Presentation on theme: "NATIONAL RECONCILIATION & TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE AUDIT BEYOND JUBA PROJECT www.beyondjubaproject.org 2011 -2012 BRIEF 12 of 18: BUNDIBUGYO DISTRICT."— Presentation transcript:
NATIONAL RECONCILIATION & TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE AUDIT BEYOND JUBA PROJECT BRIEF 12 of 18: BUNDIBUGYO DISTRICT
NR&TJ Audit Main objectives of the NR&TJ Audit To document community perspectives on post-independence armed conflicts across Uganda To identify and assess the outstanding reconciliation and transitional justice needs related to each of these conflicts BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District
Three field teams comprising four researchers and one videographer visit eighteen selected districts equally distributed over the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Central regions in Uganda. Methodology In each district, concerned Civil Society Organisations are contacted. The teams conduct Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with four different groups namely adult women, adult men, youth and representatives of civil society and local government. There are fifteen participants in each FGD and the discussions take the whole day. FGDs are split into two parts, and follow a simple structure: The morning is spent Looking Back, at conflicts, their causes, their impacts, and the stakeholders involved, while the afternoon is forLooking Forward at the possible justice mechanisms that could be used to address the legacies of conflicts identified – as well as sending messages to key persons and institutions. In the course of each FGD, key informants are identified for further consultation. Findings are recorded on flip charts, through near-verbatim note taking, and on audio- and video recorders. Preliminary Findings are presented initially in these Briefs. The final output will be a Compendium of Conflicts in Uganda, supported by video documentation. NR&TJ Audit BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District
PART 1: LOOKING BACK A. Is there peace in Uganda? Conflict Timeline (national/regional/district/village) B. What were the Causes behind the conflicts you have identified? C. What were the Impacts? D. Who were the Stakeholders? - Victims - Perpetrators - Beneficiaries - Bystanders - Spoilers - Peacebuilders NR&TJ Audit Focus Group Discussion Guide BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District
WELCOME BACK - Reminder of purpose of second half: from looking back to looking forward PART 2: LOOKING FORWARD A. How does it feel to be talking about the history of this country? B. 1. What does JUSTICE mean to you? 2. Has JUSTICE been done to the stakeholders? How do you think justice can be done? What would you like to see in the following processes? C. What messages do you have for key persons and/or institutions? TRADITIONAL JUSTICE CHANGES IN LAW / INSTITUTIONS AMNESTY PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT MEMORIALIZATION REPARATIONS TRUTH-TELLINGPROSECUTIONS RECONCILIATION Focus Group Discussion Guide NR&TJ Audit BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District
Map of Uganda showing Districts NR&TJ Audit DISTRICT INFORMATION Bundibugyo District is situated along the Nile Basin in western Uganda. The district was formerly called Semuliki and was later renamed Bundibugyo after its major town by the same name. It is bordered by the following districts: Ntoroko to the north, Kabarole to the east and Kasese to the south and the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC) to the west and partly the north. In terms of major geographical features, the district has the Rwenzori Mountain ranges to the east. Geographically, Bundibugyo is isolated and is the only Ugandan district situated on the western side of the Rwenzori Mountain ranges. Bundibugyo, Kasese, and Ntoroko districts constitute what is commonly referred to as the greater Rwenzururu Kingdom. According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, the district is 2,261.7 square km. The population of the district is approximately 248,900 people. The main ethnic groups are the Bakonjo, Babwisi, Bamba and Batuku. An ethnic minority, the Batwa, is made up of only 96 individuals at the time of the field study. The main source of income is crop farming, which constitutes 87.1 percent of the districts economic activity. The adult literacy level is at 55.3 percent and life expectancy currently is 36 years. The creation of Bundibugyo District was an emergency response of President Idi Amin Dada which sought to diffuse the long-standing conflict between the Bamba, Bakonjo and the Babwisi on the one hand, and their erstwhile rivals, the Batooro, on the other hand. It was said that the Batooro collaborated with the British to subjugate and subsume the others as part of the Batooros Tooro Kingdom, and that they called them Nyakabara, a derogative concept of marginalization that means not real Batooro. In 1974, however, President Amin established Bundibugyo District by separating it from the greater Kabarole District, the seat of the Tooro Kingdom. Hitherto, Amin has thus been regarded as a hero in Bundibugyo. A participant in a Focus Group Discussion (FGD) said [Amin] dictated very well and is our hero. The district has born the brunt of the insurgencies of the National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (NALU) and Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), who to date operate on both the Ugandan and the DRC sides of the Mount Rwenzori range. As a result, tens of thousands of civilians have been displaced. Uganda Bureau of Statistics, Profiles of the Higher Local Governments, May 2009 (based on 2002 Population and Housing Census) Accessed at Nwg89BAzSI/AAAAAAAAAFI/1z4b- pgdYF4/s1600/map.JPG BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District
NR&TJ Audit BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District Introduction This field brief is based on data collected from Bundibugyo District between 16 and 21 January 2012, in Bundibugyo Town. A special focus group discussion (FGD) was conducted with the Batwa community at the fringes of Semuliki National Park Forest in Kasitu Sub-county and included adult men, women and youth. The research team consisted of Lyandro Komakech (team leader), Christopher Okidi, Rosemary Luroni, Hope Zainab Natukunda and Solomon Luzinda (videographer). This field brief is written by Lyandro Komakech, with valuable input from Annelieke van de Wiel and Laura Cools, all of the Refugee Law Project (RLP).
