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Saturday 20th May 2017 | By RICARDO E. CATINDIG

As the One Belt, One Road Summit opened in China last May 14, a new wave of opportunities and challenges emerged. The summit, initially, was supposed to burnish Chinese President Xi Jinping’s stature as a world-class statesman with his signature foreign policy thrust—shaping a future world order in which all roads lead to Beijing.

Xi envisions to reassert China’s past prominence as the dominant power in Asia whose culture and economy deeply influenced its neighbors and peoples as far as Africa and Europe. It speaks volumes of the Chinese’ pride in their country’s explosive economic growth and political clout after a century of humiliation at the hands of foreign powers that formally ended with Mao Zedong’s successful communist revolution in 1949.

 

The initiative also reinforces the Xi administration’s reputation for muscular foreign policy. Under Xi, China has strongly asserted its claim to virtually the entire strategic South China Sea; and he has established the Asian Infrastructure Development Bank as a global institution alongside such bodies as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and International Monetary Fund.

 

I believe that the South China Sea claim has been loosely defined; it even appears to include more and more projects of peripheral importance and questionable value. Since so many of the states involved have weak economies and limited capacity for growth outside of mining, the potential for waste and corruption is high, raising the possibility of small returns on the vast sums being spent and massive losses for the Chinese state banks funding the projects.

 

Here is the danger: The initiative could also set back the goal of establishing a domestic economy centered on consumption rather than investment. Meaning, China’s investment priority should be at home, not abroad. It’s possible that such forward-leaping overseas investments would delay domestic development.

It is easy to just give out money; China has to prove that these projects are sound and they have the management expertise to carry them through.


In the Philippines, our foreign policy appears to dovetail with the United States’. President Duterte has assured Xi that it would be different this time and would see the establishment of closer economic ties with Beijing. We see a Philippines which is willing to adjust and realign its foreign policy in the name of trade. In fact, Mr. Duterte  said earlier, “So we’re getting a relief now from our hardships because a lot of money is coming in.”

Meanwhile, beyond Asean-related issues, the only key international issues directly affecting the region involve the Korean Peninsula, the South China Sea, maritime security cooperation, terrorism and extremism.

RICARDO E. CATINDIG, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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Friday 12th May 2017

President Yoweri Museveni and the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres are stoking their efforts to give a face to the refugee crisis in Uganda and raise over US$2billion needed in emergency funds to handle the humanitarian crisis caused by the South Sudan conflict which is yet to end.

Uganda is now host to over 1.2 million refugees, of which almost 800,000 are South Sudanese who have fled the violence and famine with more than 2000 refugees coming in daily according to the United Nations.

“I have been allowed by President Salva Kiir to mediate the warring factions in South Sudan. I will use the IGAD monitoring report and work with the IGAD chairman, Ethiopias’ Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalgn to see that those who abuse the ceasefire are talked too,” the President said in a one to one meeting with Mr. Guterres at the sidelines of the International Conference on Somalia at Lancaster House in London.

The United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres has confirmed his participation in the June 2017 Refugees Solidarity Conference to be held in Uganda and in which 30 other heads of State and stakeholders will attend. The two leaders were today involved in a flurry of activities meeting various stakeholders ahead of the conference.

In 2016, the Government and the United Nations each spent USD 150 million responding to the needs of refugees and the communities hosting them in 12 districts. However, the raising huge numbers are placing a huge strain on the already stressed ability to cater for the food, water, sanitation, health and education needs of the refugees and their host communities.

The ‘Refugee Solidarity’ conference was mooted in January during a meeting between President Museveni and Mr Guterres, at the sidelines of 28th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Uganda is currently ranked as the second-largest refugee-hosting country in the world after Turkey with a refugee population nearing to one million.

 

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15th May, 2017

PO/2

15th May, 2017

The Chief of Defence Forces

UPDF Headquarters

KAMPALA

The Inspector General of Police

Police Headquarters

KAMPALA

Director General of Intelligence Services

CONCERNING TORTURE

This is in order to enlighten you about the use of torture on suspected criminals (okutatsya) in the fight against crime.

In our traditional societies, torture was commonly used and it was not only accepted but, actually, encouraged.  Hence, the proverbs like: “Akabwa kaiba kaihura omugoongo gwaako” in Runyankore and “Akabwa kabbi, kasasula mugoongo” in Luganda.  In both dialects, it means that “a stealing dog pays with its back”, i.e. by being struck with sticks (enkoni, emiggo) on the back.

