarely engages in petty fights against fellow party leaders yet he has unlimited access to the big man. The Baganda mobilizers told Museveni it will take a mobilizer of the Byaruhanga type to revive NRM’s plummeting fortunes as manifested in the recently held by-elections.
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FDC RACE – Muntu Reveals Post M7 Military Strategy

Gen Muntu flashes V sign while jubaliting with his fans after nomination at FDC heaquarters (picture by Nicholas Mwesigwa)
FDC presidential contender former army commander Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu has unveiled a post Museveni plot to cutback the military’s loyalty and ego which poses threats to the FDC reign, Red Pepper exclusively reports.
Muntu revealed the robust plan on Saturday when he was nominated for the party president. After being successfully declared as an aspirant, Muntu immediately told his fans that he will embark on institution building and reviving the culture of the country.
He added that Dr. Kizza Besigye has led FDC in turbulent times amidst NRM’s illegitimacy and poor democracy, a reason Besigye has been brutalised, charges imposed against him and even jailed in the name of fear of handing over power.
“This is what my supporters should expect from me. I salute Col. Besigye because he has been able to push the government in the turbulent situations, and he was arrested, taken to court. Me I will embark on internal process of institution building, reviving of culture, training leaders and mass mobilisation right from grass roots,” he said.
He further said that he wants to give the people of Uganda hope because they have been living in desperation with no hopes of liberation from the rouge regime.
“I will give them hope the country of Uganda is a very good one but people are victims of political and electoral manipulation, so I will work with senior party leaders and target recruitment of leaders, train them which is significant process to back the party institutions,” he promised.
Responding to a query from Red Pepper whether he intends to engage himself in civic protests like Besigye, Muntu made it clear that as the party they sat and resolved that whereas Besigye is busy engaging the NRM government in civil disobedience activities others should be planning for the “post Museveni aftermath”.
“Yes NRM’s demise is near but the question is how can we transform the country into the right direction. We shouldn’t be excited because NRM is collapsing but focus on how to govern the country. We must make sure that there is no gap left and moments after FDC takes power citizens begin regretting. No we don’t need that. When Doctor is intensifying pressure I will be laying grounds of good leadership,” Muntu clarified.
Asked what FDC is planning for the military which is so inclined to President Museveni and the army is not anyway succumbing to any coup and efforts to oust the Commander-in-Chief, Muntu said:
“I will not talk about that, he said”. Pressed on, he said the strategy will be designed after November 22 when the party president is duly nominated and it will depend on who is elected to lead FDC.
He said that as former army commander, if he is nominated, he will tame the military’s loyalty and its ego. He added that he will sit down and select a team of effective people who were in the army and know how to handle military matters.
“Many committees will be nominated and that of military will be called DefenceE committee that will handle the military. But this will be done depending on ‘who’ will be nominated,” he said.
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NRM Rebels Face IGG Knife

Panic last week gripped several NRM MPs perceived as rebels after it emerged that the Inspector General of Government Irene Mulyagonja had started a move to kick them out of Parliament.
The information came yesterday in the legal and parliamentary affairs committee chaired by Stephen Tashobya while meeting Mulyagonja over her 2012/13 budget.
The MPS whose seats are in balance include Sam Otada, Theodore Sekikubo, Barnabas Tinkasimire and Wilfred Nuwagaba while files for the remaining three unnamed rebels are being processed by the inspectorate.
A crestfallen MP Otada broke the story to the committee stating that the IGG is being pressured to kick these people out on the account that they feasted on the now scrapped constituency development fund (CDF).
Otada told the committee that the IG is acting on orders from Museveni whom he also stated had asked the IG to pen a letter to the speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga telling her to eject Bukonzo west MP Yokas Bihande from parliament after he was convicted by the anti-corruption court of feasting on the same fund.
“I have received confirmation from my sources in the IGG’s offices to the effect that there is a plot mooted to eject seven MPs from parliament. The plan is to take us to court, convict us and they declare our seats vacant. Pressure is coming from the president” Otada (independent) stated.
He went on ‘so far, four files for Otada, Nuwagaba, Tinkasimire and Sekikubo have been finalised. The three others are still being processed. We are aware that some offices have been fighting hard to have us removed from parliament. They are using the IG’s office to politically persecute those they think are not towing their lines.
We are ready for that battle’ The IGG Mulyagonya confirmed the secret plot, but however, denied that it had been instigated on orders from Museveni.
‘Museveni has never given us instructions but he also raises complaints. I have seen complaints coming from your (MPS’) constituents. Several of them are on my table. The constituents are citizens with a right to raise a complaint. We are not going to sweep them under the carpet. We are definitely going to come to you (MPS) whom these complaints have been raised against” she stated.
She went on ‘the president can only make complaints to me. He does this and even yesterday, he sent me a complaint about a certain ministry he wants to be investigated. That letter came to me yesterday and it is on my table. I went to that office on July7, but I have not received any complaint from Museveni about you (MPS) but from your constituents’ she stated with shaky voice and lips.
The MPs were however, angry with the IGG as to why she shies away from investigating officers from state house whom they say are also involved in scandals. Mulyagonya said that her office has never received any complaint about a state house officer.
The NRM is currently facing an internal revolt with majority of those named in the secret IGG probe being part of the dissenting voices in the party demanding for reforms and Museveni to quit state house come 2016.
The same committee grilled former IGG Raphael Baku over allegations of him being a corrupt giant arising from allegations that he inflated the budget for buying the IG’s plot of land in the city.
“Hon. Members, in our work, we step on some people’s toes. I am sure some people were hurt. I am informed they even went to CMI, state house and police and even the media (Red Pepper). They accused me of inflating the figure and also misusing the shs900m meant for Chogm funds’ investigations. That investigation is baseless. However, we have answered the queries and we are waiting for report by the investigators” he stated.