NR&TJ Audit BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District LOOKING BACK Past
NR&TJ Audit BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District There is no peace in the country because of increasing inequality, coupled with an unprecedented widening of the income gap between the rich and the poor. The existence of massive unemployment amongst Ugandas youth today has made peace elusive. Ugandas grand corruption is now a major threat to security since it touches the entire country and many social service sectors are about to collapse. There currently is galloping inflation which has caused misery to many citizens. Other obstacles to peace include abject poverty, increasing human rights violations, especially by the police, border conflicts in Kabarole and Ntoroko, and political marginalization of opposition members in the district by members of the ruling party, the National Resistance Movement (NRM). There is a lack of transparency with regards to Government policies over oil prospecting, extraction and revenue sharing. This Government opacity has generated suspicion amongst the local communities and pitted ethnic groups against one another. For example, the indigenous Batuku oppose the immigrant Banyarwanda who are allegedly expressly favoured by a strategic allocation of land in areas where oil has been found. Looking at the Rwenzori Region, multiple types of marginalization have existed since colonial times and continue to undermine peace. This marginalization has resulted in various forms of conflicts and is often lost in the narratives about the NALU and the ADF. Marginalization has often manifested itself and resulted in both intra and inter-ethnic conflicts. Is there peace in Uganda? Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues. When asked whether there is peace in Uganda, participants in the various FGDs highlighted the following: (CLICK once!)
Failure to formally recognize the Bakonjo and Bamba in the Constitution (1962): Upon Independence, and the promulgation of Ugandas Constitution, the two tribes were not recognized as separate entities but rather subsumed in the Batooro ethnic group. This increased pre- existing discontent (see more below) amongst the Bakonjo and Bamba. NR&TJ Audit Conflicts Timeline: National Level Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues. Mass killings of the Bakonjo and Bamba (1964): Under orders from the Tooro Kingdom, people from the Bakonjo and Bamba communities were killed for two consecutive weeks in The Government did not intervene. The victims included women and children. The Government of Uganda intervened only afterwards by relocating the victims to Kahunge camp. This inspired a full-blown rebellion in the ranges of Mount Rwenzori by the Rwenzururu Movement (initiated by the Bamba and Bakonjo). Torture by Obote I administration ( ): The Rwenzori Region was not exempted from torture perpetrated by the Obote I administration. The situation deteriorated when a state of emergency was declared and when the kingdoms were abolished in Abolition of the kingdoms initiated by Obote ( ): The abolition of kingdoms by Obotes Government was opposed by the Rwenzururu Movement. The abolition of kingdoms shattered the hopes of the Rwenzururu movement that was agitating for recognition of its own Kingdom (Obusinga). This further inspired insurgency activities against the Government BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District Amins take over (1971): Amin took over power from the Obote I administration in 1971 through a coup. His rule lasted to Much as Amins regime also brought bloodshed to the western region, the Bamba and Bakonjo considered his rule a new opportunity to obtain their own district and break away from the Batooro, their suppressors. Indeed, Amin granted them a district in Creation of Bundibugyo District by Amin and aftermath ( ): Amin declared Bundibugyo a district separate from Kabarole. The Bamba began chasing away the Batooro from Bundibugyo and many Batooro lost their lives during their flight. The Bamba and Babwisi took charge of the land and plantations which had belonged to the Batooro. Formation of the National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (NALU) (1984): Amon Bazira, a Minister under Obote II, formed NALU to fight the Obote Government. He integrated remnants of the Rwenzururu Movement Escalation of National Resistance Army (NRA) Bush War in Bundibugyo ( ): Bundibugyo, as an extension of the Luwero Triangle, became a theatre of war. A District Commissioner, called Bwanambere, was killed. The NRA took over power in Overthrow of Obote II administration by General Tito Okello Lutwa (1985): Gen. Tito Okello overthrew the Obote II Government through the use of arms. This was welcomed by people in Bundibugyo, as they thought Tito Okello might help them restore the Rwenzururu Kingdom. This was however taken over by events, as Tito Okello was overthrown himself in Allied Democratic Front (ADF) launched insurgencies in Bundibugyo District (June 16, 1997): The first casualties of the insurgency in the district were the twelve civilians killed in Izahura. Schools were immediately closed throughout the district. Introduction of primaries in political party elections (2011): The introduction of primaries in political party elections intensified internal conflicts, especially in the National Resistance Movement (NRM), the ruling party, where factionalism has created rifts among party members and tensions continue to escalate. Sharp opposition also exists between NRM members and the opposition with regards to employment opportunities. Such opportunities are denied to youth who are members of opposition parties. 2011
