Terrorists deserve no space on modern earth

12 Jul

By Stephen Twinoburyo

In the period following the Kampala bombings, I heard many conspiracy theories, suggesting one or the other motive, and most bizarre, some suggesting that the government had a hand in it. Finally, as expected, a terrorist group has claimed responsibility. How a group can take pride in causing misery and mayhem is difficult to fathom.

I think Ugandans have become so accustomed to pointing an accusing finger at the government whenever a disaster occurs. I agree that the Museveni  government has quite often used fear, either of the past or the future, to keep people in bondage – trash which I definitely have no room for – but in this case, with individuals acting on their selfish own, it is unfair to blame it on the government. I really don’t see what the government would gain in such an attack and these acts should be condemned strongly. I am also of the opinion that Museveni’s government has not sank so low in popularity as to bomb it’s own citizens in such a manner in order to gain popularity, especially seeing that they are preparing to host the AU summit

We all need to have a strong stand against terrorists, from wherever they may come from. Anybody can be a victim of this and there are undoubtedly many families that are grieving. The problem with such acts is that they give a pretext to edgy regimes to clamp down on liberties and freedoms, all in the name of fighting terrorism. I can bet you life in Kampala is going to get a bit harder in the coming days because of such acts. If the aim of the terrorists was to make life more difficult for Ugandans, then they have achieved it.

That said, I must hasten to add that I don’t believe in conspiracy theories as have been propagated. I believe in factual analysis. It is my undiluted desire to see a new government in Uganda. That is a determination I am not about to change because I don’t think, based on the what I have observed over the past few years, that anything helpful for Uganda will still come out of this government. I wouldn’t however create imaginary situations in order to discredit them. I would want to argue on existing facts based on delivery and record in government.

In such matters, let us all – government, opposition parties, civil society and ordinary citizens – stand firm against acts that aim to take us away from modern civil thinking, civilization and respect for other people’s liberties. Terrorists aim to gain from creating terror among the vulnerable and by all of us standing firm against them, evil will never be given an opportunity to bud where good thrives.


Posted by on July 12, 2010 in Stephen Twinoburyo's blogs


12 responses to “Terrorists deserve no space on modern earth

  1. Godfrey Kahangi

    July 13, 2010 at 04:58

    Let me add my voice to the posting. I am just watching Al Jazeera and to my dismay there is a certain Obonyo, a former spokesperson for LRA claiming that, even if the Uganda government is not directly responsible for the bombings, the Government of Uganda is indirectly responsible due to the Pan African stand and regionalist militaristic adventures. He is basically saying that this is a back lash to that approach.

    It is interesting that international opinion can be sourced and contributed to by an ongoing terrorist organization that is still maiming, kidnapping and engaging in international child sexual traffic with bizarre records in Uganda, South Sudan, DRC, Central Africa Republic and Darfur.

    In 2001, when the Al Qaida hit various sites in the US, the actions of the terrorist group were seen largely as a result of the failed foreign policy in the middle east, with the Palestinian question and Iraq as notable examples of that failure.

    Uganda has had a direct hand militarily in Rwanda, DRC, South Sudan and lately Somalia. In addition, Uganda troops have had many forays into the Central Africa Republic and Darfur region of North Sudan in pursuit of the LRA.

    In all of these cases, Historians will have the final say as to whether the individual military forays were justified. In the meantime, we should sympathise with those whose loved ones were rudely and horribly removed in this act. Surely, like in 2001 in the US, there is justification for measured, proportional, and appropriate action against Al Shabaab.

  2. Stephen Twinoburyo

    July 13, 2010 at 07:59

    I have also noticed that most Ugandan opposition parties are quick to call for a pull out of troops from Somali and seemly point an accusing finger at Uganda’s involvement in the country. That’s missing the point. Ugandan opposition parties tend to take the word “opposition” in its extreme case such that anything on the government side must be opposed. Many times there is a need to stand for national interests and that’s the case here.

    Uganda is involved in Somali on an African peace-keeping mission and at this time, we should not be looking at the merits or not of being in Somali but rather standing behind our government and security forces in seeking redress.

    Terrorists should never be given a moment even to think that there is a slight justification for their actions.

  3. Matsiko Malcom

    July 13, 2010 at 11:01

    Stephen, we are actually devastated by the madness of one or a group of people that are causing anarchy in our beautiful country and some of us can not help seeing our innocent brothers and sisters dying in such a mysterious manner. Why in the first place are they paying the price of mistakes done by our leaders?.
    Public officials must do their work lest they simply vacate those offices for those interested in doing the work!