Traditional ideas, however, had their own mistakes in many instances.  That is why, those ideas that are not consonant with logic should be abandoned.  To take one example, in many of the African Societies, marriages were arranged by parents for the young couples.  The couples had no say in the matter.  This was because in the no nonsense traditional society, marriage was a strictly scientific matter designed to produce off-springs that had no emize (hereditary defects physiologically and behavior wise).  These would be defects like asthma, epilepsy and behavioural weaknesses like cowardice, greed, spendthrifts (ababagyi) etc.  The idea of love among the intended couples never entered the equation. There was okurigyira (to appreciate the beauty of) or okusiima (to appreciate the qualities of).  This was, however, by the parents or persons deployed by them.

Today, however, all enlightened people know that the traditional concerns notwithstanding, love among the couple is paramount.  It is, therefore, clear that torture in order to extract confessions (okutatsya) has three possible mistakes that may even interfere with the fight against crime.  Number one, you may torture the wrong person, somebody who is totally innocent.  This is very unfair.  Secondly, somebody may admit guilt when he is innocent in order to be spared being tortured.  This will make the real criminal escape in order to commit more crimes later.  Thirdly, confessions by the criminals are not necessary.  Even if the suspects do not admit their guilt, if the investigators do their work well (finger-prints, photo-graphs, DNA tests, eye-witnesses, the use of other scientific methods, the use of dogs etc), the criminals can get convicted.

Therefore, the use of torture is unnecessary and wrong and must not be used again if it was being used as I see some groups claiming in the media.  Of course, the criminals are most annoying by using the cowardly but shallow methods of the boda bodas, taking advantage of the large number of vehicles and people in order to commit crime and hide.  That,  however, should not make us panic and go back to the defective traditional methods of okutatsya. We defeated Lakwena, we defeated Kony who was being heavily supported by external elements, we defeated the ADF that was, again, being heavily supported by foreigners, we defeated the UPA of Teso and disarmed the Karimojong cattle-rustlers by removing 40,000 rifles from them.  We cannot fail to cope with cowards using boda bodas to kill people who are peacefully sitting in their cars or walking along the streets.  With a little adjustment, we shall avenge the deaths of:

Sheikh Mustafa Bahiga, Prosecutor Kagezi, Hajji Daktur Muwaya, Sheik Jowat Madangu, Sheikh Yusuf Ssentamu, Sheik Yunis Sentuga, Hajji Mohammed Sebagala, Tito Okware,  Constable Driver Wambewo Godfrey, Cpl Erau Kenneth, No. 1404 SPC Karim Tenywa, No. 54812 PC Babale Muzamiro, Owori John Steven, No. 44957 Cpl Owori Julius, SPC Isiko,  Macho Steven, Okumu Ronald, Sheik Rashid Wafula, Major Kiggundu and AIGP Kawesi.  Our annoyance with these criminals should not make us opt for defective short-cuts.  These are hardened criminals by default who think that by denying they can kill and escape accountability.  However, we shall get them using patient means of evidence but not through torture because evidence through torture is not reliable.

Yoweri K. Museveni

P R E S I D EN T

Copy to: H.E. the Vice President

Rt. Hon. Prime Minister

Minister of Internal Affairs

Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs

Minister for the Presidency

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Minister of Information, Communication and Technology

 

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2017-05-19 |By Mahlatse Gallens,Political Editor of News24 South Africa

Just two months ago, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s campaign seemed dead in the water as his rival for the ANC presidency, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, returned from the African Union and hit the campaign trail running.

Her campaign team looked very organised and determined. Ramaphosa was seen as dithering. But since his speech in Port Elizabeth on April 24 challenging President Jacob Zuma, his campaign has quickly taken shape.

In PE Ramaphosa called for a judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture, essentially putting Zuma on warning that should he become president, he will investigate him. Zuma wants former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's State of Capture report that calls for a judicial inquiry reviewed.

Since then Ramaphosa has been criss-crossing the country with his lobbyists. He has vowed to visit all nine provinces before the ANC's June policy conference. Last weekend, he got a small but important moral boost from the Northern Cape ANC. It is the smallest of the ANC provinces, estimated to contribute about 5 percent of voting delegates, but it became the first province to back him during its provincial congress. Newly elected provincial leaders boasted that small as they were, they have always backed a winner.

While Ramaphosa was always expected to pick up delegates in the smaller provinces like the Northern Cape and Western Cape, Dlamini-Zuma is getting support from the provinces that have remained loyal to Zuma to the end – the North West, KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State and Mpumalanga. But he is also expected to get a share of support from regional leaders unhappy with the chairpersons of the “premier league” provinces.

