Fighting Terrorism in the Region: President Museveni’s Approach

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Clip from K24 – Speech by President Y. Museveni during the 52nd Madaraka Day celebrations in Nairobi

During the Madaraka Day celebrations, the President of Uganda who was a state guest to the celebrations gave a rousing speech in Kiswahili on how Kenya can defeat Al Shabaab. This eye rousing speech was heavily borrowed on his earlier opinion piece which he had written and circulated to newsrooms in the region. The opinion piece titled President Museveni gives rare insights on Al Shabaab which was published in Mail Guardian Africa

One of the things that caught my attention watching this fete was the mode of delivery used by the Ugandan President. The President used Swahili to deliver his speech. Normally Ugandan’s do not speak Kiswahili but President Museveni spent a couple of years in Kenya during the years of turmoil in Uganda. So, he is rather well acquainted with Kenya’s lingua franca but that said it shows the lengths the President went on to explain his philosophy of fighting terrorism to the common folk. His speech won a lot of admiration both online and offline and it does go on to cement his credentials as a former general and as a master strategist who led a guerrilla war on Idi Amin administration. It shows he still has it. One of the main problems with the fight in terrorism in Kenya has been both on the strategy (mostly the lack of it) and disconnect between the authorities and the citizens. The State has resulted in bastardizing the Somali community.

‘Foot in Mouth’ Strategies
After the Garissa terror attack, the administration scored a number of own goals such as the remarks by the Deputy President in which he was quoted indicating that the state wanted to close Dadaab Refugee Camp. The state has since revised its position on closing Dadaab but this was as a result of international condemnation and lobbying by the United Nations Office in Nairobi.

The other preposterous idea by the administration in Kenya was the building of a wall on the Kenya Somalia border. It looked like Kenya was going to join the leagues of Israel-Palestine, East-West Germany and US-Mexico wall barriers. In what is expected to be a 700 Kilometres stretch, the state seems to be going retro on its fight on Shabaab. It is a no brainer that this money would be better spent equipping and beefing up the security personnel along the Kenya-Somalia border plus fighting corruption along the border posts.
Kenya’s great wall as it has been ironically referred to, is well highlighted and analysed here

The other strategy which was pursued by the state immediately after the Garissa attack was the closure of Dahabshiil, the money transfer platform which mainly used to remit money to Somali by Kenyan Somalia’s and Somali’s in the diaspora. The rationale used by the state was that this was a conduit used to send money to Al Shabaab in Somali but this has been perceived by the Somalia community in Kenya as blanket condemnation of the whole community. This strategy would be akin to closure of M-Pesa platform in Kenya which is used to remit money to and from urban-rural areas.

Lastly, the state has clumped on the bank accounts of NGO’s which work or are associated with the Somalia community. Instead of the state cultivating a positive relationship with these NGO’s affiliated or working with the Somalia community. Especially to find out why youths are being radicalised and seek subtle ways and solutions of fighting this endemic, the state has embarked on a path of distancing itself with the Somali community. Intelligence is crucial in the fight against Al Shabaab and there is no way the state will win the war on terror is it seeks to alienate itself from the Somali community. As President Museveni noted;

The one factor that we must emphasize is intelligence – tactical (in a locality) and strategic (in the whole country and the region). – President Museveni

The above measures taken up by the state are not consistent with rationale and strategic thinking. One can only be hopeful that the Kenyan administration can be schooled in the ways of the general as espoused in the Madaraka speech of the Ugandan President which focused on strategic ways of dealing with the Al Shabaab. That is why this speech comes at a very crucial time and is most welcome. Also, the fact that the President Museveni chose to pass this message in Swahili was a strategic communication coup in my opinion. This is because he was able to reach many people in the republic. National celebrations are usually given ample airtime by the state broadcaster and are expected to reach all parts of Kenya.

The other outcome which is laid bare by the Ugandan President’s visit to Kenya and his fight on terror speech is the power play in the region.