Migereko Warns Rebels
Government chief whip Daudi Migereko has promised hell for the NRM rebels if they don’t zip their beaks regarding the succession debate.
Addressing the media at Parliament on Friday, Migereko said that the rebels are anytime from now facing severe punishment if they continue discussing the matter.
“Any MP who belongs to NRM and has an issue to raise should do it through the caucus. The approach some of our members are taking is unacceptable. Their actions are some of the issues we should put on table so that we have a minimum standard for our people” he said.
His remarks came in the wake of agitations among NRM rebels asking Museveni to quit the post of NRM chairmanship following several by-election losses. They also want him to quit state house after his current term of office.
“We are going to debate behavior of members. We shall sit and discuss the code of conduct. We have to respect leaders and also give the chance to work. The debate is premature. We must be focusing on service delivery” he said.
Migereko said that currently, people are raising several issues some of which regard health, education among others. He said that Museveni is still an asset to the nation and the region.
“The reasons for electing Museveni in 2011 are enshrined in the NRM manifesto. The debate should be; has NRM delivered on those issues? People want to see whether we people in government are doing enough in fulfilling what we promised. When it comes to 2015, we can discuss succession. Museveni is doing a good job not only here, but also regionally. He is involved in issues of RDC, south Sudan, and Somalia. This is therefore a wrong time to talk about 2016!” he said.
The minister had appeared before the press to respond to the media regarding the ongoing losses his party is registering in by-elections.
“It is unfortunate that we again lost in Kasese. We shall take off time to understand why we lost and we come up with remedial and corrective solutions. We are going to study this loss so that our support doesn’t continue to fade” he said.
The NRM once again made confirmed its record of losing by-elections after losing the one of Kasese on Wednesday. Several MPs have blamed the loss to poor service delivery by the party.
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Demos in Tunisia for women's rights

Tunisian women shout slogans during a protest calling for the respect of women's rights and other fundamental rights in Tunis. (AFP)

Tunis - Thousands of Tunisians demonstrated in the capital late Monday for women's rights in the biggest show of force by the opposition since April as the Islamist-led government faces growing dissent.

Two demonstrations, one authorised and the other not, were held to support the withdrawal of a planned article in the constitution backed by the Islamists that refers to "complementarity" and not equality of the sexes.

Thousands of people assembled opposite the parliament building in Tunis after the breaking of the Ramadan fast, while several hundred defied a ban to gather on the main city centre Habib Bourguiba Avenue.

Another demonstration was attended by about 1,000 people in Sfax, 260km south of the capital.

The gatherings in Tunis were the biggest by the opposition movement since a banned march was violently broken up on Habib Bourguiba Avenue in April.

The demonstrators, mobilised by feminist groups, human rights and opposition organisations, were celebrating on Monday the anniversary of the promulgation of the Personal Status Code (CSP) in 1956 under Tunisia's first president, Habib Bourguiba.

Tunisian women are rising up against the proposed article in the new constitution seen by many as an Islamist ploy to reverse the principle of gender equality that made Tunisia a beacon of modernity in the Arab world when it was introduced nearly six decades ago.

The National Constituent Assembly, elected after the downfall last year of dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, is currently drafting a new national charter.

proposed article

The NCA parliamentary committee adopted last week a proposed article that activists say would compromise rights enshrined in the CSP. The article must still be ratified at a plenary session of the interim parliament.

The 1956 code was the first of its kind in the Arab world.

It abolished polygamy, under which Muslim men are allowed to have as many as four wives, and the practice of repudiation, under which husbands could divorce simply by saying so three times.

At the same time, it instituted not only judicial divorce but also civil marriage.

It is a system now deeply rooted in Tunisian society, where women are active in all sectors of society.

While none of these principles would be lost under the proposed article, activists fear that its language represents a step toward rolling back their rights.

At issue, concretely, is that women's place in society would be defined in terms of their relation to men.

The offending article stipulates that the state guarantees "the protection of women's rights... under the principle of complementarity to man within the family and as an associate of man in the development of the country".

A petition addressed to the NCA, and so far signed by more than 8 000 people on the Internet, says "the state is about to vote on an article in the constitution that limits the citizenship rights of women, under the principle of their complementarity to men and not their equality".