Marginalization of the Batwa ethnic community (pre-colonial times – present): There is entrenched marginalization of the Batwa ethnic community in the region. In the district, there is a current population of 96 Batwa individuals. There exist varying degrees of exclusion in terms of accessing social amenities. For instance, at schools, the children are sometimes chased away by the other students because they are regarded as lacking hygiene. A Batwa youth stated that our children are chased away by other children as being smelly. This has made them abandon school. They are also ridiculed by the community because of their short height. In addition, the Batwa women have been victims of sexual violence perpetrated by men from the other ethnic groups in Bundibugyo. Strong community perceptions exist that the Batwa women are a medicine to cure backaches through sexual therapy. One participant remarked that when you sleep with a Mutwa woman you feel your back healing, in case you have a problem with your back. As a result, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmissible diseases are predominant and, coupled with exclusion and environmental adaptation difficulties, are among the reasons behind the decimation and near extinction of this ethnic group. NR&TJ Audit Conflicts Timeline: Regional Level Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues. BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom attack on the Bakonjo and Bamba (1852): This attack on the Bakonjo and Bamba was led by the King of the neighbouring Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom, King Kamurasi. The attack came because the Bakonjo and Bamba had hosted the Bunyoro rebel Prince Kaboyo. He had been sent to strengthen Bunyoro but instead rebelled and initiated Tooro Kingdom. Bunyoro Kingdom war against Batooro, Bamba and Bakonjo ( ): The Bunyoro Kingdom, now led by King Kabarega, launched war against the Batooro, Bamba and Bakonjo to search for Prince Kasagama. Prince Kasagama was another, more determined, rebel prince who run away to join the Batooro, Bakonjo and Bamba. He found refuge with the Bakonjo and was later saved by the British under command of Captain F.D. Lugard. This was in line with the British policy to break the Bunyoro Kingdoms strength. The Bunyoro Kingdom had refused to sign an agreement to work together with the British. Bakonjo and Bamba conflict with the Tooro Kingdom and Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom ( ): Over the years, the Bakonjo and Bamba had become stronger and more organized. Their greatest enemy had now become the Tooro Kingdom which had promised them autonomy but failed to live up to this promise. Meanwhile, conflict with the Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom continued. Forceful integration of Bamba and Bakonjo in Tooro Kingdom ( s): The British colonial government forced both Bamba and Bakonjo to become part of the Tooro Kingdom, triggering open hostility of the Bamba and Bakonjo towards the Batooro. Nyamutswa, Tibamwenda and Kapolya (Bamba and Bakonjo liberation heroes) struggle against the Tooro Kingdom ( ): They launched a liberation movement struggle against the Tooro Kingdom so as to create a district of their own in the Rwenzori Mountains, while still under British colonial rule. Killing of Nyamutswa, Tibamwenda and Kapolya by the British in collaboration with the Batooro (1921): The three Bakonjo local leaders who were vocal advocates for Bakonjo and Bamba autonomy were killed and buried in one grave at Kagando (present day Kagando Hospital) by the British colonial government on the order of British Captain F.D. Lugard and with the collaboration of the Tooro Kingdom. This incident marked a turning point in the struggle against subjugation by the Bakonjo and Bamba. Formation of the Rwenzururu Movement under the leadership of the Bamba and Bakonjo (1961): During the interim self-rule government, led by Ben Kiwanuka, the Bakonjo and Bamba wrote the first Rwenzururu Memorandum, remanding the creation of a Bamba and Bakonjo district (in what are now Kasese and Bundibugyo). This was when the Rwenzururu Movement was formed. Their demand was not granted. Walk-out protest by thirteen Bamba and Bakonjo councillors from the Tooro Kingdom Parliament (Orukurato) (June 1962): The councillors petitioned the colonial government for a separate district to be referred to as the Rwenzururu District. Isaiah Mukiranyi, the leader of the Bakonjo and Bamba, was arrested by the Batooro government, but subsequently escaped from captivity. Declaration of the Kingdom of Rwenzururu by the Bakonjo and Bamba (June 30th 1962): The Bakonjo and Bamba declared their own Kingdom on June 30, This declaration was not accepted. The government immediately responded and appointed a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the volatile situation. However, nothing would happen to change the status quo. Emergence of the name Batooro Nyakabara (1962): The Batooro used this term to refer to themselves as the real Batooro and began to refer to the Bakonjo and Bamba as baboons. Around this time, the forced labour of the Bakonjo and Bamba on the Batooro plantations intensified Declaration of war on the Tooro Kingdom by Mukiranyi, Mupalya and Kawamara (1963): The three Bakonjo leaders declared war on the Tooro Kingdom and started resorting to violent means to demand autonomy. They did this under the umbrella of the Rwenzururu Movement. Their activities were short-lived. Up to today, the Bakonjo and Bamba communities demand that Government officially recognise these three leaders as national heroes. Tension over oil-prospecting activities in the Albertine Nile Basin (2006 – present): Oil prospecting activities in the Albertine Nile Basin are starting to trigger tension and conflict on three levels. Firstly, there is a brewing conflict between the Batuku, who are the indigenous people of Ntoroko District, and the Banyarwanda cattle migrants who are commonly referred to as the Balaalo. The Batuku are overwhelmed by the settling of the migrants, which is causing land conflicts. Secondly, the community suspects that the state has a hidden agenda by the state to strategically settle the migrants in areas rich in oil deposits, so the state can bring those areas under its control. This suspicion is strengthened by the alleged buying of huge chunks of land by very influential high-ranking Government officials. Thirdly, tension is intensifying in Ntoroko District between the Batuku and Bamba. The Bamba are marginalized and have no political power. They are afraid they might loose their land. Conflict over the Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu between the Bakonjo and Bamba (recent times, intensified in 2007): When the Obusinga, the Rwenzururu Kingdoms Cultural Institution, was restored, covering an area that includes Bundibugyo District, the Bamba started rejecting the institution as an imposition by the Bakonjo. An elder said that the Bamba and Bakonjo did not come to a common understanding on the Obusinga. The Babwisi were furthermore excluded in the Constitution of the Obusinga and the process was top-down, captured by some elite. He added that it is not appropriate for the Bakonjo to subject the Bamba in the Obusinga due to mere geography, instead of cultural/ethnic considerations. The Bamba and the Babwisi reject the idea that the objective of the armed struggle that started in the sixties against the Batooro was about the restoration of the Obusinga, and say that it was instead to counter the suppression and exploitation by the Batooro they jointly faced at that time.
