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Preface to the Memo Attributed to Yoweri K. Museveni, President of Uganda

December 22, 2010


Although I travel to Uganda to study traditional Acholi culture and its interaction with Christianity (I am a theologian by training), on multiple occasions people have approached me to tell me about atrocities committed by the forces of the National Resistance Army (NRA, later to become the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces or UPDF) against the people of northern Uganda both before and during the armed conflict with the Lord’s Resistance Army.  Some of these people have passed documentation on to me.

On a recent trip of mine, one such person gave me the documents included on this website.  One document is a memo, done on a typewriter, dated November 14, 1986, from someone codenamed “Tremor 1” to someone codenamed “Meteor Plus One.”  The person who gave me the document – I will call her Ageno Komakec – told me that it is an internal memo, never meant to be circulated, from Yoweri Museveni, the current President of Uganda, to his brother Salim Saleh.  The memo is signed “YKM.”

The memo, titled, “Subject: RETHINK” describes an aerial flyover of northern Uganda by Tremor 1, and his subsequent change of mind on policy towards the North.  Previously, Tremor 1 thought that the victorious National Resistance Movement (NRM) should forget about the “backwards northerners,” particularly “the Chimpanzees called Acholis,” due to the lack of developmental prospects in the North.  However, the flyover changed Tremor 1’s mind.  There is a “Gold Mine” of fertile land in the North.  Therefore, it is best that the NRM take it over.  Such control, says Tremor 1, will require finding ways to “drastically reduce the population” and to “eliminate some old politicians who are likely to give us troubles.”

Given the substantive content of the memo, it seemed to me to be important, even obligatory, to make it public and to pass it on to the relevant authorities.  Now there can be an appropriate debate regarding its possible authenticity and, if it is authentic, its implications.  I include my own analysis in an article in the journal, Practical Matters.  It is an online journal, open to all, so that anyone can access it.  The web address of the article is http://www.practicalmattersjournal.org/issue/3/analyzing-matters/genocide-or-just-another-casualty-of-war.  Readers who wish to send me their comments on either the documents or my article can do so to musevenimemo@gmail.com.

I have sent a copy of the memo, which appears below, together with the real name of the person who gave it to me to Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the United Nations Office of the Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide, and the International Criminal Court.  These persons and organizations will be watching over the person who gave me the memo so that, in the event that the Ugandan government somehow finds out who she is, the government will know that it, too, is being watched.

 
Todd David Whitmore
  
  


The memo can be accessed by clicking on the icon below:

m7.subject_-_rethink_scan1.pdf
File Size: 536 kb
File Type: pdf
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     The memo was given to me with the following letter, written by an office worker, now deceased, who took the memo from NRM files.

     Soon after Museveni’s victory in the 1980-1985 bush war, Virginia Kajumba became a clerical worker in the offices of the newly formed National Resistance Movement.  She also was in love with an officer in the National Resistance Army, Major Okello Kolo, an Acholi.  They talked of marriage.  He wanted to move with her to his home area in northern Uganda.  She resisted the suggestion.  In the letter she sent him, shown below, she makes her case citing the book of Genesis on how a man must leave his mother and father – and thus his homeland – to join his wife.  So that Kolo would know that Kajumba’s refusal to go to northern Uganda was based not on a lack of love for him, but rather on a concern about the stability of the North – a concern rooted in reality – she sent with the letter a copy of a memo that she had seen, perhaps even typed herself, in the NRM offices, the memo that I am making public.  When Ageno Komakec gave me a copy of the memo, she also handed to me a copy of Kajumba’s letter.  It displays both her love for Kolo and her concern about what will become of life in the North under the Museveni regime.  “I am sure that you were born for me and I for you…For this reason I enclose herewith M7’s [Museveni’s] diabolical directive to his brother.”  According to my sources, NRM security killed both Kolo and Kajumba.

The letter can be accessed by clicking on the icon below:


letter_-ebbe.march_16th1.pdf
File Size: 37 kb
File Type: pdf
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For my analysis of the memo and the letter, go to http://www.practicalmattersjournal.org/issue/3/analyzing-matters/genocide-or-just-another-casualty-of-war.