The petition stresses that women, who "are citizens just like men, should not be defined in terms of men."
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DRC Denies Abandoning Diplomatic Efforts over Security Crisis

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) will continue its diplomatic efforts to resolve the country’s security challenges in the restive north Kivu province, according to Information Minister Lambert Mende.

Mende said Kinshasa has been able to raise awareness about the need for a neutral international force to help defeat armed groups in the area that are often accused of violently attacking unarmed civilians.

“It is untrue to say that we have abandoned the diplomatic efforts,” Mende said. “We have decided to advance with three kinds of efforts -- diplomatic, military and political endeavors to call upon our people to support the resistance. We are waging to stop the invasion of our country.”

His comments came after regional leaders at a recent summit meeting disagreed on the composition of a regional force to be deployed to the DRC. But, the leaders
mandated a committee of ministers to work out the details of the international force.

Mende said the diplomatic and regional efforts form part of the government’s strategy to resolve the security crisis.

Critics described the regional heads of state summit as a failure, but information minister Mende disagreed.

“We have succeeded in bringing the heads of state meeting in Kampala to decide to set up a committee of defense ministers of all 11 countries… with an agenda to decide the neutral international force that would be deployed between the two countries [Uganda and Rwanda],” said Mende.

The defense ministers meeting is scheduled to be held in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, Wednesday. The ministers are expected to present their recommendations to the regional leaders who are also scheduled to hold another summit August 30th in Uganda.

Mende said the government wants to resolve the security problem quickly in order to reduce the loss of human life.

“We are very near our solution of having and international neutral force that can be partly served by MONUSCO (UN Peacekeepers) now. We think that this will work, and this will be [easier] to implement.”

The latest wave of violence in the DRC began in April, when a group of Congolese soldiers mutinied and formed the Tutsi rebel group M23. Since then, fighting in the region has sent thousands fleeing over the border into neighboring Uganda.

Analysts say there is diplomatic tension between Kinshasa and Rwanda following accusations that the Kigali government has been supporting rebels fighting the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) in north Kivu province. But, Kigali has rejected accusations that it is supporting rebels, including the M23 group.
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Transitional government's term must not be extended, Somali President warns

Somali leaders endorse new constitution
Somalia President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed has urged elders currently picking a parliament that will choose the battle-weary country's next leader that the term of the current transition government cannot be extended beyond August 20.

A Conflict Resolution Committee comprising 25 traditional clan elders is meeting in Mogadishu to pick 275 members of a new parliament who would then choose a new President, according to a peace roadmap.

President Ahmed urged the leaders to accelerate the process and said that donors would not accept an extension to the tenure of the current Transitional Federal Government (TFG).

"The international community will not accommodate any delay in the selection of the members of the parliament," he said.

"Let is have the list of the MPs as soon as possible, " he urged the committee.

The chair of the committee, Mr Garad Jama Garad Ali, said that his team's work was at an advanced stage.

"My team's work is running smoothly," he said, dismissing reports that the process was plagued by internal disputes.

According to a roadmap agreed by the country's main political groupings in September 2011, the TFG's term ends by August 20, 2012.

The document, signed in Mogadishu and supported by a series of subsequent accords and protocols, sets milestones including the formation of a 275-member legislative house to elect a new President for Somalia.

But election fever has gripped Mogadishu as tens of Somali politicians campaign for the nation’s top post, with the TFG having less than a week to dissolve itself and make way for the new parliament to form a permanent government.

The comments from the two leaders came after the United Nations and other agencies criticised irregularities in the parliamentarians' selection and said there was a possibility that deadlines would be missed.

Somalia is currently enjoying a period of relative stability after decades of conflict following the collapse of the central government in 1991.

Analysts say that the current process is the country's best chance for peace in years. 
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Telecom firms face penalty over unsolicited messages

Clients also reported poor quality of service characterised by poor network quality mobile money transaction services.

The Uganda Communications Commission will punish telecom service providers and SMS media companies that send out unsolicited messages and caller ring-back tunes.

In a UCC notice to the telecoms, and seen by Daily Monitor yesterday, UCC Executive Director Godfrey Mutaabazi warned all players in this industry to desist from offering unsought-for services to telecom subscribers.

“ All short code assignees stand warned and must take corrective action on major outcries of the public, among them; automatic content subscriptions without customers’ consent, repeated sending of similar messages and unjust deductions for the unsolicited messages,” Mr Mutabazi told Daily Monitor yesterday.

Caller ring-back tunes refer to ringtones offered by a given telecom company at a fee while unsolicited text messages are messages sent to consumers through the service provider and the receiver is charged.

According to a UCC Consumer Complaint report released last week, Warid Telecom, Airtel Uganda Ltd and MTN posted poor ratings. In the report, basing on a scale of 30 respondents who were interviewed, 100 per cent complained about the increased caller ring-back tunes while 90 per cent protested the increased unsolicited SMS.

According to the UCC 2011 statistics, Uganda has 16 million subscribers. If each of these receives at least one unsolicited message, then it means about Shs2.4 billion changes in a single day. This is because each text message of this kind costs an average of Shs150.
Industry players yesterday defended themselves.

