Ugandan dictator of 35 years, Museveni, backed by $1 billion in annual U.S. taxpayers’ subsidy. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
The United States provides almost $1 billion in annual aid to the kleptocratic and murderous regime of Gen. Yoweri Museveni in Uganda. This means American taxpayer’s money contributes to the ongoing killings in Uganda. Americans can help stop this by saying “Not With My Tax Dollars.”
We at Black Star News have an urgent request. Uganda holds elections Jan. 14, 2021. Dictator Museveni’s soldiers have been killing unarmed civilians who support opposition leaders determined to end his 35 years of tyranny.
We urge you to contact your Senator and have them co-sponsor Senator Bob Menendez’s (D-NJ) resolution calling for a review of all non-humanitarian aid to Uganda, as well as targeted sanctions against Ugandan officials who are implicated in human rights abuses. Please call your Senators and ask them to co-sponsor this crucial piece of legislation that could possibly help save thousands of lives in Uganda.
As you know from our coverage of Uganda over the years, the cruelty of Gen. Museveni’s security forces is becoming increasingly blatant. In recent months, they have shot, run over with military vehicles, or beaten to death scores, perhaps hundreds, of innocent unarmed Ugandans, including children. The carnage continued into December which saw not only more killings, but also the arrest of Nicholas Opiyo, one of Africa’s finest human rights lawyers on concocted charges of “money laundering.” Thousands of others are reportedly illegally detained, and some are tortured. It was international pressure that led to lawyer Opiyo’s release on bail. Gen. Museveni’s main challenger for the Jan. 14 vote—when the dictator tries to rig the election for a sixth term—is 38-year-old popular musician and Member of parliament Bobi Wine. He’s inspired people all over the world with his music, as well as his courage, leadership, generosity and grace. He’s risked his life many times, and told The New York Times that he’s prepared to die to see Uganda liberated.
Museveni is hoping the pandemonium his forces are creating—shooting and killing Bobi Wine’s supporters, shooting his body guards, shooting journalists on his entourage—will halt his campaigns. But after 35 years of Museveni’s misrule, Ugandans aren’t backing down in their struggle for freedom. Just today, another Bobi Wine rally was blocked, and he was placed under house arrest, while his security detail, his media team, other aides, allied politicians and journalists—about 100 people in all–were trucked away to unknown destinations and have not been heard from since.
Gen. Museveni owes his grip on power to the United States. In 35 years due to his mismanagement Uganda can’t manufacture a needle. All the weapons he uses to shed the blood of Ugandans are imported, including from the United States. Without arms, training and over $34 billion in U.S. taxpayers’ dollars through the years Ugandans would have gotten rid of Museveni long ago.
Some of the U.S. financing goes to reputable NGOs that help people fighting diseases, including Aids, while some go into other worthy projects. But hundreds of millions of dollars also flow through the World Bank right into the Ugandan Treasury, from which Museveni’s henchmen routinely steal. In May, for example, $300 million intended for Covid-19 relief appears to have been diverted to Museveni’s military apparatus and is now being used to torture and kill Ugandan civilians. This abominable abuse of U.S. taxpayers’ money has been going on for decades and must stop. Only the U.S. has the power to rein Museveni in and stop the killing.
This is where you can help, by asking your Senator to support senator Menendez’s resolution . To find out your senator, just Google his or her website and call the number for the Washington DC office or click on this link.
If no one answers, leave a message for the Foreign Affairs Assistant. Here’s what to say:
“My name is (your name) and I live in (your state). I am concerned about human rights abuses in Uganda, especially election related violence by the army and the police. I am calling to request that Senator (your senator’s name) co-sponsor New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez’s resolution on Uganda regarding state brutality. The U.S. is a major donor to the tune of $1 billion every year to Uganda and urgent action is needed to prevent more deaths.”
The Menendez resolution in part notes that “…Ugandan authorities have used coercive measures, including arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture, extra- judicial killings, and intrusive surveillance technology to intimidate and silence political opposition in the country.”
Readers, please do this immediately, before the Jan. 14 elections. Even after the vote continue to call to help save lives in Uganda. Anyone may call, as long as you live in the Senator’s constituency, regardless of nationality or immigration status.
Many thanks and Happy New Year from the editors of Black Star News.