President Museveni: First among Equals in the Region?
In my consented opinion, Museveni’s speech further indicates that Ugandan President is considered as first among equals by his peers in the East Africa region. President Museveni happens to be the senior most statesmen in the region. During his speech, he did indicate that he had called on his Kenyan counterpart, President Uhuru Kenyatta and advised him on how to tackle on the Shabaab menace.

This is especially important considering the events taking place in the region. Whereas Kenyan President seems to represent the future of the region and Africa in general and managed to attract a lot of pull with his ICC predicament. When it comes to matters of security, and as long as we have Al Shabaab menace it seems President Museveni will always be relevant. However, on economic frontier the Kenyan President seems to be taking the lead on these matters together with his Rwandan counterpart. The two seem to represent a dynamic duo which is keen on pushing on a developmental state paradigm to give relevance to their rule, democratic or otherwise.

The author of this piece is a blogger and a cultural practitioner in Nairobi. The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of FES

Xenophobia

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By: Davis Wesley Tusingwire

“Arachnophobia – the fear of spiders.
Claustrophobia – the fear of small/tight/enclosed spaces.
Xenophobia – the fear of foreigners.

However individuals who are afraid of spiders do not go around killing spiders, rather they avoid spiders. Equally, individuals who are afraid of small and tight spaces do not go around trying to eliminate the existence of small spaces.

Thus, xenophobia does not by definition imply the killing of foreigners. Yet, we continue to label this current wave of killings and murders in South Africa as xenophobic – and now the cooler term – “Afrophobic” attacks. Can we please just get real? What is happening in South Africa is genocide, a genocide fuelled by a deep-seated hatred for which no single foreigner is responsible.” – Lovelyn Chidinma Nwadeyi.

Lovelyn Chidinma Nwadeyi is a Nigerian. Born in Nigeria to two Nigerian parents and raised in Queenstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa by those same parents.

Lovelyn Chidinma Nwadeyi goes further to indicate in this post here that if we think what she is putting forth is too extreme, then we need to revisit what Genocide is, which happens to be the systematic/targeted killing of a specific tribe or race.

Is this not what is happening in South Africa? Is it entirely true that when you have a phobia, you avoid it. But what triggered the killings in South Africa, where even the sight of a pregnant mother or her baby doesn’t stir compassion? A little baby is burnt to death, alive. Its crying goes unheard, for it’s drowned out by the songs of hatred of its attackers. Trying to figure this all out, in my little head and trying hard not to feel the pain stabbing at my shrinking heart, my mind drifts away to the 1994 Rwandan genocide. We felt it here too, and we still do. But what really triggers these moves across the world?

Countries attacking each other, as are almost normal in the Asian countries. The world watched in shock as the Hutus hacked their fellow countrymen, the Tutsis in a bloody genocide in Rwanda. In a space of about 100 days, thousands of people; children, women and men were murdered in cold blood. Families were wounded and broken or separated as the United Nations intervened. In 2014, the BBC released an in-depth report on the Rwandan President, Paul Kagame which implied that he could have fueled the genocide. His former close associates confessed so, in the story feature titled Rwanda: The Untold Story.

Is it the same thing happening in S.A? Did the leaders of those people insight this genocide on foreigners? It is ironical, that while they kill their African brethren, their white oppressors walk free in the land. The closest they could go to attacking them, was bringing down Cecil Rhodes’ statue. Cowards! Or should I say; hypocrites! The leaders denied having any involvement, the Zulu king to begin with, for it started in his township, and then the S.A President … begged his citizens to stop the killings.

As Africans, we are heartbroken. We cannot believe the nation we stood with while they suffered apartheid could turn against us. We could work out a few assumptions, basing on a few of the facts;

The actual people who carried out the brutal killings were actually the poor, the minority. It’s very easy to stir whatever emotion you want from such a group of people, because they are desperate. That need doesn’t allow them to think through their actions. They are like a greedy person biting off more than they can chew, unaware they will soon choke on it. Who said what?