Telecom firms face penalty over unsolicited messages
SMS Media’s Director for Business Convergence Simon Kaheru said most of these companies are professional in the way they operate and comply to UCC regulations.

“At SMS Media, for example, we work hard to avoid spamming. We have invested heavily in software to manage professional subscription services and resolving any user issues that might arise out of SMS messages received by mobile phone users.”

In a previous meeting between UCC and the five major telecom companies, it was reportedly agreed that players desist from charging for such services, especially for consumers who do not concede to the request for such services.

“We agreed that they offer consumers a choice of opting out, and for such customers, they should not then receive any more messages or calls related to that particular service and they should not be charged. If telecoms do not adhere to this call, we shall impose a penalty,” Mr Fred Otunnu, UCC’s spokesperson said.

Telecoms confirmed this meeting, although they declined from commenting on the outcomes of the report. Warid’s CEO Naidu Sheilandra said: “I have not seen the report so I cannot explain anything”
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Burning cultural sites will only strengthen Buganda - Katikkiro

Vigilant. Eng. Walusimbi cautioned the Baganda to remain vigilant and protect their property.

Buganda Katikkiro John Baptist Walusimbi yesterday said the kingdom’s enemies who were torching its cultural sites to weaken it are wasting time.

Addressing the 5th Lukiiko (Parliament) session at Mengo, Eng. Walusimbi said Buganda’s strength lies elsewhere and whoever believed that burning Naggalabi Coronial Site and Kasubi Royal Tombs would diminish the kingdom’s influence and strength is mistaken.

“We have continued to experience terrible challenges, including the burning down of our cultural sites. They are instead making us much stronger,” the Katikkiro said.

He said while Baganda should remain calm and vigilant to protect their property, government should release investigations report into the Kasubi tombs to avoid suspicion.

The Naggalabi Coronation Site was burnt last week. Police said unknown people were behind the mysterious fire. This is the second key kingdom traditional site in less than four years to be destroyed by a mysterious fire.

The Lukiiko also demanded for an immediate release of Budo Junior School inferno report, saying the delay may create false suspicion. But the Presidential Press Secretary, Mr Tamale Mirundi, asked Mengo to remain patient since there was nothing to hide.

Burning cultural sites will only strengthen Buganda - Katikkiro
“The way government operates is totally different from the way Mengo does. It clear that government responded immediately when the tombs were gutted and it is the very government which instituted an inquiry committee,” Mr Mirundi said on phone.

Meanwhile, police are investigating a youth group which claims to work under Buganda kingdom. Police yesterday said the group started as a unit agitating for Buganda rights has exceeded its mandate by involving itself in crime.

Speaking at a weekly press conference in Kampala, the commander of Kampala Metropolitan Police, Mr Simon Kaweesi, said they would not tolerate any form of disorder.
which will cause chaos in the city and elsewhere.

The unit which started as a small group in Kiseka Market has established other units in Kasubi and the latter allege that they work under Mengo, a constituent of Buganda kingdom.
They have been involved in different criminal activities the latest being in Naggalabi at a scene of fire where they illegally broke down peoples’ houses claiming that they did not have permission to construct on Buganda land.
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DP’s Mbabaali Arrested Over City Protest

Kampala Police have Tuesday arrested Democratic Party (DP) top shot Jude Mbabaali for holding an illegal assembly in the city against judges of the Court of Appeal, accusing them of bias.
Mbabaali told Chimpreports.com that he wants two judges Remmy Kasule and Justice Kavuma dropped from the Coram hearing his court petition in which he is challenging the election of Vice President Edward Ssekandi.
Mbabaali lost the 2011 Bukoto Central MP election to Ssekandi.
He later petitioned High Court to nullify Ssekandi’s election, citing electoral malpractices that included rigging, ballot stuffing and intimidation of voters.
Mbabaali lost the case before taking the matter to the Court of Appeal.
He now says Justice Kasule is closely related to Ssekandi while Kavuma runs a joint business with the Vice President in Rubaga, Kampala, and can’t therefore dispense justice in this particular case.
This website could not authenticate Mbabaali’s claims.
As we write this, Mbabaali has been detained at Kampala Central Police Station where he is being interrogated by detectives.
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Mugabe fears unrest over youth unemployment

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has warned that rising youth unemployment could lead to unrest and called for peaceful elections expected next year.

The veteran ruler was addressing a memorial of Zimbabwe’s fallen heroes on Monday where he also urged political tolerance after his supporters jeered at Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai as he arrived for the commemorations at the shrine.

“Youth unemployment and under-employment present one of the biggest challenges facing the nation, which if not addressed, is a potential threat to national peace and stability,” President Mugabe said.
“We do not need to be reminded that economic stabilisation and sustainable growth cannot be achieved unless there is peace in the country.

“The promotion of sustainable peace is therefore important for the social cohesion of our nation.”

An estimated 85 per cent of Zimbabwe’s 12 million population is said to be unemployed and the situation has been worsened by a decade long economic collapse.

The Zimbabwean leader last year sought protection from Russia and China against perceived Western enemies that he blamed for the Arab Spring.