Political marginalization in Bundibugyo District (2006 – present): There is deliberate political marginalization in the district that negatively impacts opposition politicians, especially young people. They cannot access employment opportunities based on this persecution and are singled out as state enemies. NR&TJ Audit Conflicts Timeline: District Level Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues. BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District Political factionalism (2006 – to date): The political factionalism stems from the introduction of primaries in the electoral period. Candidates who lost in the primary elections of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) are seen as pseudo-opposition politicians and a threat to the NRM establishment in the district. They suffer from exclusion in terms of access to resources e.g. tender and employment opportunities within the district. Tension over who owns Bundibugyo District (recent times, intensified in 2010): The Bamba claim that Bundibugyo District originally belonged to them since they were the original inhabitants. They have claimed all the influential positions, both elective and appointed, in alliance with the Babwisi. As a consequence, the Bakonjo intensified their demands for a new district so as to gain autonomy. As long as we are still in Bundibugyo, no Mukonjo will ever become Local Council 5 Chairman, a youth remarked.
Injustice against women and children (ongoing): Injustice against women and children manifests itself through domestic violence in families and villages. This was partly traced back to the fact that men feel they have lost their authority over women, because of the womens economic empowerment. Many women have been victimized as a result. In addition, children suffered abduction during the ADF conflict. NR&TJ Audit Conflicts Timeline: Village Level Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues. BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District
NR&TJ Audit Suppression of the Bakonzo/Baamba by the Batooro Physical injuries and torture Decreased standard of education Various employment opportunities Lost lives and property Self-interest of high-level Government/army officials Imposed negative identity Forced displacement Desire for power Suppression and exploitation Behavioural changes Causes & Impacts Failure to respond to community demands Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues. BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District
Causes of conflicts NR&TJ Audit Failure to recognize the Bamba and Bakonjo at the Lancaster Constitutional Conference: Participants observed that the Lancaster Constitutional Conference, held in September 1961 in Britain in order to prepare Uganda for Independence, never recognized the Bamba and Bakonjo as an ethnic group, separate from the Batooro. This was a recipe for conflict as the Bamba and Bakonjo would rise against the Batooro. Imposed negative identity: Participants also observed that identity was at the centre of claims for self-determination, as manifested in the Rwenzururu Movement. The Bamba and Bakonjo rejected the subjugation by the Tooro and fought the negative identity which was imposed upon them through terms such asbaboons. Sidelining the Bakonjo and Bamba from development opportunities: Participants noted that all good schools were established in the Tooro Kingdom e.g. St. Leos, Nyakasura, Kicwamba, and Kyebambe Girls Secondary School. The fertile lands, coffee plantations and big offices were also occupied by Batooro. Through this, the Bakonjo and Bamba were marginalized. Suppression and exploitation: Participants discussed the suppression and exploitation of the Bakonjo and Bamba by the Batooro. They said they used to be subjected to forced labour on Batooro plantations. Self-interest of high-level Government/army officials: Participants said that ADF insurgents are connected to individuals in Government and that this explains why the conflict continues to date. Suspicion was raised as to the indifference of the Government in its response to the conflict. It was suggested that certain influential individuals in the army view the insurgency as an opportunity for personal benefit. Failure to respond to community demands: An insensitive response by the Government of Uganda to the communitys demand to restore the Rwenzururu Kingdom, of which Bundibugyo is part, eventually led to the use of violent means. NALU and ADF have been the key agents operating against the Government of Uganda. Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues. (CLICK once!) BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District
Causes of conflicts (cont.) NR&TJ Audit Forced displacement: The uprooting of the Batwa population from Semuliki Forest, and their displacement to half an acre of land in Kasita Sub-County, were regarded as criminal offences committed by Government of Uganda. The displacement of the Batwa to date has excluded and isolated them from their traditional way of life in the forest and this has led to brewing tensions with the local population, as well as the Uganda Wild Life Authority. Desire for power: Power struggles by Government and opposition political parties were noted as one of the causes of conflict in Bundibugyo. For example, the political riots during the Walk to Work protests, the absence of clear term limits and election rigging are directly impacting on governance in Uganda. As one participant put it people want to rule until Jesus Christ comes back. Cultural differences: Cultural differences between the Bamba and the Babwisi on the one hand, and the Bakonjo on the other hand as regards the Obusinga (Rwenzururu Kingdom Cultural Institution) cause conflict in the region. The Obusinga was originally a common rallying point against the marginalization by the Tooro Kingdom. However, the Bamba and Bakonjo did not come to a common understanding over the Obusinga. The process itself was top-down and did not involve grassroots consultations. All the Obusinga leaders are Bakonjo, yet they claim they also have geographical coverage over non-Bakonjo populated areas. This is increasingly a cause of discontent amongst the Bamba and Babwisi. Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues. (CLICK once!) BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District