The Zulu king, who was said to have said something that triggered the killings, and later denied any involvement, could have actually said something, but without such intention. Well, you see, he being king means he lives off the contributions from his people. And these people are the poor majority. The really well-to-do usually do not just give away their hard earned wealth to anyone. Meanwhile, professional foreigners are coming in to the area and doing what brought them, earn the most they can. This leaves the indigenous people poorer and unable to contribute as much to the king. Probably somebody pointed it out to him and in a bid to advise his people, it sparked more fire than he envisioned.

We could go on and on. But what form of justice can undo this? Families across Africa have lost their beloved; some have lost the sole bread earners, in such a manner that they can’t even have their bodies given a proper burial.

With globalization, we trade and live as one. The world is one global village! We acknowledge that not all South Africans agreed to or participated in these xenophobic attacks. There is a reason this happened and we pray that the souls who started this and those who still think such levels of violence are a solution to their problems, find peace in other hearts and feel the love from across the world. May they be moved by the gravity of their mistake and seek reconciliation with their African brethren. God is for us all.

For God and My Country!

Excerpts used in this post from Lovelyn Chidinma Nwadeyi can be accessed on this link

Davis Wesley Tusingwire is a member of FESYLF (Uganda), you can follow him on twitter @w_tusingwire.

The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of FES

Identity Blues!

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By Davis Wesley Tusingwire

For little Jennie, going to one of the best schools in town, where your mother is a teacher and thus guaranteeing special treatment and extra access where students/pupils are concerned, was not such a big deal. She disliked how that particular environment worked against her true identity. See, she wasn’t looked at or treated as Jennie. Instead she was expected to be more than she could be at the time. She probably had the potential to be more, but constantly comparing her to elder sister Judith wasn’t exactly helping. Teachers punished her because she did not write as well as her sister, did not dress as smartly as her sister and for a teacher’s daughter, did not perform as excellently. No body cared about who she really was.

She is not the only one. We have heard stories about mistaken identity, mixed personalities, misjudgement, among others. An identity crisis is common among teenagers across the world, as they discoover themselves and their abilities. Books have been writen and movies have acted about this issue.

And yet it doesn’t end there. Beloved and now fallen, former NTV News anchor Rosemary Nankabirwa endured the bitter words from critiques when someone leaked a picture of her, sick and frailing . To the public, she and all the other public figures are regarded as super human and therefore not expected to be as human as everyone else. It is funny to think, people were surprised she could look that way, as though she was born on Mars. They are human, like you and me and therefore, bound to suffer illnesses, eat the same kind of food, gain or lose weight or even die. Just like everybody else. But alas! A very dangerous stereotype is attached to their identity and we see them misjudged if they dressed differently from what we expect of them, or visited places we think are way below their standards. We almost think they are immortal.

During Easter prayers, a Burundian National dorning a Rick Ross look alike beard was arrested at Rubaga cathedral in Uganda where he had gone for service and detained on suspicion of being a terrorist, all because of his beard. Most terrorist attacks across the world have been linked to the Muslim fraternity, who as a cultural practice grow a beard; for whatever reasons, and this young man could have innocently grown one too, unaware that it would get him into trouble.

Ladies have been called sluts/whores because they dared expose more flesh than the ordinary woman.

Men have been branded homosexuals because they are more soft spoken than their brothers, or because they have a pierced ear or because they prefer brighter colors in their wardrobe among others.

Not so long ago there was a debate on social networks especially Facebook and the mainstream media in Uganda as to who is the fairest? This discussion centred on our current Miss Uganda-Miss Leah Kalanguka who upon being crowned, was criticized and demonised for being ugly because of one poorly taken photograph of her that appeared on the scene. The criticism arose from the angle and comparison with the the recently crowned Miss Rwanda who was deemed and declared a true beauty due to her appearance on the outside.

We have witnessed some people being harrased because they are related to a given person or are over worshiped because of the same.