He also accused African countries of failing to unite during protests that toppled long serving rulers in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia.

President Mugabe said Zimbabwe cannot achieve an economic turnaround without peace.

"I wish to urge all Zimbabweans, all political parties, religious groups, civil society and other institutions to desist from engaging in violent campaigns during the elections,” he said.
“Let us fully embrace peaceful, tolerant and non-violent ways of campaigning before, during and after the actual conduct of elections.”
He said the country was on course to re-write its constitution despite disagreements in the inclusive government.

“It may go on a bit longer, once there is consensus, the draft will be subjected to a referendum,” he said.

“During the referendum, people will be afforded the opportunity to vote the adoption or rejection of the proposed constitution.”

President Mugabe’s Zanu PF party last week demanded amendments to the draft constitution that whittles down the president’s powers saying people’s views that were captured during an outreach had been ignored.
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Zuma off to Harare again for mediation efforts South African President Jacob Zuma.

In another frantic attempt to solve the widening divisions and rising tensions in Zimbabwe’s coalition government, South African President Jacob Zuma will visit Zimbabwe on Wednesday, his office has announced.

According to a statement from Mac Maharaj, the Spokesperson for the Office of the Presidency, Mr Zuma’s visit is “part of South Africa’s responsibility as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) mediator to facilitate the implementation of the Global Political Agreement”.

South Africa has played the role of chief mediator since the violent and disputed elections of 2008, with President Zuma taking over from his predecessor Thabo Mbeki after taking over the presidency in 2009.

South Africa’s mediation efforts helped pave the way for the Global Political Agreement, which was agreed upon by the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) led by President Robert Mugabe and the then opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by the current Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Analysts say the agreement, which led to the formation in February 2009 of the current power-sharing government, was intended to help diffuse the post-election impasse that threatened to bring the country to a standstill at the time.


However, with the current government’s term of office set to come to an end soon and fresh elections due to take place on a yet-to-be-specified date in the near future, little progress has been made on some of the most contentious issues.

Mr Maharaj told South African media on Monday that President Zuma will meet the leaders of the three leading political parties to press for political reforms and new elections under a recently completed draft constitution.

Although representatives of the rival parties completed drafting the constitution last month, Zanu-PF has stalled on efforts to subject it to a referendum this year, saying they want some contentious clauses reviewed.

Commenting on why President Zuma has decided to meet Zimbabwe’s leaders now, Mr Maharaj told Times Live, “It is part of his on-going duties to ensure that the country is on the route for a fair, intimidation-free election”.

President Zuma’s visit comes ahead of the SADC annual summit in Mozambique capital Maputo.
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Missing UPDF Choppers Were Shot

The latest details coming in now show that it’s suspected Kenyans deliberately gave wrong route information to pilots of the Ugandan choppers.

However, the contingent leader, Lt. Col. Chris Kasaija, being senior later sensed that something was wrong during the mission thus hard landing in the forests.

It’s yet unclear why Ugandans were denied correct information.

9:49am: Kenya’s Capital Fm now reports that the burnt wreckage of two Ugandan army helicopters was found Tuesday, two days after crashing in a remote mountainous region of Kenya while flying to war-torn Somalia, army officials said.

“The aircraft have been found but they are all burnt,” a senior Kenyan military official said. “We do not know the fate of the crew.” Kenyan army spokesman Bogita Ongeri confirmed the aircraft had been found.

9:00am: Uganda’s military intelligence is investigating reports that the two missing UPDF choppers were fired at from the ground before they tumbled down in flames in Kenya.

A crew over 14 Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) Air Force is suspected to have perished in the deadly attack that has rattled the army’s hierarchy

The new development could be linked to either sabotage of Uganda’s aerial mission against Al Shabaab positions, according to sources.

“The Kenyan territory where the choppers were forced down should have been safe. These developments are disturbing,” a source told Chimpreports.com.

The deputy Chief of Staff (Airforce) Brig. Moses Rwakitarate is leading a Ugandan team in Kenya that is coordinating efforts with Kenya Air Force to retrieve the wreckages of the UPDF choppers.

Uganda could have lost billions of shillings in the eyebrow-raising incident.

More details to follow

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9 Arrested Over Kampala Protest

Police have Monday morning arrested 9 people as they were demonstrating at Kampala Constitutional Square over escalating water bills.

The youthful activists were marching to the National Water Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) offices along Jinja Road to assure the managers there that an increment of Shs85 per 20 liters is unacceptable.

Police swiftly swung into action and intercepted the protestors before bundling them on pickup trucks.

According to Kampala police commander Felix Kaweesi, the protestors did not notify police that they were to carry out a demonstration and would therefore face charges of holding an unlawful assembly.

He advised people should seek advice on how to solve simple matters, arguing that demonstrations would help.

Some of the arrested activists include Robert Kabogere, David Aisu, Joshua Kidaga, Godfrey Lutamwa and Robinah Wabulembo.
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Rwanda Launches Automated Passport Scans

Rwanda’s Directorate of Immigration and Emigration has launched an automated passenger arrival system at Kigali International Airport.

