LUWERO DISTRICT, UGANDA/NAIROBI, KENYA
The Ugandan Government is facing a dual battle to revive the nation's economy and quell guerrilla opposition.
LUWERO DISTRICT, UGANDA/NAIROBI, KENYA
1. MONO:FEBRUARY 1984; LUWERO DISTRICT, UGANDA: GVs Yoweri Museveni in camp with troops. 0.06
2. LV PAN NRA troops sitting at camp listening to Museveni address them. 0.12
3. CU Museveni addressing troops. 0.18
4. SV ZOOM INTO CU & SVs PAN Weaponry captured from police and army barracks at Masindi. (2 SHOTS) 0.43
5. SV Museveni shaking hands with two Tanzanian NCOs captured at Masindi. 0.52
6. SV Tanzanians escorted by NRA men in bush; they walk past remains of bodies. (2 SHOTS) 1.12
7. LV, SV & CU Tanzanian men and their escorts looking at dozens of bodies strewn over ground in so-called "Death Valley". (3 SHOTS) 1.46
8. GV Vultures in trees above bodies. 1.50
9. COLOUR: (AMIN) MAY 21, 1984; NAIROBI, KENYA: CU Eriya Katageya speaking. (SOT) 2.26
10. MONO: FEBRUARY 1984; LUWERO DISTRICT, UGANDA: LV & GV NRA troops singing as they march back to camp; men singing in camp as Museveni looks on. (4 SHOTS) 2.56
11. SV PULL BACK TO LV Radio-hut and operators at NRA camp. 3.11
12. SV NRA men playing cards around fire. 3.17
13. SV PAN Wounded prisoners lying on stretchers. 3.35
14. SV Malnourished people sitting on ground. 3.52
15. COLOUR: (AMIN): MAY 21, 1984; NAIROBI: SCU Katageya speaking. (SOT) 4.24
KATEGAYA: (SEQ 9) "Amnesty International definitely has come out openly to report these killings and tortures. They said in 1982, they issued a special report on Uganda. In 1984, there was issued another report, but as you know, Amnesty International cannot take political action so they just reported it. And the Human Rights Centre at Geneva also (indistinct) our programme presentation and they said they were going to contact the government in Ugande to tell the government of this programme."
KATEGAYA: (SEQ 15) "In our area, we have about one-and-a-half million people; in that area which we control. Those are active members but we have a lot of sympathy all over the country. That's how we've managed to keep going for three years; you know. We have other cells ... in other areas where we may not have a military presence like eastern Uganda and western Uganda and (indistinct). And the support is there. That's how we've managed to keep going for three years".)
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Background: LUWERO DISTRICT, UGANDA/NAIROBI, KENYA
The Ugandan Government is facing a dual battle to revive the nation's economy and quell guerrilla opposition. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) is becoming increasingly active but Dr. Milton Obote's government remains adamant that no negotiations with the NRM would be considered. The NRM's political wing, the National Resistance Army (NRA) was formed three years ago and is active in large parts of the area between Masindi and the capital, Kampala. The Ugandan Government has said the guerrillas are not a force to be reckoned with, but the NRA claims it has thousands of supporters and says it is making significant gains against government troops. Visnews gained exclusive coverage of the NRA's activities in Uganda...
SYNOPSIS: The NRA's main stronghold is the Luwero district. Elsewhere there are other pockets of violent opposition. The National Resistance Front, headed by Brigadier Moses Ali, who was Idi Amin's Finance Minister in the 1970s, claims to be active in the West Nile and Madi areas of north-west Uganda. The government insists that activity by what it calls "bandits" is under control there and is urging an estimated 150,000 Ugandans to return to their homes, from the frontier zones of Zaire and Sudan, where they live as refugees.
The NRA is led by Yoweri Museveni, a former Defence Minister, who went underground after the December 1980 elections. He had other opponents of the Obote Government say the polls were rigged to favour the ruling Uganda People's Congress (UPC).
In February, the NRA attacked army and police barracks and a prison in the town of Masindi, 220 kilometres (140 miles) north of Kampala. An NRA spokesperson said more than 200 soldiers and police were killed in the raid, five NRA men died. A large quantity of arms and ammunition was captured by the NRA and later put on display.
Eleven prisoners were also taken during the Masindi raid. Among them were two Tanzanian NCOs who were later released because, an NRA spokesperson said, his organisation had no quarrel with Tanzania.
Before the Tanzanian soldiers were released, they were taken to an area the NRA describes as "Death Valley". Here, bodies are strewn everywhere, in scenes reminiscent of the violence during Idi Amin's years in power. The NRA says thousands of people have been murdered since Obote came to power. And the human rights organisation, Amnesty International, has compiled two major reports on torture and killing in Uganda, since the Obote Government came to power. Eriya Kategaya is the deputy chairman of the NRA High Command and the man who heads the group's political and diplomatic committee:
The Ugandan Government's official line is that the NRA troops are not a strong opposition force. But the NRA has claimed numerous victories against army units, operating in the Luwero district. The raid on Masindi was seen as a major victory and marked an intensification of the NRA's campaign to undermine Obote's Government. Caught between the government forces and the resistance movement are thousands of civilians; hundreds have been killed and tens of thousands are fleeing the country as refugees.
International aid agencies and Uganda's Roman Catholic Primate are pressing for peace talks between the government and the National Resistance Movement. Cardinal Emmanuel Nsubuga, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kampala, believes a dialogue between the government and the NRM may help to stem the tide of refugees and the civilian killings.
The resistance movement says it has a considerable following among the Ugandan people. But external support has not been forthcoming. The movement has no external base from which it can operate; Uganda is on good terms with its neighbours, who would be reluctant to jeopardise this relationship by harbouring anti-government guerrillas. The resistance forces have been unable to draw the West's attention to their fight. Many western countries have major interests in Uganda, in the form of aid and investments. Given this lack of external assistance, the NRM continues to look to the people of Uganda for support...
Source: REUTERS LIBRARY AND REUTERS - MOHAMMED AMIN