Thursday July 10 2014

UPC to govt: Restore calm in Rwenzori region


Opposition party Uganda Peoples Congress yesterday called government to restore calm in the Rwenzori region.

UPC vice president Joseph Bossa further asked the government to come clean on the attacks “because without accurate explanation, Ugandans will speculate and the explanation should have come yesterday”.

He said by the President complaining about the whereabouts of the intelligence agencies at the time of the attacks, it was an indirect admission that security agencies had failed in their work.
Mr Bossa said if it is true that the fighting is a result of tribal clashes, then government is to blame for dividing people by creating several kingdoms and chiefdoms, and hence generating tribal sentiments.

‘Doesn’t make sense’
“The government is blaming this on tribal conflicts, but it doesn’t make sense why tribes attack themselves. And why are these attacks targeted at security installations and personnel if government wants us to believe it is a tribal conflict?” he asked.

Mr Bossa said it is government’s duty to unify the country, instead of dividing people based on culture and tribal sentiments. He said President Museveni should have heeded to the call by Omukama (King) of Tooro, Oyo Kabamba Iguru, when he appealed to him to stop subdividing the Rwenzori region.

King Oyo recently threatened to go on a hunger strike if the President did not stop creating other kingdoms and traditional rulers in the region. However, in response, Mr Museveni told King Oyo that he was free to go on the hunger strike and that would help King Oyo cut on his body weight.
In response to the UPC, government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo told this newspaper yesterday that calm had been restored and blaming intelligence agencies for this single incident is not being honest.

“Intelligence cannot be right all the time and one isolated incident cannot show that intelligence has failed,” Mr Opondo said.

People’s demand
On allegation of divisive politics by creating several kingdoms, Mr Opondo dismissed the accusation that the government and the President come in after people have presented their demands.
Dr Arthur Bainomugisha, a conflict resolution expert and a lecturer at Makerere University, told the Daily Monitor yesterday that there are many threads to the Rwenzori conflict but government first needs to restore law and order so that there can be calm before the root course of the conflict is addressed.