And through all this, nobody seems to notice what they have to endure, if they manage to make their true self shine through. Many go unrecognised most of the time.

Families are distabilized by identity battles. Children want to be their own person but their parents/guardians want them to be something else. Siblings compete with each other, and of course the brightest usually steals the show and the other(s) are almost forgotten. In schools teachers favor some for given attributes and forget the others. And those forgotten are teased/bullied so badly, sometimes they never recover from it. In workplaces we see superiors harrass their subordinates of out of insecurity. They fear their identity in the company will be overshadowed by those they lead, and so they feel threatened.

Identity is a broad and sensitive issue. It is encouraged though, to always give each individual an opportunity to identify themselves and decide what/who they want to be remembered as. It can be hard to accept others for who they truely are, but since we all need to be accepted or want to impose on others what they should be, it’s only fair that we let them be. It is easier to live with a happier person, regardless of their identity crisis.

What is identity? What identifies us?

The author of this piece is a member of FESYLF (Uganda). The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of FES

You can follow him on twitter on this his handle @w_tusingwire

To The Young of Our Day

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Picture via Ancestral Essence’s Facebook Page

by Wobusobozi Amooti Kangere & Chris Nkwatsibwe

Saw the story below this picture on the Facebook group ancestral essence, and got moved to share a few words from our journey in this time. These I send to the young of our day.

The story behind the picture is a first person account of a captured slave. It recounts his experience of first contact with ‘the new world.’ and his thoughts and sentiments of the dehumanizing ordeal his captors put him through.

The story itself is likely fiction. But sometimes we need fiction to rearrange the facts so that we can see TRUTH in its context.

Many of we who remained here on the continent are often disconnected from the experience of those who were taken. We must never forget though that we are of one blood; we are of one root.

Today the same snake that came to steal our men, women and earth 500 years ago, stealthily makes its way to finish the job it started. The fires in our shrines have gone cold from neglect. The mountains where our journeymen made pilgrimage to carry our children prayers to the gods are abandoned.

Our homes, which once never needed doors, are as sterile as prison garrisons and boarding houses for travelling strangers. We have forgotten how to have conversation with each other. We have forgotten how to remember the names and works of those who came before us. And so we carry their names like lifeless limbs we can’t wait to replace with alien sounds like Laquinta.

When their voices reach out to us from beyond to help us correct the error of our ways, we call them demons and bind them; yet the real demon is this strange culture that plants inhuman instincts in our young. And then we wonder why everything in Afrika is a mess.

Remember who you are Afrika. You are the children of the SUN. You are the body in which its living essence dwells. That is the secret behind your skin. Your blood is the Holy Grail. Humanity begins with you. Your ancestors were once called gods because of their power. But what they had was wisdom and knowledge of the stars, the wind, the earth, and of how life came to be.

Fool yourself not, you are not mortal. You are the immortal essence of the sun; clothed in flesh for a time. A time defined by a purpose measured in your talents and mental fields of prowess.

As for you slavers of our kind; in the different shades of skin in which you come…Enjoy the comfort of the living tombs you have turned our land into. A time shall come, in this lifetime or the next, when the tables will turn. The fires that burn in our shrines shall warm our spirits again. Those taken and those lost will return. The children will find their way back home.

This is not prophesy: It is only statement of the inevitable. The ancestral power wakes from its long sleep. And when the Afrikan wakes, you who laugh at our passing fate will remember that your Jesus and Muhammad learnt at the feet of our ancestors. And that Krishna and Budha were spawned from this soil.

Remember who you are children of the sun. Memory is the beginning of knowing, and knowing is the spring of life.

They will do everything to make you forget. They will keep your eyes in TVs, and teach you that their history of war is greater than your history of peace. And you will believe them for that is all you will know.

They will tell you that the conflicts engineered by their agents and puppets are tribal clashes. And that your ancestors- those beings who made your parents and spent their lives building the heritage you have squandered- hate you and wish to destroy you, just as you hate and wish to destroy the lives of the descendants you toil for every day in a job you hate.

