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QATAR CRISIS: A FIGHT FOR FREEDOM

Ever since Qatar was severed by the gulf nations, the population of the victim has suffered. Circumstances compelled Qatar to be dependent on Turkey and Iran for domestic supplies.One of the grievances of Saudi Arabia and it’s allies required Qatar to halt connections with Iran.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani discarded the grievances laid by the gulf nations, saying that the demands are impossible to meet, because the accusations contained in them are not true. However Doha is ready to discuss “legitimate issues” with the Gulf coalition.

“We cannot ‘sever links with so-called Islamic State, al-Qaeda and Lebanese Shia militant group Hezbollah’ because no such links exist,” he said in a statement.

“And we cannot ‘expel any members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard’ because there are none in Qatar.” Said Qatari foreign minister.

The abruptly suspending of diplomatic relations, as they have in the past, but also surprised many by cutting off land, air and sea travel to and from Qatar has created major threats to the well being of her citizens.

Sanctions and expelling of Qatari nationals from four gulf nations have damaged the economy, the education of students in the gulf nations was disrupted. This challenging situation has compelled Qataris to adopt a course of action to pursue legal action against Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

A Qatari human rights group is hiring a Swiss law firm to help seek compensation for citizens affected by sanctions imposed by Saudi Arabia and other Arab states, sources familiar with the matter have said.

Lalive, a law firm with offices in Geneva, Zurich and Doha, is finalising an agreement with Qatar’s government-appointed National Human Rights Commission (QNHRC) that will be announced soon, according to reports.

Lalive, which specialises in mass claims, said it will pursue the cases in local and international tribunals. “The sanctions imposed on Qatar go too far and are not in accordance with international law. Ordinary Qatari nationals and companies are not part of the State and cannot be targeted,” Veijo Heiskanen, the lead lawyer on the case, told Al Jazeera.

Tensions continue to accumulate as Qatar struggles to cling to her sovereignty currently under attack by the  gulf council. “We are willing to negotiate any legitimate grievances with our neighbours, but we will not compromise our sovereignty.” Speaking in Washington, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani  called the “siege” on Qatar “a clear act of aggression” that violated international law.

Defence Minister Khalid Al Attiyah with his Turkish counterpart Fikri Isik in Ankara

Qatar’s Defence Minister Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah  held talks with his Turkish counterpart  Fikri Ishik in Ankara on 30th Friday, according to Turkey’s Anadolu state-run news agency.

The meeting between Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik and his Qatari counterpart, Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah, will took place in the defence ministry.

Qatar’s ministry of defence announced the arrival of a new group of Turkish armed forces to the military base where Turkey began its training mission last week.

The forces are set to take part in joint exercises within the framework of a defence agreement signed between Doha and Ankara aimed at raising Qatar’s defence capabilities, supporting “counter-terror” efforts, and maintaining security and stability in the region.

To ensure the objective, earlier this month Mr Al Attiyah flew to Washington, where he signed a $12 billion deal to purchase F-15 fighter jets from the US.

 


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KYAGULANYI TRIUMPHANT AT KYADONDO EAST RACE

Robert Kyagulanyi emerges triumphant in attainning the Kyadondo East seat which had gone blank when court nullified Apollo Kantinti’s victory in 2016 elections as the constituency MP due to anomalies found by the electoral commission.

After tallying up the votes from the 93 polling stations across the constituency, Electoral Commission returning officer Francis Nkurunziza, announced the final results and declared Kyagulanyi winner at 9.42pm local time.

Bobi Wine garnered a winning 25,659 votes, Ssebalu got 4,566 votes, Kantinti attained 1,832 votes, Nkunyingi had 575 and Kayongo received 377 votes.

The number of valid votes was 32,999, the invalid ones were 311 and 41 votes were spoiled. The total number of votes cast was 33,310.

“The first thing I want to do is to reconcile the leaders of Kyadondo East,” said Kyagulanyi, after being declared victor. “I want politics to bring us together,” he said, just like music does.

The running candidates were Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu locally known as Bobi wine (stage name) for he is a renown singer, NRM flag bearer Sitenda Ssebalu, Forum for Democratic Change flag bearer Apollo Kantinti, Sowedi Kayongo and and independent Nkunyingi muwada.

KYAGULANYI CASTING HIS BALLOT

In the morning, elections had moved on smoothly and Kyagulanyi the musician and businessman  with his wife barbie cast in their ballots at magere polling station as well as urging people to exercise their right to vote as per the local constitutional provision.

while Sitenda had bragged with confidence about his soon assumed to be victory; “I am confident that i am going to win with the majority. I can’t give percentages because i have no basis”.