This makes Rwanda the first country in the East African region to introduce such technology and cementing its place as a leader in tech innovation on the African continent.

The launch brings to a close four years worth of preparatory work, with the system having undergone a successful pilot process.

Rwandan passport holders will now be able to use two electronic gates, known as Automated Passenger Clearance Systems (APCS), to automatically gain clearance to enter the country.

An electronic passport reader and fingerprint scanner remove the need for human input and passport stamps, and will save much time at arrivals. Kigali International Airport is expecting 100,000 extra passengers to use the airport this year, having had 350,000 in 2011.

The whole process takes just 17 seconds, according to the Civil Aviation Authority. It is part of a concerted effort to improve all services at the airport and crack down on cross border crimes.

The system is well protected from any attempts by passengers to illegally pass through the gates. Thought to be the first in Africa, it boosts Rwanda’s reputation as an innovative technological nation.

“It’s clear that this airport is not big enough and the technology will reduce the tendency of waiting in long queues for clearance,” said Ange Sebutege, Public Relations Officer at the Directorate of Immigration and Emigration.

Officials said it was important that the rest of the airport followed the example of immigration and improved their services.

Rwandair CEO John Mirenge said that though other programmes were being put in place to expand the airport and make entering and leaving Rwanda an easier experience, in the meantime other departments had to focus on speed and efficiency.

“This new technology will enable passengers move swiftly through immigration procedures and it is important that all the other services within the airport follow suit in quickening their services,” he said.

It is the latest technological advancement for the Directorate, which last year won an Intego award for the best institution in e-Government. It also won the prestigious African Association for Public Administration and Management (AAPAM) award in 2009 for its Online Visa Application project.
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FDC: Museveni Must Apologise For Kasese Poll Remarks

The FDC spokesperson Wafula Oguttu has urged president Museveni to come out and prove his statements that the main opposition party got victory in Kasese after rigging the elections.

“If Museveni does not tender evidence that we rigged elections in Kasese district Woman MP By-election, he should withdraw his statements and apologise to FDC,” said Wafula.

Museveni last week said FDC could not have won Kasese polls had they not bribed police and Electoral Commission officials.

He said FDC capitalised on the many strategic mistakes that were made by the NRM party during the campaigns and during the elections.

Wafula said the arrest of former MP Christopher Kibazanga, a prince of Rwenzururu Kigdom, just a day before the elections, was a “silly mistake” that enabled FDC to dismember NRM in the elections.

Wafula further said FDC has no capacity to rig the election given the fact that they are not the ruling party and the system running the elections is not their design.

He said the transfer of the DPC and the Electoral commissioner of Kasese district was a clear indication of the NRM’s plot to rig the elections without any hindrances.

However, he said, FDC members vigilantly guarded the elections to an extent of hiring boda boda men to follow up the ballot boxes up to the different polling stations.

In a related development, campaigns for FDC party president are officially resuming this week after the candidates’ agents meeting due tomorrow to design a way of harmonizing their campaign programmes.

The campaigns are to last for three months, ending on November 20.

The NEC members will meet and elect the party president on November 22.

Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu, Geoffrey Ekanya and Nandali Mafabi were last weekend nominated to contest for the party’s top slot. ..
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Bounty on heads of fugitives not going away–US envoy

A senior US government official has reiterated his country’s commitment to have notorious fugitives that are wanted to answer significant allegations about their involvement in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda tracked, arrested and brought to book.

Amb.Stephen Rapp.

Ambassador Stephen Rapp, the country’s head of Global Criminal Justice, confirmed at a news conference he addressed in Kigali that although ICTR has remained a residual institution, his office has a responsibility to work towards bringing the fugitives to justice.

With six fugitives on the loose, through its reward for justice, the US is determined to help justice by parting with 30 million US dollars (Rwf, 18bn) to people giving reliable information that will help in the arresting and bringing the fugitives to justice.

Other most sought after suspects that are still at large include Felicien Kabuga, the suspected chief financier of the Genocide, whose whereabouts are not known. Others are Protais Mpiranya, the former commandant of the notorious Presidential Guard, and former Minister of Defence, Augustin Bizimana.

Each fugitive has 5 million US dollars (Rwf, 300mn) bounty on his head.

Rapp noted that for the last 13 years he has been the US’s envoy for criminal justice, he has authorised 13 rewards to be paid for information leading to the arrest and transfer to Arusha of people wanted by the ICTR.

He said that the reward is always 5 million US dollars and payment depends on how much information the person gives, if it leads to arrest, whether it puts the family [of the informant] in danger and how high level the suspect was.

“Sadly, Kabuga, Protais Mporanyi and Augustin Bizimana are still at large. It is important to bring these persons to justice,” he said.

“International warrants run in the benefit of Kigali. The warrants have an international character, we shall pay rewards for information leading to arrests,” he added.

The Ambassador said that it is only through justice that Genocide shall be prevented. “We send the signals that; look, if you commit this kind of crime, there is no rest for the rest of your life, the world shall track you down and bring you to justice,” he stressed.