You will celebrate the conquest of your backward past filled with spears, superstition and treacherous spirits. And seek haven in their cities where justice is for sell and truth is whatever you want it to be.

Your men will sleep with men and call it nature. And when the temperature of debauchery is just right, the tourists will make way for settlers, and then for colonies. And what started as kidnapping of our folk 500 years ago, and the partitioning of our lands into mega ranches controlled from cities in Europe; will be completed in your annihilation.

And when there is completely no trace left of you, and your beloved cities have turned into the ghetto concentration camps they already are degenerating into; may be then, someone will remember that prophets of old warned of such times.

But we are fools- we who speak of such things. We are foul evil creatures- we who speak of ancestral voices. We are lunatics, we who read the signs of the times and share what we see. And so our words shall remain lofty and befuddled to you.

For those whose minds still yearn for better times, the future is bright when the past is resolved. You don’t have to look far. The future and the past are all in the present. You, young African, are the meeting point between your ancestry and your progeny. So choose your path wisely. You are the hope of this nation.

You do not have to live in huts to be in touch with your past. We are the parents of civilization. We built the first cities. The ancestors ask only that we remember them kindly, as we ourselves would wish to be remembered by those we leave behind.

Build families. Make communities. This is the message that reverberates daily from beyond.

We should like to think that even the Jesus and Muhammad of whom our slavers and exploiters preach would not be offended by this simple counsel.

Blessings and Peace

Chris Nkwatsibwe is a Human Rights activist from Uganda

The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of FES

Why Uganda Should Strike a Balance Between Security and Liberty

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Uganda’s history has been characterized by gross violation of human rights. In the recent past, the increased narrowing of political space seen in the offing of unconstitutional legislations like the public order and management Act spirited towards limiting the freedoms of association and movement of key opposition figures and anti-government actors affirm that while this country signed and ratified many international treaties to uphold fundamental human rights, she has consistently chosen to abuse them with impunity.
It is highly imperative to note that since World War Two, a broad consensus grew around the importance of an international legal framework to protect human rights, within which states should operate. This ‘human rights framework’ protects a set of rights so fundamental that every person shares them (one of which is the right to assembly and demonstration) – and every state and non-state actor has an obligation to respect, protect and promote them. The obligation to respect these rights remains regardless of political persuasion of the government of the day, or the operating context – whether it a time of tranquility or international or civil war.
This concept of a set of human rights was first encapsulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, and was then translated into legal obligations through a series of international treaties for example the Geneva Conventions (1949), International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR – 1966); thematic – Convention against Torture (CAT – 1984) with its Optional protocol, and also regional – European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR – 1950); American Convention on Human Rights (1969); African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (1981).
The development of this normative framework was also supported by the creation of legal structures at national, regional and international level to provide the possibility of redress for citizens whose rights, protected under these treaties, had been violated. They would also need to meet the test of providing clear processes for appeal, and redress of grievances where rights are found to have been violated.
There’s no doubt that Uganda ratified and signed most of if not all of these chatters and declarations as earlier pointed out. It is therefore not only appalling but also disgusting how the same state violets human rights it is supposed to protect and uphold by law.
The continued reprehensible treatment of activists and opposition kingpins by the Ugandan police all justified by a guarantee of security is simply dictatorial and undirected since the best way to preserve security is through respect of human rights. The closure of some media houses and continued intimidation and ill treatment of journalists can never be justified by any kind of argument either.