Candidate Muwada Nkunyingi caused a commotion after finding out that his name was missing at Kiteezi’s register and advised to look for it elsewhere. This reaction attracts the heavily deployed police who later detained him. He received injuries to which he was hospitalized.

As for Apollo Kantinti, he was not eligible to vote from Kyaddondo East because he is registered to vote in Mukono, but can stand.

Anti-riot police steps in to quell riotous situation at Kasangati Resort. Security personnel were seen  arresting people and chasing them away but they stayed claiming to guard their votes.

The new Kyadondo East MP in waiting has recieved congratulation messages from Dr. Kizza Besigye, The Executive Director, Uganda Media Centre, Ofwono Opondo also tweeted: “So @HEBobiwine is beating everyone @NRMOnline @FDCOfficial1 hands down in #KyodondoEastByElections, Congs although still early.”

It should be recalled that the MP i waiting faced some challenges with security personnel. A scene too familiar to ignore when on the last campaign day (Tuesday), people in kyadondo went in a frenzy when the police came and arrested Robert Kyagulanyi and and detained at Kasangati police station and later driven by dusty road to Kiira police station because the excited crowd hurled stones and demanded the immediate release of their candidate.

Frank Mwesigwa, the Kampala Metropolitan Police commander, told reporters that they had not arrested the renowned musician, underlining that they were instead “engaging him” on campaign guidelines as regards his final rally.

“We have agreed on a new venue in Bulamu, Gayaza. His earlier venue violated the Electoral Commission campaign guidelines and he risked being disqualified,” he said.

 

 


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QATAR TO MEET DEMANDS IN 10 DAYS

Through mediators from Kuwait, demands have been laid on Qatar to be met in 10 days. The gulf region have come up with 13 ultimate grievances as a price to uplift the economic and diplomatic blockade earlier imposed.

Doha is given an onus to entirely close down Al Jazeera network, halt cooperation with Iran, remove Turkish troops from Qatar’s soil, end contact with groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and submit to monthly external compliance checks. Qatar has been given 10 days to comply with the demands or prepare for unspecified consequences. It’s been over a fortnight since Saudi Arabia and the other nations leading the blockade – the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed both economic and diplomatic ties with Qatar. The later was accused by Dubai for funding terrorist that that fronted violence within the gulf region for decades.

DOHA PORT

Though the embargo has yielded less economic effect on Qatar, (a rich in oil and gas state), if it yields to the grievances, they can cause raze on it’s the foreign policy.

Already over 15,000 Qatari camels have been deported from Saudi Arabia such a strong message that strains the relationship of Doha and Dubai. Qatar has become reliant on Turkey and Iran for food imports since the embargo was imposed on 5 June and insists with its huge wealth it can survive the embargo for an indefinite period. The trade embargo include;  on air, sea or land traffic to and from Qatar.

Just as consequential in the short-term is the air embargo. The three Gulf countries imposing the blockade have all called a halt to their airlines’ flights to and from Qatar, including Saudia, Emirates, Etihad, FlyDubai, Air Arabia and Gulf Air; Qatar Airways has in turn stopped flying to destinations in those countries. “It would be wiser that [Qatar] deal seriously with the demands and concerns of the neighbours or a divorce will take place,” said Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of United Arab Emirates.

“Qatar faces a choice of either stability and prosperity or isolation, he said, adding: “Perhaps the solution is in parting ways.” Trump said that Arab leaders he met in Saudi Arabia last month had urged him to challenge Qatar, which they accuse of backing extremist groups and cosying up to Iran. “So we had a decision to make: do we take the easy road, or do we finally take a hard but necessary action? We have to stop the funding of terrorism,” he said. “The nation of Qatar, unfortunately, has historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level.”

The US state department issued a stinging rebuke to Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies saying they had failed to come up with a justification for the embargo they imposed on Qatar earlier this month. This amnesty international claimed to be a violation of human rights, watch: Amnesty International slams embargo for rights violations (2:20)

AL-JAZEERA NEWSROOM

Qatari-funded media network Al Jazeera has hit back at Arab states’ calls for it to be closed down. The demands were an attempt to “silence freedom of expression“, it said. Al Jazeera said, “We assert our right to practise our journalism professionally without bowing to pressure from any government or authority and we demand that governments respect the freedom of media to allow journalists to continue to do their jobs free of intimidation, threats, and fearmongering,”.

Al Jazeera called on its peers in the industry, media institutions and other international organisations to reaffirm their solidarity in defending media freedom wherever it may be.