Impacts of conflicts NR&TJ Audit Internal displacement: Participants highlighted the internal displacement of people, especially of the Bakonjo from the mountain ranges, since this was the area where the ADF operated most Lost lives and property: Loss of property and lives were direct results of raids and ambushes during the NALU and ADF insurgencies. Vehicles were burnt along most of the affected roads. For example, in areas like Bundiwerumu and Kirindi Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps, there were massacres. On 16 June 1997, 12 people were killed in Izahura village. Physical injuries and torture: Many people also suffered physical injuries during the NALU and ADF conflicts like the amputation of body parts like arms and legs. People were tortured in Bundiwerumu and Kirindi Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps. Rape: Rampant rape of women took place during and after the conflict by Government soldiers and civilians alike. As one woman remarked, wars exposed men to an aggressive behaviour of rape. Behavioural changes: The conflict influenced behavioural changes which are contrary to cultural values. This led to divorce and the separation of many families. Prostitution and alcohol abuse have been rampant. Moral degeneration has been noted in terms of childrens sexual behaviour during displacement. Many have learnt to have sex at a very early age. Abduction: Abduction of community members by the ADF insurgents was discussed by the participants Decreased standard of education: The level and quality of education in the district, as indicated by statistics, has been negatively affected by ADF ever since This is especially highlighted by the low performances in examinations across the district and the region. Famine: Participants also noted famine as a result of the ADF conflict Diseases: It was noted that outbreaks of diseases such as cholera and HIV/AIDS amongst others were a result of displacement Decrease in agricultural output: Agricultural output was greatly affected, especially the growing of cocoa as a main source of cash crops, hence affecting households income Dependency syndrome: Dependency syndromes are a result of the prolonged insurgencies. The communities depended on relief items from NGOs such as Save the Children. Trauma: Participants also highlighted the presence of trauma in the post-conflict period which is directly linked to the various painful experiences of suffering by the communities Increase in number of orphans: Killings by NALU and ADF in the district resulted in an increased number of orphans. Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues. (CLICK once!) BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District Negative
Impacts of conflicts (cont.) NR&TJ Audit Development of infrastructure: Participants noted the development of infrastructure, such as the construction of health centres where IDP camps were formerly situated, the opening of new roads and the transformation of IDP camps into trading centres e.g. Haktan, Picfare, Masaka and Butogo Creation of Bundibugyo District: The creation of Bundibugyo District arose from a protracted struggle initiated by the Rwenzururu Movement Increase in trade and commerce: Levels of trade and commerce increased in the area due to the heavy presence of Government soldiers who constituted a market for the internally displaced communities Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues. (CLICK once!) BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District Positive
The main conflicts that the Bundibugyo experienced are the Rwenzururu Movement by the Bamba and Bakonjo against the Batooros Tooro Kingdom, as well as the subsequent, much more violent, NALU and ADF insurgencies. In these conflicts, the following stakeholders were involved: NR&TJ Audit BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District
STAKEHOLDERS Victims Conflicts Beneficiaries By-standers Peace Builders Spoilers NR&TJ Audit Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues. BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District
NR&TJ Audit The Batwa community which was uprooted from its ancestral land in Semuliki Forest and forcefully displaced to the Kasita Sub-County trading centre Women who were abducted, raped and killed in the frontline of most of the wars Children who were abducted and forcefully recruited as child soldiers by the ADF rebels The business community which suffered attacks. Many of its members were killed e.g. Jokasi, Jabake and Haruna, all of whom were leading business men. Men who died in large numbers at the hands of both the ADF and the national army, the Uganda Peoples Defence Force (UPDF) The NRA/UPDF soldiers who sustained injuries or were killed during the war (CLICK once!) Among the victims of the conflicts in Bundibugyo District were: Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues. Victims
NR&TJ Audit BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District Perpetrators The Government of Sudan which supported the ADF rebels NRA/UPDF soldiers who raped girls during the insurgency ADF commanders who surrendered and were given amnesty by the Government of Uganda The Tooro Kingdom which masterminded the subjugation of the Bamba, Bakonjo and other ethnic groups in the Rwenzori region The Government of DRC which provides sanctuary to ADF rebels District officials like Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Masega Edward who tortured the local population Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues. (CLICK once!) The following were some of the perpetrators mentioned:
NR&TJ Audit BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District Beneficiaries UPDF soldiers who benefited from salaries and war allowances Wesley Mumbere whose Kingdom (the Obusinga) was restored and who was crowned The business community which heavily profited as the population was driven to Bundibugyo town Professionals who got job placements in the area as NGOs responded to the dire humanitarian situation The Government of Uganda benefited from development partners support to the economy and other sectors (CLICK once!) The following were some of the beneficiaries mentioned:
