‘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 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 Yong 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.’
- New report exposes the ‘Dark side of conservation’
- Sengwer: Conservation Vs Communities (Documentary Preview)
- World Bank chief steps in over evictions of Kenya’s indigenous people
- World Bank accuses itself of failing to protect Kenya forest dwellers
- World Bank and UN carbon offset scheme ‘complicit’ in genocidal land grabs – NGOs
- World Bank and aid donors accused of enabling land grabs
- Is the World Bank enabling agribusiness land grabs?
- Architecture of the global land acquisition system: applying the tools of network science to identify key vulnerabilities
- Virtual nature, violent accumulation: The ‘spectacular failure’ of carbon offsetting at a Ugandan National Park
- The Darker Side of Green: Plantation Forestry and Carbon Violence in Uganda
- What’s in a number? Why the struggle to quantify the global land grabbing crisis is part of the problem
- Global carbon market to reach record volumes by 2016
- Land grabbing as a driver of environmental change
- Kenyan Government torches hundreds of Sengwer homes in the forest glades in Embobut
- Peak soil: industrial civilisation is on the verge of eating itself
- See Which Countries Are Land Grabbers with Land Matrix’s Cool Maps
- Who Owns the Earth? A Review of Fred Pearce’s The Land Grabbers
- Dust Bowl the Greatest Man-Made Eco Disaster in U.S. History
- Rainforest Roulette (Rainforest Foundation Report)
- Can Carbon Trading Save Vanishing Forests?
‘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’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.’
‘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)
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’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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.