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UGANDA TO GET 358.2 MILLION DOLLARS

REFUGEES FROM SOUTH SUDAN

On attendance of the solidarity summit  at Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort in Kampala, foreign countries pledged to draw financial assistance to the Ugandan government to support refugees. The sum of money totaled to 358.2 million dollars falling short of 2 billion dollars initially targeted.

The summit under the theme “shoulder to shoulder” was hosted by HE President museveni Yoweri and co-host the United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Mr. Antonio Guterres on 22nd-23rd of June 2017.

Mr. Guterres in congruence with other leaders applauded Uganda for it’s hospitality towards the refugees. “Solidarity is not a matter of generosity; it is a matter of justice. It is essential to recognize these efforts and support Uganda. If the efforts are not sustainable, then it will be dramatic,”.

The Summit was attended by Presidents Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon, Edgar Chagwa Lungu of Zambia, Mohammed Abdullahi of Somalia, South Sudan’s Vice President, James Wani Igga, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister, Alexander De Croo, and representatives and dignitaries from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), China, Kenya, Tanzania, the United Kingdom (UK), Iceland, Sweden, Japan, Germany and Ethiopia, among others.

Uganda is the first African country with an influx of 1,271,000 refugees from mostly South Sudan, Somalia, Congo, Eritrea, Rwanda, Etiopia and Burundi which has created immense pressure on the available resources.

In his statement, HE Yoweri appealed to the international community to aid Uganda to reward hosting communities especially with infrastructure development. In particular the construction two main roads: Moyo-Yumbe-Koboko, in the neighbourhood of the famous Bidi Bidi camp in Yumbe district that is hosting 272,168 refugees today; and Kabiingo-Rugaaga-Magabi-Rakai that starts from the famous Nakivaale Refugee Settlement camp that looked after the Rwanda refugees between 1960 and 1994 and is still hosting different waves of subsequent refugees.

” The Uganda government will, eventually, do these roads.  If, however, the International Community was to expedite that process and we informed our people in the areas, they would understand that their hospitality has not been in vain” said president Yoweri Museveni.

it is not such a difficult problem to absorb or co-exist with refugees from within Africa because the entirety of the African population is comprised of only 4 linguistic groups.  These are: the Niger-Congo group of languages, the Nilo-Saharan, the Afro-Asiatic and the Khoisan.

But with a huge migration of refugees comes inevitable challenges. These include; food inadequacy, shelter challenges, water provision, energy, clothes and household equipment, health care in terms of treatment and immunisation.

The president condemned the “man made crisis” which have diligently caused an increment in people fleeing from their countries to others in such of safety and peace. Not deflecting from other leaders, most people flee from terrorists, civil wars and incompetent governments.

“Bad politics,the ideology of sectarianism, utilizing the pseudo-ideology of opportunistically exploiting identity of religion or tribes is behind most of these crises,” he said.

The President informed the Summit that Uganda has discouraged rural migration of refugees beyond their gazatted resettlement areas due to the sensitive nature of some of the tribes, but that fortunate refugees who have capital and skills, can relocate to the urban centers and participate in the town service works.

Some refugees come with skills that could prove useful in this country just like America, a Jewish scientist from Germany created an atomic bomb in which the US benefited. So in the same manner Uganda welcomes refugees with skills as an avenue to rebuild and remodel their lives in exile or new homes.

In 2o16, The UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) had allocated US$18 million to Uganda for support to internally displaced persons, refugees and host communities as part of its first allocation round from the underfunded emergencies window.

European countries like Denmark offered 40 million and Netherlands pledged 5.5 million. India committed to offer 1 million.Austria promised 2 million, China 500,000 and Ireland 2.3 million Euros. Many other countries pledged and the total pledges amounted to 358.2 million dollars.

 The president shared a memory of the 1797 succession war between two princes: Semakokiro and Jjunju. This conflict had led to the dispersing of some baganda faction who resettled else where and are now part of  six districts in the East African countries of today.


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HEROES OF VARLOUR

Uganda is yet again to witness the world as it yet again pays homage to Ugandan heroes of faith on June 3. pilgrimages from different walks of life have sojourned far and wide under the intrinsic influence  of unfeigned self sacrifice in demise of individuals that deems one of the greatest deeds. This phenomenon arouse introspection of one’s relationship with God.

The 45 Catholic and Anglican martyrs are the retrospective actors and the sole reason to why a throng of people will fill to bulbous the Hoima diocese this year in adulation. Such an event is considered sacred by the sojourners, it’s like walking in the foot steps of the martyrs, the previous Saturday hundreds of pilgrimages participated in the what they called the ‘Walk of Faith’ which was flagged off at Munyonyo Martyrs shrine by Archbishop Dr Lwanga and the first Deputy Prime Minister, Gen Moses Ali, who represented the Prime Minister Mr Ruhakana Rugunda. The symbolic pilgrimage kicked-off at about 9.00am from Munyonyo Martyrs Shrine with a word of prayer and ended at St. Matia Mulumba Parish in Old Kampala.

