#SaveAmuruLand --Madhvani and Gen. Museveni Stop ARMED LAND GRAB in UGANDA
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Stop Land Grabs Throughout Africa and Uganda! Resist Land Grabs being carried out through the barrel of AK 47s and tear gas by the regime. Profits must not trump human beings -- poor rural farmers.
U.S.-backed and armed dictator Gen. Yoweri Museveni has been in power for 31 years now. When he first seized control he denounced African leaders like Mobutu, Bokassa, and Amin who stay too long in office and create misery and destruction. He joined that unholy league long ago.
During the brutal anti-insurgency military operations by Gen. Museveni's army against the vicious Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) two million people in Uganda's Acholi region were forced into camps, purportedly to protect them from the LRA. Their livestock and granaries, the most important assets in rural areas, were plundered by the military and senior officers.
Many believe the forced confinement was a ploy to steal their fertile and mineral-rich ancestral lands.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that as many as 1,000 people died per week in the camps due to lack of sufficient food, water, medical and sanitary facilities. Over one million may have perished over a 20-year period from this planned neglect. Bowing to international pressure Gen. Museveni closed the camps in 2006.
Camp survivors returned to their ancestral lands. Some had their land taken away and given to the Uganda Wild Life Authority as game preserves to attract tourists from Europe. Others have been working hard to rebuild their lives--tilling the soil, growing food and commercial crops, saving their money and sending their children to school.
These vulnerable camp survivors now face armed attack and disruption of the brief period of peace they've enjoyed.
It's not Joseph Kony and the LRA that's behind the new invasion. Today it's powerful corporate land grabbers seeking profits by any means necessary, such as the Madhvani Group --with estimated assets worth over $500 million-- and Gen. Museveni and his military. This is militarized capitalism run amok.
Gen. Museveni has declared war against citizens of his own country and deployed the national army in a private land dispute.
Villagers have been attacked by government security forces. Uganda television news reports that even a rural school was raided and occupied by police -- teachers and student fled after reportedly being beaten.
We call upon Madhvani Group to immediately renounce, repudiate and condemn use of state terrorism against innocent civilians by Gen. Museveni in his pursuit of land in Amuru on behalf of the company, which wants to create a sugar plantation and factory.
On the other hand, it's also believed that Gen. Museveni may want to acquire the land by force because it contains mineral riches.
Uganda's former commissioner of lands administration Livingstone Okello-Okello observed in a recent letter to Betty Amongi, Gen. Museveni' minister for Lands that he had once proposed in Parliament that the government determine the resources contained in the land such as precious minerals and oil. He also wrote: “There is no investor under the sun who will put their money where the locals do not welcome it. Is it really Madhvani? Or is Madhvani’s name being used to camouflage land grabbing?”
The leaders in Acholi region, including Members of Parliament Gilbert Olanya, Anthony Akol and other MPs have clearly stated that the people are prepared to negotiate with ethical investors of THEIR CHOICE but are not interested in deals imposed with the barrel of guns. Scores of people have been killed in past incidents by security forces.
Land is the only asset the people of Amuru have. They are so terrified of dispossession that elderly women have even disrobed and protested semi-nude, such as when Museveni minister Amongi went to "survey" the land recently escorted by a heavily-armed troop detachment. Nude protest by women is the highest form of repudiation in this culturally conservative community.
The Amuru semi-nude and nude-protest as a means of resisting land grab is spreading around the world.
The Museveni minister Amongi recently was quoted issuing a threat saying: “Anyone thinking of stopping survey of this land or anyone thinking of stopping the acquisition of this land is dreaming. I have come with all the power from government to ensure that this land is surveyed.”
Madhvani operates globally and it's hard to believe that, for example, in the U.S. it would partner with a government that used security forces and state terror in pursuit of a business deal it wanted.
What's more, Madhvani Group got a $60 million loan from The World Bank to rebuild Kakira Sugarworks after the family returned to Uganda when Gen. Idi Amin was overthrown. The notorious dictator had expelled Ugandans of Asian ancestry in 1972.
How ironic that today the Madhvanis, who were themselves victims of another dictator, want to see rural farmers thrown off their land at the barrel of Gen. Museveni's guns to clear way for the sugar factory Madhvani Group wants to build.
This is wrong and if the company is seeking more financing from The World Bank for this enterprise the people of Amuru should hold the Bank (or any other foreign lender) -in addition to Madhvani, Amongi, and Gen. Museveni-- liable for any deaths or injuries arising from the use of the Uganda People's Defense Force (UPDF), the national army, to seize the land.
In another earlier aborted land grab attempt, women also conducted a nude protest before the minister of internal affairs Gen. Aronda Nyakairima when he also wanted to conduct a "survey." The general, who was known as a mild-mannered commander abandoned the Museveni land grab orders.
He empathized with the poor farmers who had survived the concentration camps when they protested.
Gen. Nyakairima later died under mysterious circumstances and many Ugandans have cast suspicion on the government's account that his death was due to cardiac arrest.
Now minister Amongi is in charge of the operation land grab.
Please sign this Petition and if you can Contact the Madhvani Group, which is based in Uganda by calling 256 414 444 000.
Demand that the company stop trying to acquire private ancestral lands through force by partnering with Gen. Museveni and his military.
Stand in solidarity with the people of Amuru resisting land grab. If Amuru falls no part of the country will be safe.
SHARE THIS RESISTANCE CAMPAIGN AGAINST MILITARIZED CAPITALISM.
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