Janet to Champion New War on HIV

Military sources have confirmed the identity of Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) Commander, order Jamil Mukulu, 51, who was arrested in Tanzania recently.

“He is the man we have been looking for,” said a highly placed officer on Wednesday.

Mukulu is expected to be extradited to Uganda any time from now.

Red Pepper broke the news of Mukulu’s arrest last week.

However, authorities said then that they were yet to confirm if indeed it were the rebel leader whose activities have led to a reign of terror in Uganda and Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Early this year, a military camp where Mukulu was based, came under heavy gunfire from DRC forces just moments after the leader of the terrorist group had fled.

The ADF remains one of the most dangerous rebel groups in Eastern Congo, with battle-hardened and Islamic extremist fighters.

On 16 January 2014, the Congolese army launched Operation Sukola I against ADF. Advancing on several fronts, the army moved deep into ADF territory and pushed it out of many of its forest camps, sustaining and inflicting many casualties in the process.


Early in April, as the Congolese army was approaching Madina, the site of the main camp and last stronghold of ADF, ADF split into two groups.

One group, led by ADF leader and sanctioned individual Mukulu, left the Madina camp at night, a few days before the Congolese army took over on 16 and 17 April.

Mukulu, whose main objective is to remove President Museveni from power and install a Muslim leader, departed with approximately 30 people, including some 17 senior ADF leaders and most of his family.

Among those in the Mukulu group were Richard Muzei (Mukulu’s son), Bisasso (chief of finance), Kikutte (a deputy army commander), Magezi Abdul (deputy of internal security, see annex 9), Benjamin Kisokeranyo (senior adviser to Mukulu) and several other long-term ADF commanders and members of the ADF society of elite leaders called “the 8,000” or Kanana.

The whereabouts of Mukulu and approximately 30 senior leaders and family members who left with him remain unknown.

The ADF commander was trained by Al Qaeda in the Middle East. UN maintains it’s yet to find evidence linking ADF to the global sponsors of terrorism.

In Uganda, Mukulu is accused of pressuring Muslim clerics in Uganda to recruit members for his force. Those who have resisted the pressure, according to police boss Gen Kale Kayihura, have been killed.

The police boss recently revealed that it was highly possible that most of the murdered Muslim clerics since 2012 have been gunned down by ADF insurgents.

“While we are not ruling out other motives in individual cases, there is strong evidence linking these murders to Al Qaeda affiliate ADF,” Kayihura explained while addressing journalists at the Police Headquarters in Naguru in early January.

“We have credible intelligence which indicates that the majority of these clerics have been targeted because of their refusal to embrace extremist theocratic ideology; one which promotes the use of violence and terrorism as a tool of social, religious and political change.”

Born in Kayunga in 1964, Mukulu is wanted by Interpol for wilful killing, constituting a grave breach under article 147 of the fourth Geneva convention of 12th august 1949 and which is an offence contrary to section 2(1)(d)and (e) of the Geneva conventions act, cap. 363 of the laws of Uganda.

Mukulu’s attempts to seize power in a rebel offensive in the late 1990s did not bear fruit.
By Proscovia Basangwa

The First Lady and Minister for Karamoja Affairs Hon. Mrs. Janet Museveni, story who is also Champion for the elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV, for sale has accepted to become the national champion for Ending AIDS among Adolescents in Uganda.

This was after a request made by the UN Heads of Missions to Mrs. Janet Museveni to provide leadership in advocacy for the plight of adolescents in Uganda.

The UN Mission Heads who included the UN Resident Coordinator Dr. Ahuna Eziakonwa, UNICEF’s Aida Girma, WHO’s Dr. Alemu Wondimagegnehu, UNAIDS’s Musa Bungudu, UNFPA’s Fundira Esperance, and Hodan Addou of the UNWOMEN were meeting the First Lady recently at Imperial Royale Hotel, Kampala.

The meeting also attended by the Minister of State for Primary Health Care Sarah Opendi Ochieng and Executive Director OAFLA Uganda Beat Bisangwa, dialogued on the AIDS deaths rise among adolescents and the need for a multi-sectoral approach to advocate for the plight of adolescents in Uganda.

According to the UNAIDS Gap report 2014 about 350 adolescents in Uganda get infected with HIV every week.

Janet Museveni noted that the current adolescents’ problems in the country show the weaknesses and failures of the families where parents have relegated their parental roles.

“We need to look at how to involve the families and remind them of their responsibility”, she emphasised.

She said adults should guide the children on how to protect themselves from unsafe sex and be reminded to change their behaviours, avoid irresponsible lifestyles and learn to live within their means.

She advised stakeholders to always plan to eradicate HIV completely instead of just reducing it.

Mrs Museveni thanked the UN family for always being there and continuing to galvanise the stakeholders not to lose focus in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The Minister of State for Primary Health Sarah Opendi observed that 24 percent of mothers who die in Uganda are teenagers. She reported that campaigns against early marriages have started and some Districts have already come up with ordinances.

Dr. Eziakonwa said the UN team is inspired by the First Lady’s leadership in the elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV and the results registered in a short period and that that is why they want her to lead the agenda to address teenage pregnancies too.

UNFPA’s Fundira Esperance emphasized that investing in adolescent health will contribute to reducing maternal mortality.

UNAIDS Country Coordinator Musa Bungudu pointed out the HIV risk factors for adolescents which include gender based violence, abuse and exploitation, intergenerational sex and early marriages, unfair policies and legislation that deprive adolescents of their say in matters related to health, lack of access to sexual and reproductive health information and services, Low HIV risk perception, high school dropouts at various levels of Education and disintegrating family and socioeconomic structures

The UN family requested for the setting up of a committee comprising Ministers of Education, Gender, Health, Finance and Parliamentarians to support implementation of adolescents laws, policies and programmes.

They also encourage senior influential individuals in Government and civil societies to become champions of the adolescent girl in addressing HIV, sexual  and reproductive health, early pregnancies, early marriages, and maternal and child health issues.

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