Amb. Rapp who visited the DRC told reporters that he delivered a strong message against xenophobia and that under no circumstances should anyone target the civilians because of what is happening between the armed groups.

Rwanda’s chief prosecutor who was speaking during the same news conference, welcomed the indictment of Sylvestre Mudacumura by the ICC but called for collaborative efforts to have him arrested and arraigned before court.
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Making of peacekeeping experts

On July 12, 2012, twelve Rwandan Police officers serving under the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) were decorated with the United Nations Medal and certificates in recognition of their outstanding and exemplary performance in capacity building for the South Sudan National Police Service.

Rwandan Peacekeepers going to South Sudan. The New Times / Timothy Kisambira.

On several occasions, over the last couple of years, Rwandan peace keepers deployed mainly in Sudan and Haiti, have been recognised for their discipline and role in ensuring peace and stability during their time in foreign service.

The men and women have been called to intervene in times of conflict, recovery and reconstruction.

Despite global commitments – highlighted in the UN charter – to support peacekeeping missions, not many states are forthcoming when it comes to providing peacekeepers.

According to senior Rwandan officers, after being abandoned during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, the leadership in Rwanda committed to contribute, within its means, to World Peace.

Rwandan police peacekeepers are deployed in seven countries around the world including South Sudan, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

To date, about 470 Rwandan police peacekeepers including 130 women, have been deployed in different missions.

Chief Superintendent Francis Nkwaya the Rwandan Police commander in the UN mission in Sudan says the peacekeepers are defined as “Rwanda’s ambassadors who should always endeavour to lift the country’s flag high in the areas where they are deployed.”

In addition to the police officers, Rwanda has more than 3,200 soldiers in Darfur serving under the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID). Their mandate was, in July, extended for another year by the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU).

According to Lt. Gen. Patrick Nyamvumba, UNAMID’s Force Commander, beyond the desire to contribute to international peace and security, Rwanda, as a member of the UN and the AU, believes that Africans have a bigger role to play in solving the continent’s problems since they understand the challenges well.

Gen Nyavumba adds that it’s a constitutional obligation for the Rwanda Defence Forces to participate in peace support operations.

Prior to deployment, the officers under-go thorough training.

In 2005, the Rwanda National Police built its peacekeeping Unit which conducts training and deployment.

The peacekeepers tour of duty lasts 12 months with provisions for extension based on request of the host nations.

According to Superintendent Ejide Ruzigamanzi, the Director of Peace support operations at the Rwanda National Police, Rwandan police personnel were first sent to Sudan when many countries shied away from the cost of deploying troops in the volatile country.

In addition to the cost implications, the international community was concerned about deploying peacekeepers ahead of a peace agreement which later saw Africa’s second largest country split into two.

Supt Ruzigamanzi, explains that Rwandan personnel are preferred because of their experience in post-conflict policing.

“The results have been spectacular,” Ruzigamanzi says, adding that the peacekeeping efforts have saved lives in the areas of deployment.

Through their interaction with the communities they live in, Rwandan peacekeepers have participated in charity projects, building a bond with the natives.

According to Gen. Nyavumba, the troops are also involved in civil – military relations that have resulted to the peacekeepers helping to build schools and clinics, providing free medical treatment and increasing access to clean water.

“Results of peace keeping can be measured by achievements on the ground. In relation to Darfur, you must have realised that there is improved security and relative stability. There still remains a lot to be done but the achievements in terms of improved security cannot be overlooked,” Gen Nyavumba told The New Times. He, however, noted that there are a number of challenges including insufficient logistics and for Darfur, not having an all inclusive political agreement made their task more difficult.

Nyamvumba noted that unlike other missions, Darfur peace keepers were deployed ahead of a peace agreement which made it difficult to keep peace that was not there.

“So the mission had to work with the Sudanese and the international community to have an agreement which should have been there before the deployment of the force,” he said.

“Additionally it is never easy to have more than 40 countries with diverse backgrounds in terms of training, doctrine, language etc coming together and doing the same thing.”

Rwanda is ranked eighth in police contributing countries and ranked first in deploying female police officers, according to Supt. Ruzigamanzi.

Supt. Ruzigamanzi attributes this high regard to the institutions and country’s leadership.

Officers on peacekeeping mission, he said, must exhibit behaviour which conforms to the Rwanda National Police code of conduct.

“The central command ensures there is no gap,” Indeed, while recognising Rwandan peacekeepers in Darfur, the UNMISS Police Commissioner Dr. Fred Yiga thanked the Rwandan officers for their professionalism, commitment and dedication after they had completed their tour.

“This medal award is not a routine exercise. You have earned the medals and you should therefore wear them with pride” Commissioner Yiga said.
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M23 rebels have not committed war crimes, says US envoy

Ambassador Stephen Rapp, head of the US office of Global Criminal Justice, and Rwanda’s Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga addressing journalists in Kigali yesterday.

There is no evidence the M23 rebels, who are fighting the Congo government, have committed war crimes, a top US war crimes official has said. Ambassador Stephen Rapp, head of the US office of Global Criminal Justice, and Rwanda’s Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga addressing journalists in Kigali yesterday.
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Five perish in boat accident on Lake Albert

Five members of the same family are feared dead after their boat capsized on Lake Albert in Buliisa district.

