Uganda: Indigenous land evictions
KPFA Weekend News, 02.19.2012
KPFA Weekend News Anchor Cameron Jones: Last October, President Obama sent 100 Special Operations Forces into Uganda's northern region to, he said, help the Ugandan Army protect the people by hunting down Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, commonly known by its acronym, the LRA. Now, however, many Acholi and other indigenous people of Northern Uganda say that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's attempt to evict them from their land is what really threatens their survival. KPFA's Ann Garrison has the story.
KPFA/Ann Garrison: On February 12th, Ugandan American Black Star News Editor Milton Allimadi published "Uganda: Museveni's and Madhvani Group's Acholi Land Grab Would Amount to Second Genocide." A vicious land grab, Allimadi wrote, is being carried out in Uganda, pairing the country's dictator with an "investor," and the targets are the Acholi, genocide survivors who live in the northern part of the East African country, on abundant, fertile and mineral-rich land. During Museveni's 26-year rule, since 1986, his army drove 90% of the Acholi people into refugee camps, where many died of starvation or disease, or committed suicide, though Museveni justified the refugee camps by claiming that he was protecting the Acholi people from the LRA.
Allimadi also cited documents attributed to President Museveni by American scholar Todd David Whitmore which show that he was all the while eyeing Acholi land for mechanized agriculture. In recent years, Allimadi wrote, the land contest has intensified, as rich oil fields have been discovered in the region.
One member of a Northern Ugandan community which sustains itself by traditional, clan based agriculture said, in the video "Shooting Us All Down" made by the Kampala, Uganda-based Refugee Law Project, that many Northern Ugandans say they are ready to die to stop the land evictions:
Northern Ugandan Speaker in "Shooting Us All Down": Everywhere you go, you ask, talk about land. Aiyyiyi . . . Don't take the only resource we have left. For land, I'm ready to die. I'm ready to shed blood.
KPFA: Milton Allimadi and others have said for several years that Museveni and the U.S. government are using the infamous LRA militia as an excuse to send in troops to secure oil and other resources in Uganda, Congo, and South Sudan.