  4. Stephen Twinoburyo

    July 13, 2010 at 12:05

    Thanks Malcom for your comment.

    In all fairness, I think UPDF could not have done much about this attack and I doubt the Ugandan security forces could have prevented it. It is difficult to imagine that the security forces could have policed all the social places in Kampala where terrorists could have struck.

    Terrorists, by their nature, always look for the vulnerable and defenceless. That’s why their acts must be condemned strongly. In my opinion, it doesn’t help at this time to blame the government but it would rather be more helpful to join hands with government in confronting this faceless evil by showing them that we give them no space to thrive or justify their acts in Uganda.

    Like all evils, this act stands no space in the modern world, and no previous act or ommission of the government should justify it. When you look at the photos of victims released in the newspapers, you realise that these were happy, mostly young Ugandans that were out enjoying a game of soccer and most probably were not involved in the way the government runs its business.

  5. john mukasa

    July 14, 2010 at 00:12

    Nobody needs terrorism in hte world but still there was much to be done by the gov’t on radio,newspapers and even on social venues were crouds of pple gathered as proffesionals in terror. this was not done dispite the fact that there intelligence sources herd romours of it as they say. Safety fast for any one who starts a job. surely if it was done in a proffesional manner people would have done better with awareness and you can not start saying,citizens will not ask the gov’t of this. Oposition groups have to be on their toes now sinse experience of unfareness was practices by the gov’t before this. The gov’t should understand that when you mess in your bed its still you to sleep in it. Its also unfare when it comes to freedom of speech to be silenced by spokes men from on behalf of the gov’t to use a laungage that stops peoples fear and worry about whats going on as if they have to leave it to the gov’t which has not helped them in anyway in the past to conclude on torture issues. If you want to work with each other, there must be a common ground and ugandans don’t have this with its present gov’t. how are you going to find out were these terrorists leave when every one is running away when you aprouch them. How can you get information from a scared child. Ugandans hate guns and if you ask any, you will find out but NRM’s best tool is a gun.Why do we have to be corned at all angles because just some one don’t want to get of that sweet chair.
    Ok please go and ask suubi if he needs terrorism after his beeb nearly terrorised by his own in his own country. Will the gov’t stop that kind of GANG BUNG who can scare them most and tell us the truth for a change. GOD bless us all.

  6. dreamaspirations

    July 14, 2010 at 01:45

    Stephen I do not stand with any opposition party in Ug in what I am about to say. This is my own take on the situation as I see it as a lay person.

    While it is indeed the case that terrorists can hit any time and any where they chose is a fact, the other fact is that our country Uganda does not have the resources to deal with operatives such as the ones they’ve engaged with.

    When our leader, government included, opted to commit our army in to this particular “contract” of peace keeping, the issue of backlash should have been studied and weighed up. Or maybe he did and gambled that either way, he’d win if to stay in power is the aim. If so, this could give reason as to the rant of the opposition…

    Reason for blame: As a leader of the government he should take responsibility in agreeing to engage Uganda with the Somali conflict, an issue that has brought about the recent tragic terror act that saw 60 Ugandan citiziens being sacrificed. For days, by the government’s security forces’ own admission they’d been getting threats or messages from these terrorists stating they would take the battle to Kampala/Bujumbura in retaliation for what transpired on Thursday. So they had warning – what security measures did they put in place for the general public? Who is in charge of security overall in command?

    Truth be told, the opppostion leaders need to be responsible in their statements to the public – however I find politicians in Uganda, save a very few, are a challenge to reason with and for sanity’s sake, best avoided.

    Also please shed light on the African Union. What really is the point of AU? Why is it that only Uganda and Burundi have contributed troops to the Somalian question? They are hardly the strongest or best resourced armies within the AU, are they?

  7. dreamaspirations

    July 14, 2010 at 01:55

    I just read your response on the security forces in Uganda not having the resources to police all social venues. Stephen, this is exactly why when accepting the contract of peace-keeping, government should’ve done their research prudently instead of coming across as if it just looked at the cash cow alone.

  8. Philip Nsajja

    July 14, 2010 at 03:25

    I made these comments in another forum, but they are relevant in support of your submission, Stephen.