NR&TJ Audit BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District Some UPDF soldiers who had double standards and collaborated with the ADF The UPDF generally did not take immediate action to respond to reports by the community of ADF presence in the area Politicians like LCV Silverno, a Bamba, who had double standards and maintained that the ÁDF conflict was a Bakonjo affair The Directorate of Military Intelligence, alongside all other machineries of Government intelligence, did not play an effective early warning role for the population Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues. (CLICK once!) Bystanders The following were some of the bystanders mentioned:
NR&TJ Audit BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District Delinquent youth looted shops, especially in the Kirinda area of Bundibugyo, thus tainting the image of the community with Government Collaborators like Mupalya (who was a Bakonjo) who worked directly with the Batooro against the greater Bamba/Bakonjo interest The UPDF generally was indifferent when rebels were reported in the area (CLICK once!) Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues. Spoilers The following were some of the spoilers mentioned:
NR&TJ Audit BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District Peace Builders President Museveni who boosted soldiers during the war against ADF and later accepted the demands for the restoration of the Civil Society Organisations such as Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), Uganda Red Cross, Catholic Relief Services and Save the Children Cultural leaders from the Obusinga who involved themselves in mediation in disputes, including elders like Yeremiah Kawamala and Isaiah Mukiranyi Religious leader who facilitated peace talks between the Government and the leaders of the Rwenzururu movement International agencies such as UN agencies, the International Red Cross, the World Food Programme and Oxfam Great Britain UPDF officers, especially Major General Kazini, who was involved in direct negotiations with the King of Rwenzururu (CLICK once!) The following were some of the peace builders mentioned: Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues.
NR&TJ Audit BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District LOOKING FORWARD Future
NR&TJ Audit BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District TALKING ABOUT THE HISTORY OF CONFLICT IN UGANDA Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues. According to participants, Ugandas history was repeating itself through continuous turbulence caused by wars, power struggles, corruption (which has currently reached peak proportions), an absence of a peaceful transfer of power, clinging to power through the removal of term limits, the waste of tax payers money to hold referendums on political systems instead of on important issues like reconciliation. Participants further noted a feeling of disappointment that todays problems are a result of poor state-building by the colonial power. They considered that previous traditional chiefs had the best mechanisms for preventing conflict but they continue to be ignored in favour of colonial laws which have let the people down. Other participants felt that though Idi Amin was a dictator, he fought the war against corruption well. As one participant said corruption was non-existent as compared to today and it is disappointing that history is ignoring these good dictations of Amin. Another participant wondered how we have heroes of wars and not those who fight poverty?. Participants noted that it is sad that at present in Uganda, there is deliberate marginalization in political participation, yet this trend has so many times been the cause of conflicts in Uganda. Participants also said that it is disheartening when certain ethnic groups are quietly dominating others, not learning from the long history of inter-ethnic conflicts in Uganda. Examples of the existence of favouritism, cited by participants, included cases of corruption which are handled in a way that protects some groups and classes of people. The Banyankole were noted to be favoured more than others, as can be seen in the current strategic job placements in Uganda. One participant lamented that Banyankole drive big cars when a Mukonjo cannot ride a bicycle. We used to blame Amin thinking that he is tribalistic, but this looks to be a chain of every leader who comes to power. The local people keep on suffering. Participants felt sad saying that the history of Uganda up to today has been defined by bloodshed. In Amins regime, people shed blood and under Obote II, Rwakasisi (the then Minister of Security) and his colleagues killed many people. They have been pardoned and were brought back to Government. When asked how participants felt talking about the different conflicts and their legacies, the majority said it was important to talk. The following are some of the highlights of the various views participants emphasized: (CLICK once!)
NR&TJ Audit BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District Perspectives of Justice Participants unanimously said that justice has not been rendered at all with regards to the conflicts mentioned above. One youthful participant said that what we are seeing is not justice, it is nonsense. Participant noted that justice is for the rich. They gave examples of victims who never received reparations for the losses they suffered during the conflicts. Similarly, amnesty is granted without truth-telling to the victims. Participants explained that justice to them had the following meaning: Justice in Rutooro (the language of the Batooro) means Obwinganiza, that is to say, equality and fairness.Bwenganaganya in Rwamba/Rubwisi (the language of the Bamba/Babwisi) means equality and fairness, while Obulingiriraniya in Lukonjo (the language of the Bakonjo) means equal treatment and fairness. The justice discourse in the FGDs put the onus on equal sharing, fairness, mercy, respect for the rule of law and the provision of equal opportunities to all. Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues.