The celebrated martyrs conformed to demise under the orders of Kabaka Mwanga II, by then King of Buganda between 1885 and 1887. Twenty-two Catholic Martyrs were beatified on 6 June 1920 by Pope Benedict XV, and on 18 October 1964, Pope Paul VI canonised them Saints. In addition to the Catholic Martyrs, there are two Catechists from Paimol: Blessed Daudi Okello and Blessed Jildo Irwa who were killed in 1918. The two were beatified by John Paul II on 20 October 2002.

lots of people have en devoured to contribute towards this commemoration but though so far are still short of the total budget of sh 579m.

 


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THE EVIL WITHIN

With each day that comes forth, fear terrorizes the inhabitants of a Ggaba village. Word spreads across about the invisible troopers thirsty for blood. Unexplainable occurrences upon the villagers are orchestrated by a minority group dancing with the devil.

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During the course of weekdays, a mother of six wakes at 05:00am, under an influence of a common impetus of a
brighter future of her offspring through education. Somehow with relentless reliability, her children receive an education. At least it was pleasant while it lasted, for fate sought otherwise. Lurking in the covers of invisibility, fate engineered malevolence.

A tragic accident crippled Grace’s husband’s source of income when his taxi went head on with another. Miraculously though, his precious life was spared. In this case her personal vending shop ranked sole bread winner even though it hardly stood its ground after a few months of establishment. At commencement of next term, her children will not step foot in school.

In a desperate  accursed circumstances, a trying gift woven in a threat of a child presented itself. Isaac swore to have caught sight of extraordinary peculiar creatures demanding his life and at times chased him. A young boy of 10 years monstrously broke loose from shackles and successful in manhandling three macho men. Delirium with fear and lack of sleep, Isaac worried his family and neighbors.

There are situations that are simply incomprehensible and supersede modern day medicine yet bewilder many. A child of perfectly normal state radically falls sick yet no physical outlet supports the loss. The doctors are puzzled and clueless for the tests and an examination proves contrary to the state of allegedly sick child. Usually desperate times call for desperate measures.

Religious leaders are called to render aid. When these spiritual beings are confronted, it is generally known to reveal their intent to feed on victims as well as the identity of those who send them on an errand. Under the utmost interest of gaining wealth .This is what happened to another boy within the same vicinity as Isaac’s family.

Unfortunately the child breathed his last and his family moved. Alarmed, the fellow tenants beseeched the land lady to evict the alleged culprit but to no avail for she couldn’t simply lose a well paying tenant.

With no tangible proof, the police cannot arrest the accused suspect. But they can rescue a distressed woman from the clutches of angry mob exited with shame. Hajjat was bitterly forced to leave Ggaba when her house was invaded and savagely demolished to ground. For one thing ,the bereaved feud mate convinced the people that Hajjat used witchcraft that took her child’s life and that she actually did the same to keep her business booming. The angry mob was probably the customers turned victims of folly at knowledge of the bitter truth. God know what bodily specimens they consumed in the name of delicious samosas and other snacks for breakfast. The shame was unbearable, the thought disgusting. This torment escalated thus exile was most possible outlet of expression.

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NOAH SSERUNJOGI, A REGIONAL POLICE SPOKES PERSON

Taste for human flesh, child sacrifice (either physically or spiritual) abductions, use of witchcraft in edibles. Only to mention but a  few. These presentations of evil are gaining ground in Uganda. More and more reports of human marrow lovers are arrested (thirteen were arrested for making a meal of Peace Arinaitwe a mother and her 9 month child in Rakai) and witchcraft practitioners are exiled from their villagers or put behind bars by the terrified inhabitants for fear of their lives and those of their children.

Isaac’s parents together with a group of Christians had to supplicate to a highest being, the omnipotent one. They took labour to involve the almighty God  to strike the interloper in a child’s life. Fortunately, Isaac regained sanity and recuperated fully. Grace’s husband also attained a job and soon school was rescheduled.


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DIRE TIMES

The constitution of Uganda was established to ensure social, political and economic security, under which development is ensured. Over the years, Uganda has experienced several displayed acts of internal and external violence. In regard to distortion of constitutionalism. Several insensitive and brutal activities on rampage  has made Ugandans to grow faint in the credibility of the existing government and the security system.