    ‎2 points:
    1. Evil does exist in the world
    2. We must stand ready to counter it

    Edmund Burke famously remarked that “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. For a while now, Ugandans have afforded the luxury of sitting back in the comforts of their living rooms debating the wisdom of our military presence in Somalia. Whether or not our commitment was a wise strategic decision is now a moot point. If, as widely speculated, the death of scores of wananchi is the work of Al Shabab, we now have clear national security interests at stake there. Now more than ever there is clear justification for staying the course. Cynics and conspiracy theorists may continue to claim that this tragedy was staged by the government to justify their security strategy. I strongly disagree with such views. Regardless of one’s political convictions, one thing that can’t be denied is that we now face a most brutal enemy who has no qualms about making a political statement by spilling the blood of innocent Ugandans. That is the nature of the evil we confront. Reasonable people can disagree on a host of political issues but when such barbarism strikes so close to home, one is hard pressed to not support the mission of our troops in Somalia.

    So as you tuck your kids in their beds tonight or hug and kiss your loved ones; as you wander through the relative safety of our streets; as you struggle with questions about whether we will ever feel secure again; as you wrestle with the guilt of taking our security for granted; think about our soldiers who are in harm’s way in a far-off land. Be not afraid to say a prayer for them and wish them well in their very dangerous mission. For once, take pride in raising and waving the Ugandan flag. Do not be cowed. Somewhere out there, along the treacherous streets of Mogadishu, a young soldier is proudly wearing the ‘black-yellow-and-red’ on his arm. For in that famous remark attributed to George Orwell, “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

    For God and My Country

  9. Abubaker Basajjabaka

    July 14, 2010 at 06:05

    A kinsman in trouble shouldn’t be blamed but saved! Those were Chinua Achebe’s words in one of his blockbuster book Things fall apart. I’ve heard accusations and counter-accusations, theories, misinformation that have degenerated into myth-information about the grisly terrorist attacks on Uganda on Sunday.

    First, I would like to put it categorically clear that innocent lives were lost and we shouldn’t speculate about who did it apart from condemning those shallow-minded and ‘unreligious’ perpetrators in no uncertain terms–whoever they’re!

    Phillip Nsajja–where have you been hiding, doubt whether you remember me–I commend you for your submission which shows how the ‘golden mean’ can help in differentiating between sanity and insanity!

    Uganda’s mission in Somalia by all standards is intended to help pacify that region which by and large affects Uganda in so many ways. Those who have been to Karamoja would testify that a great number of guns that find their way in the hands of cattle rustlers and other wrong groups come from Somalia.

    Uganda has assisted in so many wars of freedom–South Africa, Rwanda, Congo, South Sudan etc. If these wars were in vain, then the assistance that was accorded to Uganda by the Tanzanians in 1979 was in vain.

    The whole world watched the genocide in Rwanda unfold yet this could have been averted. Why should we wait! Uganda is part of the international community however much people want to dismiss it as a small cog.

    I’ve also heard people talking about the lack of strategic interests in Somalia but we need to look at the bigger picture. The influx of Somalis in this country is caused by the instability in Somalia and this could echo more trouble if a solution is not sought. In international relations, countries build capabilities; economic and military. Uganda is on course on both fronts and I believe this country can emerge from a slough to become one of the celebrated great nations in the world.

    I would like to end by leaving you a poem by Lord Byron:

    When a man hath no freedom to fight for at home,
    Let him combat for that of his neighbours;
    Let him think of the glories of Greece and of Rome,
    And get knock’d on the head for his labours,

    To do good to mankind is the chivalrous plan,
    And is always as nobly requited;
    Then battle for freedom wherever you can,
    And, if not shot or hang’d, you’ll get knighted.

  10. Twino Speaks

    July 14, 2010 at 22:17

    Thank you all for the wonderful contributions. I agree with those of you who say we need to look beyond blame and combine efforts at the problem facing us all – terrorism that has no discrimination in its victims.


    July 18, 2010 at 19:34

    Our freedom of Uganda was attacked, we shall not look at it collapese we must crush AL-SHABAB once and for ever am appeling to all ugandas who love their country to mobilise and deal with the attacker as patriot can’t we quickly mobilise all willig Ugandans and our good friend give us support crush AL-Alshabab fully occupy dominate and liberate Somalia, Not only as a deterrent measures but as medicine for peace and security for UGANDA, EAST AFRICA and the whole WORLD which is being tampered with.


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