Whereas I believe that the preservation of national security is the first responsibility of any government it would be disgraceful to believe that the government of Uganda would achieve this through denying her citizens the inherent human rights and dignity. Therefore even when the stakes are raised, governments should never put a priority on the preservation of security and public order through curtailing rights that they would otherwise respect.
Arguing that police acts to protect the right to life of the populace, the most basic human right of all is an absurdity too since it is only when bullets and teargas canisters are unleashed that we lose lives.
Even when there is a long historical tradition of human rights and liberties coming under strain during periods when national security is threatened by democracies that are otherwise strongly committed to human rights and the rule of law especially in wartime or when facing other widespread security threats, the situation is different in Uganda.
In Colombia, President Alvaro Uribe (2002-2010) made substantial progress in putting down an insurgency led by the FARC militia group and was however criticized by human rights groups for a series of alleged violations, including the government’s tolerance of right-wing paramilitaries. In Sri Lanka, President Rajapaksa put down the insurgency of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, despite the global criticism he received for violations of human rights and the laws of armed conflict.
President Kagame in Rwanda has justified limits on human rights including freedom of speech and freedom of assembly as necessary to promote the healing of Rwandan society after the genocide of 1994. Despite the criticism the decisions taken by these leaders were necessary at a time.
Uganda’s situation however no close to what these leaders were faced with is. These demonstrations, assemblies and movements are not armed dangerous and pose no reasonable threat to security to guarantee denial of fundamental human rights.
To many of us however, human rights are important in themselves; we believe that it is a fundamental principle of political morality that all people should be treated with respect for their inherent dignity, even when this leads to a slight increase in the security risk that our country faces. Also respecting human rights is good for national security, for instance because it is less likely to lead to the radicalization of minority groups and pressure groups a case in Uganda today.
Lastly to those in power now and those that will come later need to struggle to strike a balance between security and liberty since their importance is equally the same. Just like Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

CHRIS NKWATSIBWE
Human Rights activist

The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of FES

YLF 2014: Recap and Way Forward

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The Regional Young Leaders Forum took place late last month in Dar es Salaam bringing in together young leaders from the region. This year’s forum focused on Regional Security and Local Grievances. Increasingly, in the East African region there have been incidents which necessitated the regional organizers of this forum to seek young leader’s intervention on this matter and if possible, try and come up with solutions to some of these conflicts and incidences.

In the run- up on the conference, readings on the subject matter had been circulated and among these was seminal literature on this matter; Militias, Rebels and Islamist Militants: Human Insecurity and State Crises in Africa edited by Wafula Okumu and Augustine Ikelegbe.

Well, it was only fair that one of the editors of this publication was invited to present an overview of this subject matter and the organizer lived to that expectation by having Dr. Wafula Okumu as a facilitator and moderator in the event.

Day 1

Dr. Wafula Okumu occupied the first slot of the first day with the uphill and unenviable task of summarizing the 251 pages book in two hours! This without a doubt he was able to do justice on.

Some of the key highlights of his presentation were;

  • A breakdown on the nature and characteristics of Armed Non-State Groups in Africa
  • Root causes of Armed Non-State Groups phenomena
  • The State response – in many instances which has been counterproductive or not well informed and thought out
  • Regionalization of Insecurity
  • Harmonization of youth power for public good – [positive role in which young leaders can play in their communities to curb the insecurity phenomena]
  • And like any prophet he finished with some words of wisdom!

The second keynote speaker was Amb. Augustine Philip Mahiga. The ambassador was a former special representative for UN-Secretary General to Somalia and he made an outstanding presentation on Somalia, Al Shabaab and Regional Consequences. It was during his tenure that some semblance of order after a long period of chaos was achieved.

He gave an overview of his three and half years stint in Somalia and some of the achievements made under his tenure such as;

  • Bringing together of clan leaders for the peace process – the Kampala Accord plus how he went for 48 hours without sleep and the intrigues behind the fall of the Prime Minister
  • The process of crafting an interim constitution – approved by reps from the grassroots [mind you in a post conflict environment]
  • Somalia and the peace process – which was taking place in their own country as opposed to the neighboring states and what that meant
  • Election of Parliament – 275 member assembly. A very intriguing process that involved the use of clan leaders since clans were the only institutions that were fully functioning after the collapse of the Somali state. The emerging questions on legitimacy that arose, issues of representation in terms of gender, marginalized communities
  • The intrigues of election of the Speaker and eventual election of the President
  • The envisaged referendum in 2016 and the players involved in that process.
  • Lastly, the ambassador gave a very comprehensive account on the Al Shabaab as we know of it today – the initial formative stages of this group and causes that lead to its formation – both internal and external plus what lead to its rise in terms of resources and manpower.

