Category Archives: Uganda

Wakaliwood: New Wave of Ultra-Violent Ugandan DIY Action Cinema

‘In the Ugandan slum of Wakaliga, a thriving action film industry called Wakaliwood has emerged. Mixing elements of Western action films and Chinese Kung Fu movies with Ugandan culture, Wakaliwood’s films have garnered a cult following not just in in Uganda, but all over the world. We spend a day on the set of the next Wakaliwood hit.’ (VICE)


Carbon Colonialism: How the Fight Against Climate Change Is Displacing Africans

Nafeez Ahmed writes for Motherboard:

global-land-grabCarbon trading—one of the biggest weapons touted by governments and business in the global fight against climate change—could end up killing the planet. In Africa, human rights campaigners say, it is already killing people.

Since the launch of a World Bank sponsored conservation programme in west Kenya eights years ago, the Bank-funded Kenya Forest Service (FKS) has conducted a relentless scorched earth campaign to evict the 15,000 strong indigenous Sengwer community from their ancestral homes in the Embobut forest and the Cherangany Hills. The pretext? The Sengwer are ‘squatters’ accelerating the degradation of the forest.

This October, with violence escalating, pressure from campaigners finally elicited a public response from World Bank president Jim Yon​g Kim, who promised to help facilitate “a lasting, peaceful resolution to this long, unfinished business of land rights in Kenya.”

But according to British film-maker Dean Puckett, who is currently on the ground in Embobut forest in west Kenya capturing extraordinary footage of recent events, the plight of the Sengwer has only worsened dramatically since Kim’s intervention.’


U.S. cuts aid to Uganda over country’s anti-gay law

From Reuters:

Yoweri Museveni‘The United States on Thursday cut aid to Uganda, imposed visa restrictions and canceled a regional military exercise in response to a Ugandan law that imposes harsh penalties on homosexuality. The White House said in a statement the measures were intended to “reinforce our support for human rights of all Ugandans regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Homosexuality is taboo in most African countries and illegal in 37, including in Uganda where it has been a crime since British rule. Uganda’s new law, signed by President Yoweri Museveni in February, imposes jail terms of up to life for “aggravated homosexuality” which includes homosexual sex with a minor or while HIV-positive.’


Uganda minister ‘unfit’ for UN appointment

From Al Jazeera:

‘Uganda’s Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa, who was previously ousted as a junior investment minister over claims he abused his office, is not fit to become the president of the United Nations General Assembly, a watchdog has said. Kutesa has been implicated in at least two more scandals since 1999, including allegations that he accepted bribes from foreign companies seeking oil contracts in Uganda.

“He’s a hugely divisive figure because of his chequered history in Uganda’s politics,” said Nicholas Opiyo, a prominent Ugandan lawyer who runs a watchdog group called Chapter Four. “He’s not a paragon of virtues and he’s not the best this country can put forward,” Opiyo said. Kutesa, who denies all allegations, is Africa’s unanimous choice to become the UN General Assembly’s president. He’s expected to be elected to the UN position on June 11, replacing John W Ashe of Antigua and Barbuda. The post rotates annually by region.’


Hunt for Kony Exposes Aid Sham in Uganda: Interview with Jane Bussmann

Abby Martin speaks with Jane Bussman, comedian and author of the book ‘A Journey to the Dark Heart of Nameless Unspeakable Evil’ a comedic yet sensible account of her experience hunting for Ugandan warlord, Joseph Kony, also discussing the negative impact of foreign aid in Africa.’ (Breaking the Set)

Rwanda’s Formula for Success: Murder Your Neighbors and Steal Their Wealth

Glen Ford writes for Black Agenda Report:

Kagame_australia1The New York Times touts Rwanda as a place of economic miracles, a country with almost no mineral resources that nevertheless plans to “leapfrog” straight to an information economy. What the Times fails to mention is that Rwanda’s relative prosperity is based on the extermination of its Congolese neighbors and the expropriation of their natural resources.

In the years since 1996, at least 6 million people have died in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a direct result of an invasion by two U.S. client states: Rwanda and Uganda. It is the greatest slaughter since World War II, yet only a small fraction of the American public is even aware that the genocide occurred. The public remains ignorant of the ongoing crime – in which the United States is fully complicit – because the U.S. corporate media have successfully covered up the murder of millions of Congolese. More than that, organs like the New York Times act as PR agents for the perpetrators of the genocide, especially Rwanda – as exemplified by a puff piece that appeared in the Timesthis week, titled “Rwanda Reaches for New Economic Model.”


The Looming Battle for Uganda’s Gold

Hilary Heuler reports for Voice of America:

Having lost their traditional herds, the local people of Karamoja, Uganda, increasingly turned to small-scale gold mining as a meager but fairly steady source of income.  But with large mining interests moving into the region, even their gold could soon be taken from them. […] Recently international mining companies have begun exploration in Karamoja, looking for limestone, marble, iron ore and, of course, gold.

A Human Rights Watch report released February called attention to the threat these companies could pose if communities are not properly consulted.  Because land in Karamoja is communally owned, it said, the potential for land grabbing is very real. Nangiro is certain it will soon become impossible for the Karimojong to mine their own gold.


