Monday, April 20, 2015

Sunday Globe Special: Uproar in Uganda

"Some Ugandan Muslims retreat in fear amid police hunt" by Rodney Muhumuza Associated Press  April 19, 2015

KAMPALA, Uganda — Kassim Segawa prayed inside his local mosque near Uganda’s capital but, instead of being in the company of scores of the faithful, on this day he was alone.

A crackdown by Ugandan police on suspected Islamic extremists has sent a current of fear through the Islamic community, especially in the Masjid Taqwa mosque whose imam — a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner — was recently arrested.

‘‘I am a brave man to come here to pray today,’’ said Segawa after he rose from the carpets and mats on the floor of the Masjid Taqwa mosque, a nondescript building on the edge of a slum, stepped outside, and slid the lone pair of sandals onto his feet. ‘‘We are living with a lot of fear these days.’’

The crackdown was precipitated by the murder on March 30 of a top Ugandan prosecutor who was the lead prosecutor in the case of a dozen men accused of bombing two sites where soccer fans had gathered to watch the 2010 World Cup final. Al Shabab, the Somali Islamic extremist group, claimed responsibility for that attack that killed at least 70 people.

Everything all right now?

Jamal Kiyemba, the imam of the Masjid Taqwa mosque and former Guantanamo Bay detainee, was arrested earlier this month on suspicion of being involved in the shooting death of prosecutor Joan Kagezi.

He is one of about 30 people, mostly Muslim men and women who live in different parts of Kampala, Uganda’s capital, who have been arrested in the case but not formally charged in court.

Deja vu for him.

Kiyemba was deported to Uganda in 2006 after being freed from Guantanamo Bay, where he was held after being arrested while trying to enter Afghanistan. Some who know him say he is a quiet, kind man who donated money to the sick and taught the Koran to new members of his mosque.

Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi, a prominent human rights lawyer in Uganda, said police are profiling some Muslims. ‘‘Many people have been targeted because of their religion, not necessarily because of what they have done,’’ he said.

Ugandan police deny unfairly targeting Muslims. At least 12 million of Uganda’s 36 million people are Muslims, according to government figures. Christianity is the predominant religion.

Police initially said Al Shabab, which opposes Uganda’s military involvement in Somalia, may have killed the prosecutor. But without a claim of responsibility from Al Shabab, Ugandan authorities now say they are investigating many possible suspects, including a Congo-based, Ugandan-led Islamic extremist group known as Allied Democratic Forces.

Despite many terror warnings over the last few months, Uganda has avoided the frequent Al Shabab attacks seen in neighboring Kenya, which, like Uganda, is a target for contributing troops to a peacekeeping mission in Somalia. Ugandan police say they have foiled many attacks here over the years.

Oh, Kenya!

"Yusuf Hassan, a member of Parliament representing Nairobi’s Eastleigh neighborhood, which is predominantly ethnic Somali, said all the recent terrorist attacks in Kenya, including a massacre in a coastal village last year, were carried out by Kenyan members of Al Shabab. Hassan said he feared that security forces would now crack down indiscriminately on Somali-Kenyans as they have in the past. Thousands of Somali-Kenyans and Somali refugees were rounded up last spring and detained in a stadium; several people were reported to have died, including a 6-month-old girl left in a crib for three days, by herself, after her mother was incarcerated. “The Kenyan police are quite predictable,” Hassan said. “They seem to never learn from their past mistakes. The knee-jerk reaction will be to charge into Eastleigh and turn it upside down, and push up the anger and frustration level, leading to further alienation and radicalization.” According to human rights groups, many legal refugees and even Kenyan citizens with valid identification cards have had to pay bribes to get out of jail after they are detained by the police."

Looks likes sour grapes, doesn't it? 

Good thing those war crimes charges against Kenya were dropped since they ‘‘refused to learn from the Westgate attack.... the KDF [the Kenyan army] was camping outside of the university as the killing went on.’’ 

Yeah, well, Westgate was staged and scripted drill, and the clearest indicator is the guy running away with the fake blood stain starting to separate -- never mind that had he been shot there he would have been on the floor and most likely dead.

At least the airstrikes in retaliation brought smiles, 'eh? 

Sorry I've stopped believing the staged and scripted fictions with crappy crisis actors (Interesting, because his boss buys into the whole ISIS scam and is an advocate of force. Part of the problem, which is why I don't cover the evil scum much -- and I'm not even mentioning the pooper-pumping either).

I'll take a moment to mourn before the masks get put back on and the terrorists get back to work.

Segawa, the Muslim man who was praying alone in the Masjid Taqwa mosque, said the arrest of Kiyemba had left many of those who normally attend the mosque worried that they might be next. The 46-year-old, who drums up business for a taxi company, wears a long, scraggly beard even though some friends advised him to shave to avoid unnecessary attention from the police.

‘‘The actions of the police are bad,’’ he said. ‘‘They just arrest you without any evidence, in front of your family, and take you into custody and ask you what you have done.’’

Isma Kizito, a 28-year-old motorcycle taxi driver who sometimes prays at Kiyemba’s mosque, said the mosque’s muezzin no longer sounds the call to prayer. An elderly man, the muezzin reportedly went into hiding after Kiyemba was arrested.

‘‘Sometimes you come here and the mosque is closed,’’ Kizito said angrily. ‘‘It means that the Muslims no longer come. I feel bad about this.’’


I don't understand why I even bothered with this bunch of bigots over there.

So is ISIS or Ebola there yet?

NDU: Al Shabab bombs UN van in Somalia, killing seven