The deputy president is yet to get endorsements from any of the ANC’s structures in KwaZulu-Natal, but his televised visit to the Shembe church and his campaigning ahead of the Nquthu by-elections are signs that his lobbyists are busy on the ground. They claim as many as 40 percent of the KZN delegates will back Ramaphosa at the ANC conference and their silence is just to ensure that they don’t get removed from the lists of delegates ahead of the audits. 

In the Free State “the second regime change” grouping wants to dislodge Premier Ace Magashule as provincial chairman. The resignation from Parliament of Thabo Manyoni, Magashule’s deputy chairperson, was a sign that the campaign is moving up a gear. The booing of Zuma during Cosatu's May Day celebration in Mangaung also gave them strength.  

Interestingly, Dlamini-Zuma is yet to have a major campaign in Mpumalanga amidst talk that Premier David Mabuza is in serious talk with the Ramaphosa camp for a post in the top 6. Perhaps when Ramaphosa was calling for a “one ANC slate,” he was giving signals that talks with some seen as his rivals are underway. Mabuza, who has portrayed himself as a unifier, is said to be worried about the future of the ANC as a governing party if Dlamini-Zuma wins the race. Her close relationship to Zuma might be tolerated in the ANC and win her the elective conference, but with Zuma facing the worst negative sentiments against a president in democratic times, anyone close to him risks the party being further punished at the 2019 polls. 

Dlamini-Zuma also appears to be speaking with a forked tongue about her ex-husband. She told The Star newspaper last Monday that “she was her own woman”, only to share a stage with Zuma days later in Bulwer in KwaZulu-Natal. He openly endorsed her, solidifying their “political marriage,” beyond sharing friends. 

Limpopo is expected to be divided, with both sides claiming to have the upper hand. But the regional elective conferences that were due to take place earlier this year are yet to go ahead, to give an indication what direction the wind is blowing. 

Gauteng will back Ramaphosa but Dlamini-Zuma is likely to get support from the Ekurhuleni delegates if Mayor and regional chair Mzwandile Masina survives the elective conference, scheduled for August.

Ramaphosa is now officially the alliance partners' candidate with the fourth partner in the ANC alliance, the South African National Civic Organisation, announcing it will back him. No-one takes them seriously because their influence has somewhat declined and it's not known how many of its members would be eligible ANC delegates at the elective conference in December. But they got the headlines, adding to the psychological warfare playing out in the media.

Ramaphosa’s campaign strategy is to model himself as the one who will correct all that is wrong with the ANC and prevent a possible defeat  of the ANC in 2019 after the decline in the 2016 municipal elections. So serious is Ramaphosa to clinch the top job he has gone to the extent of confronting what some believe could be a stumbling block to his ambitions: Marikana. He is planning to personally apologise to the widows of the mine workers who were killed.

This will be no easy task. But if some accept his apology, the strategy of the opposition parties and some ANC factions to use Marikana as a stick to beat him with will be seriously weakened. The June policy conference, will give us some indication of whether Ramaphosa’s “change” campaign or Dlamini-Zuma’s "it's time for a woman to lead" is coming out ahead.

- Mahlatse Gallens is political editor of News24.

 

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My fellow citizens: I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you've bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors.

I thank President Bush for his service to our nation -- as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often, the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because we, the people, have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears and true to our founding documents.

So it has been; so it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly, our schools fail too many -- and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable, but no less profound, is a sapping of confidence across our land; a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this America: They will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics. We remain a young nation. But in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted, for those that prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things -- some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor -- who have carried us up the long rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life. For us, they toiled in sweatshops, and settled the West, endured the lash of the whip, and plowed the hard earth. For us, they fought and died in places like Concord and Gettysburg, Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions, greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week, or last month, or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions -- that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of our economy calls for action, bold and swift. And we will act, not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We'll restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. All this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions, who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short, for they have forgotten what this country has already done, what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage. What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them, that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply.

 

The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works -- whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched. But this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control. The nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity, on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart -- not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers -- (applause) -- our Founding Fathers, faced with perils that we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man -- a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience sake.

And so, to all the other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born, know that America is a friend of each nation, and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity. And we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with the sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort, even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we'll work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet.

We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense. And for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken -- you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West, know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy.

To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to the suffering outside our borders, nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the role that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who at this very hour patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages.

We honor them not only because they are the guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service -- a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves.

And yet at this moment, a moment that will define a generation, it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all. For as much as government can do, and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends -- honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism -- these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history.

What is demanded, then, is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility -- a recognition on the part of every American that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world; duties that we do not grudgingly accept, but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship. This is the source of our confidence -- the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny. This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed, why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall; and why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served in a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At the moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words to be read to the people:

 

Let it be told to the future world...that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive... that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."

America: In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.

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