U.S. Christian Right Behind Anti-Gay Law Passed in Uganda: Interview with Rev. Kapya Kaoma

World Bank Suspends $90 Million Loan To Uganda After Museveni Signs Anti-Gay Law

African Anti-Gay Laws Are Damaging US Ties

An asylum seeker from Uganda covers his face with a paper bag in order to protect his identity as he marches with the LGBT Asylum Support Task Force during the Gay Pride Parade in BostonTim Marshall writes for Sky News:

Some 3,000km separate the capitals of Uganda and Nigeria, but on the issue of homosexuality and law you can hardly fit a slim legal document between them. The leaders of both countries believe that homosexuality is a sickness; one says it might exist in the West because of “abnormal breeding”. When such scientifically stupid views come from the top, it’s no surprise that ordinary people take that as encouragement to carry out pogroms against gay people.

In the Ugandan capital, Kampala, the parliament is poised to enable tougher anti-gay laws. These will not only result in a witch-hunt for homosexuals, it could cause a rift between Uganda and the United States. President Obama has already called the proposed laws “odious”, and hinted the US may have to consider the amount of aid it gives to Uganda. The country already has laws banning homosexuality, but the new legislation tightens the restrictions, raises the penalties and catches lesbians in its snare.


Uganda doubts LRA’s Joseph Kony serious about talks

File picture of Joseph Kony from 2006From BBC News:

Uganda’s government says it doubts rebel leader Joseph Kony is serious about peace after he purportedly sent a letter asking for forgiveness and calling for talks.

Government official Henry Okello-Oryem said a telephone conversation arranged with Mr Kony had failed to materialise.

The letter reportedly saw Mr Kony say his Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group was committed to “end this war”.


The White Supremacy of Genocide: Interview with Keith Harmon Snow

Uganda: no country for gay men

Bernard RandallFrom The Guardian:

Bernard Randall, the British gay man charged with homosexuality-related offences in a Ugandan court, glances up sceptically when I walk into his lawyer’s chambers. His Ugandan partner, Albert Cheptoyek, sits protectively in front of him, closer to the door, on a rickety wooden bench. Cheptoyek’s white shirt illuminates his dark sweaty skin, while Randall’s oversize dull-coloured clothes match his face, making him almost invisible.

And that perhaps may just be the effect he needs to get through the ordeal of having the content of a sex tape of him and his 30-year-old partner splashed over newspapers and across the media here. And not just any media, but the media of a country that has declared homosexuality to be an evil practice, a cancer imported from the west that must be stamped out no matter what the cost.

In 2009, Ugandan MPs proposed the death penalty for certain homosexual acts. The anti-homosexuality bill was shelved after international pressure, but it remains on parliament’s order paper and could be debated and passed at any time.

In Uganda the media routinely out gay people in an attempt to “protect” the moral fabric of society. In 2010 a tabloid called the Rolling Stoneprinted the names and addresses of people perceived to be gay and called on the public to hang them.


US Increasingly Supporting Government Repression in Africa

U.S. Army Spc. Tyler Meehan observes Kenyan traineesFrom Antiwar:

Ever since the onset of the Arab Spring, it has become increasingly difficult for the U.S. to maintain its decades-long policy of support for dictatorial Middle Eastern regimes that obediently conform to U.S. interests, as I wrote more than two years ago. While U.S. support for these regimes hasn’t shifted, cracks have begun to form, as was seen with the Obama administration’s decision this month to withhold some military aid to Egypt.

But as long-standing U.S. towards brutal Middle Eastern regimes begins to adjust due largely to increased awareness, America’s penchant for supporting dictatorship is shifting to Africa. Newly strengthened U.S. allies are sharply intensified domestic repression.


Uganda public order bill is ‘blow to political debate’

An Uganda policeman batons a journalist in Kampala on 28 May 2013, outside the Daily Monitor and Red Pepper newspapers, which were closed on May 20 by armed policeFrom BBC News:

Ugandan MPs have passed a controversial bill limiting public protests – branded a “serious blow to open political debate” by Amnesty International.

The Public Order Management bill was passed despite fierce criticism from religious leaders, opposition MPs and the public as well as rights groups.

Police approval will now be required if three or more people want to gather publicly to discuss political issues.

Supporters insist the bill is not insidious but practical.

Amnesty says the bill is part of a pattern of repression, pointing to the closure of two newspapers and two radio stations in the country in May 2013 for reporting on an alleged government plot to assassinate opposition MPs.

The public order bill was initially proposed in 2009 and was finally passed following months of bitter debate in and outside parliament.



60,000 Congolese flee to Uganda after rebel attack ~ AP

The Associated Press

More than 60,000 Congolese have fled to Uganda after a rebel attack on a town near the border in a continuing influx that is stretching humanitarian capacities, an aid group said Sunday.

The Uganda Red Cross has already registered 41,000 refugees and that 20,000 more are yet to go through that process, said spokeswoman Catherine Ntabadde.

‘‘Currently we are looking at about 65,000 people,’’ she said.

The refugees are entering Uganda though the frontier district of Bundibugyo and many have found temporary shelter on the campuses of three schools there, she said.

The refugee influx continues three days after a Ugandan-led rebel group attacked Kamango town and killed some people on Thursday, according to Ugandan military officials who are concerned the rebels are about to launch a major assault on Ugandan territory.