NR&TJ Audit BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District Prosecution Truth-telling Transitional Justice Processes Truth-telling provides the opportunity to perpetrators to apologize to the victims and be forgiven A national truth-telling commission would facilitate a better process for truth-telling in terms of answering questions as to which crimes were committed and by whom A Truth Commission should be able to facilitate a process that addresses the question of political differences in the truth- telling endeavours and guard against the use of the Commission for solving political vendettas Careful guidelines should be set to govern the truth-telling process and should involve amongst others wider stakeholder consultations that will provide enhanced legitimacy There were calls for the prosecution of perpetrators for the crimes they committed during the conflicts, especially of those who ignored amnesty and did not renounce rebellion In case of corruption, prosecutions should target senior officials in Government as this will create an effect at the community level by showing that the law is active There was a call for the domestic prosecution of war crimes, provided there is independence of the court, away from Government influence Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues.
NR&TJ Audit BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District Transitional Justice Processes Reparations Establishment of therapeutic services for victims of amputation and bodily mutilation Compensation to community members who lost their land to the army, which used it for army barracks Compensation should be provided for stores of cooperative societies for cash crops which were destroyed during the different conflicts in order to rebuild the post-war economy, as well as other buildings that were destroyed A post-war reconstruction programme that aims at rebuilding all institutions and infrastructures that were destroyed during the war, e.g. vocational institutions, like that in Kicwamba, main roads, as well as community roads, amongst others, is necessary Participants identified the urgent need to bring the Bamba and Batooro to a round table to reconcile with one another Participants urged Government to take a peaceful approach to resolving conflicts in Uganda They further urged useful cultural associations that exist amongst community members to be enhanced in order to ease reconciliation efforts and promote harmony, including amongst the Diaspora Reconciliation Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues.
NR&TJ Audit BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District Psychosocial Support Memorialization Available memorialisation initiatives include: St. Johns Seminary Kibulana (Kasese), Mitandi Bundibugyo Hospital and Boma Grounds, Kicwamba Sub-County. Participants emphasised the need to have monuments for memorialisation in places like Izahura, Kacunguwa, Sempaya Hot Spring, Kirindi, Nyahuka Hospital and Bundiwerume-Bahanda Additionally, public holidays and events are important moments to recognize peace-builders and local heroes There is also a need to prioritise documentation by writing about the conflict and the heroes, and by conducting drama and video shows for the benefit of the next generation Linkages with reparations should be made through naming of newly established public institutions e.g. schools, hospitals or bridges in the memory of those who have fallen and who were peace-builders There is a need for rehabilitation centres for victims of psycho-social trauma. Customary healing processes to address the problems of trauma were also noted as potentially useful. The involvement of religious leaders in the healing process, especially in terms of its spiritual dimension, was also noted as potentially useful Participants called for a Government policy targeted at addressing peoples Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSDs). They asked for the recruitment and training of counsellors to intervene in the psycho-social healing processes at the community level. Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues. Transitional Justice Processes
NR&TJ Audit BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District Memorialization Traditional Justice Participants highlighted that in Lukonjo, traditional justice was referred to as Ekyaghanda. They also said that traditional justice should be brought back because, contrary to the present system (referred to as kwenkanyankanya Abantu/Bamwi(formal justice)), there was no corruption involved. Members emphasized that traditional justice should work together with formal justice to address the legacies of these conflicts. However, the formal law was blamed for failing to resolve conflicts because of its punitive stance and the promotion of revenge. A participant said that formal law does not recognize some principles of traditional justice. It is punitive unlike traditional justice which is conciliatory. See the penal code.. Participants noted that local customs should be the source of law, unlike the formal law system which imposes foreign customs upon indigenous communities Participants emphasized that certain categories of crimes can be handled perfectly by traditional justice Participants noted that traditional justice involves adjudication by clan leaders. This process, they said, starts from the family court. In case one is dissatisfied, one goes to clan members. This appellate process and the meetings to adjudicate are called kitubi. They take place during the evening and problems are solved there. Participants acknowledged that the Amnesty Act had played a great role in the ADF conflict and cited people like Commander Benz (real name: Chris Tushabe) who benefited from it. They recommended the continued use of amnesty but had the following comments and suggestion to make: The settlement packages provided to those who renounced rebellion should be reviewed or completely stopped because it motivates some people to join rebellion with the expectation of the packages No community considerations were taken into account in the amnesty process and the public was not informed about it at all There is a need to ensure that truth-telling is an integral part of and a pre-condition to the amnesty process Amnesty should be given only to those who voluntarily renounce armed conflict, not to those who are captured in the battlefield Those who were abducted but later became perpetrators should be included in the grant of amnesty The Amnesty Commission should be made independent from Government to prevent politicization of its work Vulnerable groups like children and elderly should automatically be given amnesty In the interest of peace, eligibility for amnesty should be preconditioned on grass root consultations Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues. Transitional Justice Processes
