Monday 19 December 2016


RWECO Members meeting DEC

Good Hope Foundation for Rural Development through RWECO has this morning of Monday December 19
th 2016 represented other CSOs to meet the Kasese District Executive members to discuss Peace in Kasese and Rwenzori at large.
The Meeting was convened in LCV Chairperson’s office with a purpose of planning for a combined effort towards contributing to Peace in Kasese and Rwenzori region at large. And was attended by; Eight Participants that included the District Local Council Five Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary for Social Services, Secretary for Works, and Secretary for Production, and ED GHFRD, Coordinator RWECO and P.O GHFRD.
RWECO Coordinator Mr.Jimmy Odyek B briefed participants about the Community action to prevent and manage conflicts project that is being funded by EU through HIVOS to ensure peaceful co-existence in Rwenzori region. He narrated how RWECO has been engaging stakeholders through Good Hope Foundation in Kasese, KALI in Kamwenge, RICNET in Bundibugyo and RIDE AFRICA in Ntoroko for Peace.
Deliberating on Kasese Conflicts. Secretary for Production and Secretary for Works before LCV Chairperson

Mr. Sibendire Bigogo Geofrey, the Kasese District Chairperson made the following key remarks about Kasese conflicts;
·         Some CSOs in the region are being used to promote conflicts instead of promoting Peace. He said , he lost trust in some CSOs he is well aware of and asked RWECO to try by all means and make sure they do not join the camp of those CSOs the District has already identified.
·         Those with Power (Central Government) do not recognize the need for Peace in Kasese District, the reason best known by them.
·         The way Government is handling Rwenzori issues is complicating everything. Use of force to tackle what would be simple conflicts that necessitated dialogue is not a solution at all but escalating the conflict.
·         Central Government seems not to be respecting the District leadership and not recognizing the major role they must play in ensuring a peaceful Kasese.
Supplementing the Chairperson’s remarks, the Vice Chairperson Hon.Elly Magwara Masesreka stated that Central Government has failed to handle the exact issues that could be leading to conflicts in the region, and that he is personally not happy with the way Central government is reacting to Rwenzori issues.
According to the Vice Chairperson, Some People who felt insecure due to alleged hunt down of those loyal to Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu(OBR) by Central Government sought refuge at the OBR Palace as the only institution they could trust for their security. “ As District, we do not know what the Central Government is up to in Kasese District” said by Vice Chairperson.
Generally, Participants raised the following key issues concerning conflicts in Kasese and Rwenzori at large;
·         Most CSOs are not boldly coming up to talk the truth about Kasese Conflicts, attributed to Government intimidation and some conflict merchants also planted in CSOs.
·         Interests by Government in Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) likely contributing to escalating conflicts in Kasese and Rwenzori as a way of creating fear among the communities which are near DRC
·         Poor analysis of Rwenzori conflicts is derailing stakeholders back and therefore creating a sense of complexity in solving the conflicts. “A domestic related conflict for example is very fast linked to a tribal conflict, any killing in a community is very fast linked to royal guards of OBR and every one seems to believe in such rumors than getting the truth before acting” highlighted by one of the participants.
·         Miss conception of blood relationship between Bayiira/Bakonzo in Rwenzori region (Uganda) with those in Eastern Democratic republic of Congo is being used by Conflicts merchants to spread rumors that have acted as fertile grounds for conflicts in Rwenzori.
Vice Chairperson at the extreme front during the Meeting

After all the above discussions, we agreed on the following action points towards Peace in Kasese District;
  • As community actions continue, CSOs should engage Central Government and boldly talk the truth about Rwenzori and Kasese Conflicts.
  • CSos like RWECO also ought to conduct consultation with some key open minded historical leaders of Kasese about the Conflicts for guidance and more clear facts.
  • CSOs need to feel sympathetic with Conflicts survivors in Kasese and Rwenzori at large, and once in a while have a sharing with them for psycho-social healing.
  • CSOs through RWECO ought to organize another big meeting with District and sub county leaders for all owned action points towards sustainable peace in Kasese and Rwenzori at large.