The two keynotes speakers laid the groundwork for the individual country presentations. Each country delegation had been tasked with coming up and preparing a presentation which was in line with the theme of the conference. The following are the presentations made by the country delegations during the afternoon of the first day and the whole of the second day;

  • Kenya: Local Grievances and Islamist Rebels

Moderator: John Olang Sana, Nairobi Slum Project

  • Ethiopia: Borders and Borderlands

Moderator:  Selahadin Eshetu

  • Tanganyika and Zanzibar: UAMSHO or an Awakening in the Making?

Moderator: Shaban Omari, Shamar Educational Centre – Tanzania

  • Sudan: Does Sudan Pose a Threat to the Security in the Region?

Moderator: Fatma Abdelkarim

  • South Sudan: Resources, Land Rights, Migrants and Rebels

Moderator: Dr. Luka Biong Deng

  • Uganda: Uganda’s History with the LRA and the Rational of the Military Intervention in South Sudan

Moderator: Eunice Akullo, Lecturer, Nkumba University – Uganda

The above country presentations were all well thought out, researched and well presented. They offered great insights into the subject matter and stirred debates, clarifications and inputs. This greatly impressed Dr. Wafula and Dr. Luka who noted that if the younger leaders present are the leaders of today then things were certainly going in the right directions.

Day 3

Getting Your Message Across – I: How to be interviewed on Radio and TV

This session was given by Colin Spurway, the Country Director of BBC media action – Tanzanian assisted by his team.

The reason as to why this session was on the cards is because many people and leaders for that matter usually have a problem in how they go about expressing their ideas and thoughts. Therefore is quintessential for young leaders to know how to interact and put their message across various channels and radio is as big as they come since it is able to reach many people.

Colin Spurway and his team offered practical facilitation on this subject matter.

The key take away from this session how to package my message and techniques of handling difficult questions.

Getting Your Message Across II: Blogging about Political Issues in Africa

Catherinerose Barretto from KINU Hub Tanzania and I [Robert Njathika] co-facilitated on how to get your message across albeit on blog platforms from mid-morning to early afternoon. This session was necessitated by the fact that there is a FES blog that needs input from the young leaders across the region.

One of the outcomes of this session is how the group would go about making their interventions on the YLF-blog.

The YLF-blog

The blog has been opened up to the FES affiliated young leaders in the region to discuss and debate issues. The rationale is there are a number of phenomena happening in each member country and there is no need to wait for the annual regional conferences to discuss this issues.

It is expected that the blog will serve the purpose of keeping the debate online on matters that are incidental to issues touching on EAC / Regional Integration, Economics, Foreign & Security Policy and Human Rights.

The manner in which the issues are presented could take the form of unpacking what is currently appearing in the local dallies of our respective countries, obviously with some background information. The essence of this is would be to keep other FES affiliated young leaders abreast with what is currently happening in the neighboring countries and to solicit some kind of feedback or debate on those issues [if at all they require feedback].

How to go about that?

In Kunduchi, 8 regional blog representatives were chosen. In the course of this week, I shall go about making them contributors on the blog platform – which means they can log in and post articles – the mechanics of how to post shall also be communicated.

I intend to use the blog reps that were chosen to represent each country as the focal point of input on the blog platform. So each country can decide on how they wish to go about passing content to their blog reps. However, if the blog rep in your country is unavailable, you can contact me and I will assist in getting the post on the blog.

The author of this piece is a blogger and a cultural practitioner in Nairobi. He is also the blog admin. The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of FES.