NR&TJ Audit BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District Prisons Participants suggested that technical work, e.g. plumbing, should be improved in all prisons, instead of only in Luzira Upper Prisons Participants mentioned there are horrible conditions in the prisons, such as poor hygiene, inadequate space, poor health services, poor means of transport, poor feeding, imbalanced diet, and lack of education. Uganda Prison Services should become more productive with their revenue to directly support itself. Police & Army Participants stressed that the use of teargas to quell demonstrations should be brought to an end since tear gas is poisonous The army should not engage in partisan politics and leave Parliament in order to avoid conflict of interest The national army should not be involved in the work of the police at all since the police has different training needs. The army is trained for war, not for police duties. Participants insisted that the level of education of applications for the Police Force should be considered during recruitment. Promotions should be based on experience and the salary of the police constables should be reflective of the general cost of living. Others Participants called for a reform of land law and policies to ensure that the powerless are protected and the power of the elites is regulated in order to correct inequalities Participants also called for the judiciarys total independence to ensure fairness for all citizens Participants further noted that the Public Service Commission should develop a comprehensive framework to fight against corruption in the civil service In the health sector, members noted that there should be a comprehensive facilitation to help community members receive quality medical care as a right. For example, there are no scan services at Bundibugyo Hospital and all referrals are referred to Fort Portal Hospital, which itself is understaffed. There was a call for a reviewof education policies, with particular attention to quality as opposed to access and quantity: Participants pointed out that Universal Primary Education (UPE) and Universal Secondary Education (USE) have spoiled the quality of education as a consequence of poor management. For example, teachers at Semuliki Secondary School are majorly part-time teachers. Nonetheless, some of them teach at all levels. Mathematics and History were said to be the most affected subjects. Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues. Institutional Reforms (CLICK once!) Transitional Justice Processes
NR&TJ Audit BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District Messages to Leaders/Institutions To President Museveni: Send more inspectors to the hospitals and ensure that the Uganda Police Force handles all Ugandans with due respect for the rule of law and recognises that people are people Government should provide soft loans to the citizens to reduce poverty Ensure that you fulfil your promises of the campaigns since the 1996 presidential campaign Address unemployment especially for youths, and increase salaries, especially in sectors like education Embrace justice mechanisms which are good both from and for our country Government leaders should cooperate and fight corruption To the Minister of Health Please reconsider Bundibugyo hospital Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues. To the District Chairman (LCV) Monitor the activities of health officials in the district Ensure that the District Education Officer (DEO) of Bundibugyo District supervises schools so as to improve output and quality To Members of Parliament from Bundibugyo Avoid unnecessary conflict amongst yourselves. As noted by one participant, stop fighting like children; we are not interested in your fights. Focus your energy on the development of Bundibugyo Tribalism in Bundibugyo must be fought since it is a barrier to employment opportunities in the district
NR&TJ Audit BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District Recommendations There is need for the recognition of traditional values and norms of justice and peace-building mechanisms. Formal law has little regard for our values, customs and norms. They emphasize vengeance, while we emphasize reconciliation. There is an urgent need to restore presidential term limits so as to afford new leaders and ideas the chance to take charge of the country, in strict adherence to democratic principles of good governance The rule of law should be promoted and respected by every Ugandan, irrespective of political affiliation. Participants referred to the oil debate and the failure by Ministers involved to resign and show political maturity. There is need for equal treatment and opportunities for all Ugandans, regardless of their political beliefs, tribe and religious affiliations, as well as socio-economic status. A participant saidfavouritism is going too far even in Government today. Please remember that this brief reflects community perspectives on national issues. (CLICK once!).
NR&TJ Audit BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District Acknowledgements Refugee Law Project (RLP), School of Law, Makerere University is very grateful for the contributions made by different individuals and organisations during the National Reconciliation & Transitional Justice Audit research in Bundibugyo District. First, sincere thanks and appreciation goes to Innocent Baluku and Emmanuel Busingye who mobilised members for the FGDs. In the same measure, we extend our gratitude to Mugerwa Mugisha Fred for his interpretation and Milton Sibayirwa and Jacob Muhindo, respectively the Disaster Response Officer of the Uganda Red Cross and the Community Development Officer of Kasita Sub-County, for mobilising the Batwa Community. We further sincerely thank the Batwa community and their traditional leader. Above all, we express sincere appreciation to all our FGD and KII participants in Bundibugyo District for offering us their valuable time and to the Swedish International Development Agency and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for providing financial support for this research. Presentation prepared by Opiny Shaffic, with inputs and edits from Dr. Chris Dolan, Annelieke van de Wiel and Moses Alfred Nsubuga.
NR&TJ Audit BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District Acknowledgements for pictures & maps Accessed at pgdYF4/s1600/map.JPG pgdYF4/s1600/map.JPG jpg Museveni.jpg iND6PQI15s0/TrJVjnX_bmI/AAAAAAAAAa8/sR9o6yOiR6E/s1600/hand%2Bover%2Bo f%2Bcheque.JPG Websites
NR&TJ Audit BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District
NR&TJ Audit BRIEF 12 of 18: Bundibugyo District Watch this space for Brief 13: Mubende District