Wednesday 7 December 2016


In response to the 26th and 27th November 2016 Kasese attacks when government forces attacked Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu Prime Minister’s office and King’s Palace respectively, where royal guards, civilians and Police lost lives( allegedly 62-according to Police reports), Civil society organizations operating in Rwenzori converged in Kasese Municipality on 6th/12/2016 at the Municipal council hall to meet the Kasese District resident commissioner(RDC) to discuss urgent mechanisms of restoring sustainable peace in Kasese and Rwenzori at large.
Jimmy Odyek of RWECO,Moderating the Meeting

Participants totaling to twenty one (21; 2 females and 19 Males) attended and participated in the Meeting. The meeting majorly targeted executive Directors of the Rwenzori based Civil society organizations operating in Kasese District, Managers of the four FM radio stations in Kasese District, heads of the Peace desks for Catholics, Anglican, Moslems and Pentecostal Churches in Kasese and Resident District Commissioner.
Among other organizations that attended were Rwenzori consortium for Civic Competence as the host with its members that include; Good Hope Foundation for Rural Development(GHFRD), KALI, RIDE-AFRICA and RIC-NET, and other organizations including among others; KADDNET,ACODEV,FURA,NAYODE, Rwenzori anti-Corruption coalition(RAC), Pentecostals Pastor and media houses that were represented by UBC-NGEYA FM, and RDC and his deputy.
CSOs Members in a meeting at Kasese Municipal Council Hall

During the meeting, key pertinent issues were raised by participants as being causes/ or triggers of Conflicts in Rwenzori and Kasese in particular, referring to the recent attacks, and the following were noted as triggers/causes;
·         Alleged growing number of royal guards’ camps in Kasese District and one in Kabarole District
·         Miss trust among the different development stakeholders in Kasese, including local people, Police, Royal guards, UPDF and other government institutions. There has been a growing lack of trust of each other in as far as conflicts in the region are concerned.
·         Miss information about Rwenzori and Kasese issues to the Central government by majorly politicians and some elders. A case in point is Yiira State secessionist roomer, and framing domestic conflicts as tribal and therefore engineered by Kingdom
·         Actions of OBR whereby it continued to recruit big numbers of royal guards.
·         Un clear demarcation of kingdoms’ boundaries in Rwenzori region
·         Covering the truth about Rwenzori issues by some self seekers/opportunists
·         Political conflicts have resulted into killings of innocent people
·         Reluctancy of government to handle problems of rwenzori as they occur. Small issues have piled up, resulting into conflicts like land issues, failure to fulfill promises etc
·         Un clear reports about the previous attacks like in 2014 and March 2016 whereby government arrested the alleged leaders of the attacks but never let them to face justice. This raised suspicion among the populace about who could be engineering killings in the region; Government or some one else?
·         Internal fighting within OBR allegedly planned and promoted by external forces with in Government
·         High level Poverty among community members who are easily manipulated and therefore easily engaged in escalating conflicts
·          Hostility of government against royal guards who naturally find a way of protecting themselves too
·         Lack of consistency with in OBR Leadership whereby every leader who comes in office does not refer to his/her predecessor’s records
·         Not being selective in recruiting royal guards. Some of them are ex-soldiers and therefore used to the aggressiveness of soldiers.
·         Two strong centers of power in the District especially the RDC and LCV Chairpersons offices almost working as parallel offices and yet they all target the same local community members

The Kasese Resident District Commissioner, Major James Mwesige made the following response and remarks about Kasese Conflicts;
·         With in the kingdom, there are three different divergent thinkings. These fail to agree and create an environment for a conflict among the Kingdom subjects
·         The OBR having a whole security force threatens government and therefore calling for government action
·         Failure by his Majesty to listen to President Call whereby the president asked the Kingdom to disband the royal guards department and government promised to provide two(2) royal guards per sub county for the kingdom and put them on salary scale, but his majesty never complied
·         The excessive force by UPDF when attacking the Palace on 27th/11/2016 was because the enemy was in a fenced location, and therefore the government had no way out
·         Government is committed to building Peace in Kasese and Rwenzori region at large.

The Meeting zeroed on the following action points as the next step towards peace building and sustainability in Kasese District;

  • CSOs to separately meet OBR Cabinet and Veterans team
  • CSOs to organize another specific dialogue with Kasese inter-religious council
  • CSOs to organize another meeting with Kasese District executive committee
  • CSOs to organize an interface meeting with Kasese District members of Parliament
  • Organizing continuous dialogues between government and OBR
  • Lobby for a psycho-social program for Kasese District because most people have been psychologically traumatized by the attacks and deaths of many people.