Butiaba, Lake Albert

Ibrahim Saiga, the Buliisa district police commander said on Tuesday that the boat that set off from Sonsio landing site capsized off Walukuba landing site in Butiaba Sub-county, Buliisa district at 7:30pm.

He said the boat that was carrying cowry shells had six people aboard but one was rescued by fishermen who were casting nets deep in the waters.

Saiga, identified those missing as Joseph Ssebale, 18, Ziwa Batulumayo, 22, Godfrey Kiwanuka, 21, Peterson Mukasa, 18, and its Navigator only identified as Masikini.

The four with exception of Masikini, are brothers of the same family and sons to Aisha Nabukenya, of Butiaba Sub-county in Buliisa district.

The survivor has only been identified as Mzee, 14, also of the same family. Nabukenya is a businesswoman dealing in cowry shells at Butiaba landing site. The five were returning to Butiaba.

Saiga blamed the accident on overloading and the turbulent storms by that time. He said the boat had twenty kilograms of shells. The search for the bodies continues but the waters are still hostile.
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Military was in touch with Uganda choppers, says KDF

Chief of Defence Forces General Julius Karangi released flight details of the ill-fated Uganda military helicopters, saying they were in touch with the aircraft until after fueling in Nanyuki.

Chief of Defence Forces General Julius Karangi

He said Kenya Defence Forces was aware the four helicopters were transiting Kenyan airspace and made all necessary arrangements for a safe flight. General Karangi said normal formalities and clearance were granted to Uganda and even plans made for refueling en-route to Mogadishu, Somalia. “Those helicopters could not fly direct to Mogadishu and had to make stopovers for refuelling,” said Karangi.

“The last reported stop-over for fuelling was in Nanyuki, and our officer was there but only one helicopter made it to Garissa on Sunday,” said the General. He said KDF learnt of the missing three aircraft at 5pm when one of the soldiers in the helicopters made a distress call using his mobile phone. Karangi confirmed one was completely burnt and the other was hanging off a cliff.

“We are not sure of the fate of the soldiers but we will keep you informed,” Karangi said.

Karangi was addressing the Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations and dismissed claims that KDF was slow in responding to the crash saying such incidents required concerted efforts and anyone on site was free to offer help.

Seven Uganda Peoples Defence Force officers were rescued. The two other copters were discovered yesterday in the forest and the fate of nine crewmembers is still unknown.

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Eight survive army helicopter crash; two dead

The injured captain of a Somalia-bound Ugandan attack helicopter is strapped on a stretcher

Theirs were among three Russian-made Mi-24 combat helicopters that went down Sunday in a remote mountainous region of Kenya. One was found on Monday, with all seven servicemen on board rescued.

“We have rescued eight survivors,” said Simon Gitau, a senior warden with the Kenya Wildlife Service, which is involved in the rescue operation. “All of them were in the helicopter that crashed but did not catch fire.”

The eight survivors found Tuesday had trekked for five miles (eight kilometres) through dense forests in search of help.

“They are in good condition after walking away from the crash site,” Gitau said. “All of them have been airlifted to safety,” he said, adding: “We are now using sniffer dogs to help trace more survivors, if any, in the forest.”

The aircraft came down in thickly forested mountainous terrain dominated by snowcapped Mount Kenya, Africa’s second-highest peak at 5,199 metres (17,057 feet). Wild animals including elephants, leopards and rhinos prowl the forests, about 110 kilometres (70 miles) north of the capital Nairobi.

Wreckage of the two helicopters was found early Tuesday morning, with two dead bodies sighted in one that was still on fire.

“The helicopter is still burning, but we do not know if those were the only two soldiers inside or if there are others. We are yet to confirm that,” Gitau added.

Kenyan Chief of Defence Forces, General Julius Karangi told reporters that one helicopter “had been found burnt completely, and the other one hanging somewhere on the cliff.”

Uganda said that at least 14 servicemen were thought to have been aboard the two ill-fated helicopters. The helicopters were flying to Somalia to support African Union troops battling Shebab insurgents linked to Al-Qaeda who have vowed to topple the country’s Western-backed government.

An Mi-17 transport helicopter that had taken off from Uganda on Sunday as part of the same mission landed without problems in the eastern Kenyan town of Garissa near the Somali border for a scheduled refueling stop.

Uganda provides around a third of the nearly 17,000-strong AU force in Somalia, and Kampala had said last week that it would send its first combat and transport helicopters to the Horn of Africa nation.

The aircraft are seen as key to extending gains made against the hardline Shebab insurgents, who have fled a string of stronghold towns in recent months, stretching AU military resources over a far wider zone.

Kenya invaded southern Somalia last year to attack Al Shabab bases across its eastern border before later joining the AU force.

It has deployed its own air force — including attack helicopters and fighter jets — to bombard Shebab positions.

Somalia’s weak and corruption-ridden transitional government — in power for eight years — is due to be replaced later this month through a UN-backed process in which elders will select new leaders.
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