Prime Minister Theresa May. Ugandans want U.K. to scrap military aid to dictator Museveni. Photo: Facebook.
Ugandan expatriates, friends of Uganda and some legislators from the British Parliament have planned a couple of U.K. actions to protest the dictator Gen. Yoweri Museveni’s military oppression, corruption, regional militarism, and curtailment of political rights and freedom of speech.
Among the actions is a demonstration, scheduled for Tuesday, May 7, 2019, between 11AM to 6PM at the Uganda High Commission, Trafalgar Square in central London. The demonstrators seeks to raise awareness of the oppression, human rights abuses, on going land-grabs and the looting of the country’s resources for the benefit of the Museveni family and his friends.
The regime was recently discredited internationally when a Chinese national Chi-ping Patrick Ho was sentenced to three years in prison after he was convicted in a U.S. federal court of paying a $1 million bribe to Gen. Museveni and his foreign minister Sam Kutesa. The bribe was to secure deals in oil and other business sectors for CEFC China Energy company.
The protest organizers are appealing to Ugandans living in the UK, friends of Uganda and supporters of democracy and freedom of speech around the World to stand in solidarity with the people of Uganda. After popular street protests in Algeria and in Sudan drove from power dictator Abdelaziz Bouteflika and Gen. Omar Bashir, respectively, a fearful Museveni has intensified his repression. He recently arrested Bobi Wine, a leader of the People Power Movement in Uganda and Member of Parliament, and also arrested Dr. Kizza Besigye, whom many believe defeated the dictator in the last three elections rigged in Museveni’s favor. Organizers also protest Museveni’s invasion of neighboring countries, Rwanda (1990), Congo (1997 and multiple times) and South Sudan (2013); the wars have led to millions of deaths and squandered billions of doillars. The World court ordered Uganda to pay Congo $10 billion for war crimes in Congo.
Event organizers encourage participants to wear red and to carry flags, banners and placards denouncing Gen. Museveni and his dictatorial rule. “We invite all supporters to come and join us in the demonstration from Uganda House and a procession to 10 Downing street and Parliament Square where we will meet UK members of Parliament,” says Belinda Atim, one of the organizers.
The Ugandan expatriates living and working in the U.K are concerned that their money and other UK taxpayers money is being used by the regime to finance violence against innocent Ugandans. Gen. Museveni’s record on human rights, includes a well documented cases of arrests, torture, and arbitrary detention of opposition politicians. The Ugandan expatriates also point to last year’s violent arrest and torture of Bobi Wine and other Members of Parliament and their supporters in the run-up to a Parliamentary by-election won by the opposition in Arua.
The expatriates, who form the second largest contribution to the country’s economy through remittances also protest the ongoing violent and forceful evictions in Apaa region, where Museveni’s military forces have killed rural farmers. The dictator wants to lease the land to commercial farmers and foreign investors. Every year, the Museveni dictatorship receives hundreds of millions of dollars and pounds from the U.S. and U.K. governments despite the unabated human rights violations. The financial assistance and military hardware enables the regime to carry out atrocities against Ugandan civilians.
Dictator Museveni has been in power since 1986 when Margaret Thatcher was the British Prime Minister and Ronald Reagan the U.S. President. The protest organizers, some of who are British citizens, call on Britons and all friends of Ugandan to demand that Her Majesty’s government:
1. Stop funding dictator Museveni’s regime.
2. Suspend all military training for Gen. Museveni’s armed forces and military aid to Uganda.
3. Place sanctions on Uganda government officials especially senior army and police officers who have been in command of armed forces and security forces involved in suppression activities and human rights abuse operation. One such officer is Gen. Peter Elwelu who commanded the 2016 Kasese massacre ordered by Gen. Museveni.
4. Condemn in the strongest terms the intimidation of Ugandans in the diaspora for simply expressing their views.
5. Call for meaningful electoral reforms, including an independent election commission, before the general elections take place in 2021.
Organizers encourage people to circulate the following hash-tags: #Stop police brutality # Stop oppression #UgandaArmyfordefencenotoppression #FreeBobiWine #FreeFrancisZaake #FreeStellaNyanzi #FreeallUgandapoliticalprisoners #Twebereremu