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At rally gatherings of the opposition leaders in 2009 and 2011, police used live ammunition to disperse the crowds.  Government has failed to hold security forces accountable for the April 2011 killings of a two year old Abigail Julian Nalwanga of Masaka in Nyendo Ssenyange division, Dan Musa Wasaga and Charles Odur of Gulu and six others from Kampala during walk to work campaign.Chaos stroke once again in Kampala on April 28 and 29 when police violently arrested Dr Kizza Besigye and the following morning the residents of Kampala burned car tires and throwing stones. On that day 84 were injured and rushed to Mulago, 64 sustained bullet wounds. Arrests amounted to 360 in Kampala and Mbale. Even in 2016 electoral campaigns police, obstructed the campaign sessions of the other opposition presidential candidate. Dr.Kizza Besigye and Amama Mbabazi in particular. The former was put under house arrest for more than a fortnight. Even though the elections were free but were certainly not fair.

In the whole long thirty years of National Resistance Army reign in power, activities of abuse of power through putrid government officials seems to be a common case in Uganda. Geoffrey Kazinda a former principal accoutant in the office of the the prime minister  was charged with misuse of office and then sentenced to five years in prison by the anti-corruption court in Kampala. Justice David Wangutusi took charge of the case. Kazinda had forged 26 of his own and his boss’ signatures and channeled billions of money to his personal account. His boss Mr.Pius Bigirimana is also the former permanent secretary in the office of the prime minister.

The former vice president Gilbert Bukenya, former foreign affairs minister Sam Kutesa, John Nasasira former minister of works in 2007 and finally Mwesigwa Rukutana former minister of labour were to be charged for profiting from  $3.9m (£2.4m) deal. It was meant to supply luxurious cars to heads of state that would attend common wealth head government summit. Former health minister Jim Muhwezi and his deputy captain Mike Mukula were in the middle of 2008 global fund scandal that left the health system crippled. These and other cases paint the government as rotten from it’s core of integrity and its credibility questioned.

Parliament consented to the uplifting of term limit in 2005 after an inducement of shs 5million that each pro-movement member of parliament attained. Lwemiyaga MP Theodore Ssekikubo blew the whistle even though he also consented to the amendment.  Sycophancy in this case exceeded public interest and integrity. For some MPs who had vowed to oppose the move eventually changed minds. For example Henry Banyenzaki. Eventually leaders who spoke out about the move were dropped during a cabinet reshuffle that followed. These include, Miria Matembe, former army commander Mugisha Muntu, first deputy prime minister Eriya Kategaya and others.

 

police dispersing people

police disperse people

The government established a public order management act in 2013 and endowed police power to grant or to deny and disperse unauthorised assemblies. Especially if the discussions are political in nature. This act controls people rather than regulating assemblies under a common disguise of preventing crimes. It also contravenes article 29 (1) (d) as well as article 20 (1,2) as provided for in the constitution. In addition to that the media is always censored from delivery of information.Journalists and media houses face threat of suspension or dismissal for “being seen to provide the opposition with a platform” or reporting on issues deemed sensitive by local authorities during elections. In 2013, when a confidential information leaked about Museveni preparing his son to succeed him. The Daily monitor, The red paper and KFM radio faced it rough. In March police raided kigezi radio station and kasese guide radio to put to a halt to talk shows featuring Mugisha Muntu head of opposition forum for democratic change party.

Several special security personnel  had been recruited and credited as crime preventers prior elections. These were given autonomy to assume position of security during elections. People perceived crime preventors as a threat rather than security and were loothful to acknowledge them all together. Their presence triggered memories of kiboko squad who first surfaced in 2007 and 2010. These well wielders of sticks, reappeared in 2016 whipping frightened people on their backs regardless of age and gender. If your near a whip you get clobbered. The police didn’t mind them besides stick wielders seem to work on their side. Despite the demonstrations in 2016, President Museveni celebrated his electoral victory making 30 years in power.

burnt house

A burnt home in Rwenzori region during the unrest

Calamity stroke the Rwenzori region the early 2016 where anonymous army group attacked and disabled the regional police and later terrorized the whole community. Lives were snatched away and fear took hold of the region hence the majority fled to nearby communities to seek refuge. This terrorism occurrence compelled the government to deploy more reinforcement thus sparked off an exchange of ammunition in which more people lost lives and survivors dispersed under the influence of fear. It’s sheer rendezvous that the same incident occurred in 2014. The government of Uganda failed to investigate this violence in which at least 100 people were killed in western Rwenzori region. Numerous reports suggest that after a July 5, 2014 attack on military barracks and police posts, civilians were mutilated, killed and tortured in Ntoroko, kasese and Bundibugyo districts.