Old Kampala Fails to Appoint New Deputy Mufti

A new report made the United Nations has said forces loyal to both the government under President Salva Kiir and the rebels under Dr. Riek Machar committed serious war crimes.

Hundreds of extra-judicial killings, view thumb enforced disappearances, gang-rapes, sexual slavery, forced abortion, massive child soldier recruitment and indiscriminate attacks against civilians with entire villages burned down have been perpetrated by all in sides in war-torn South Sudan, the United Nations reported on Thursday.

“The constant attacks on women, the rape, enslavement and slaughter of innocents; the recruitment of thousands upon thousands of child soldiers; the deliberate displacement of vast numbers of people in such a harsh and poverty-stricken country – these are abhorrent practices that must be halted,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, whose Office (OHCHR) compiled the report along with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

The country, which only gained independence in 2009 after breaking away from Sudan, its northern neighbor, was thrown into turmoil when conflict erupted between President Salva Kiir and his former Vice-President Riek Machar in December 2013, killing thousands, displacing over 2.4 million people, 650,000 of whom fled abroad, and impacting the food security of 4.6 million.

“Very few places in areas of conflict have been safe, as the parties have intentionally attacked traditional safe havens, such as places of worship, hospitals and, from time to time, United Nations bases,” the report said. “These attacks reveal a shocking disregard for civilian life, with an increasing number of armed groups and communities being involved in the violence.”

From the middle of 2015, a new pattern emerged, particularly in the central and southern counties of Unity state, with entire villages being burned down, food crops destroyed and livestock looted, amid indications that this may have been a deliberate strategy by the Government or army to deprive civilians of any source of livelihood and force their displacement, it added.

It documented at least 280 cases of conflict-related sexual violence, including gang-rape, sexual slavery and forced abortion, as well as a sharp increase in child recruitment, with at least 13,000 to 15,000 child soldiers, recruited mainly, but not solely, by opposition forces, as of December 2015.

“Despite the severity of the human rights and humanitarian law violations perpetrated by both sides to the conflict, there are no tangible accountability mechanisms beyond the rhetoric of the main belligerents,” the report stressed.


Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative UNMISS chief Ellen Margrethe Løj underscored that accountability must be a fundamental element in the ongoing peace process seeking to end the strife.

“It is time to end the cycle of impunity that has allowed these violations to occur and embrace a brighter future of sustainable peace for all South Sudanese,” she said.

Mr. Zeid added, “Accountability and justice sound like empty words in such a bleak landscape, but they are essential if South Sudan is to come out of this terrible period. The current regional and
international peace efforts offer some hope that this perpetual cycle of bloodshed and misery can be brought to an end, and I urge all sides to negotiate in good faith.”
Uganda Police Force has warned that a group of potential criminals is luring some sections of the public to surrender their national identity card particulars to it for unknown reasons, page Chimp Corps report.

Police publicist Fred Enanga revealed that a one Issa Katumba of Nsambwe, Mukono has been arrested as part of a wider investigation into the matter.

“The Police and sister security agencies have picked information indicating that, selected groups of people were secretly obtaining National IDs particulars and mobile phone contacts from unsuspected members of the public, specifically within the suburbs of Kampala and Mukono, and other areas of the country,” said Enanga.

“Within the Kampala area, several residents particularly from Kibuli tendered in their National ID particulars, where as in Mukono, victims were identified from Mukono town and Ntaawo on promises of financial reward,” added Enanga.

The incident comes against the backdrop of heightened tensions ahead of the 2016 elections.

The army and police chiefs have previously warned against planned election violence, saying they will crush the perpetrators.

Opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye has vowed not to stop recruiting P-10 groups starting from the grassroots level  which army boss Gen Katumba Wamala said is intended to perpetrate terror during the polls.

Enanga condemned the act of illegally securing IDs from the public, “whose motive could be criminal, due to the danger of misusing the information or mobilizing the public into acts of illegality.”

He urged the public to “protect itself and not recklessly surrender their National ID particulars, because it is not safe and also makes them vulnerable to fraud and other dangerous schemes.”

As a strong deterrent to potential perpetrators and instigators, Enanga added, “Police have arrested a suspect Issa Katumba of Nsambwe, Mukono and further investigating his network to establish whether it is a sophisticated arrangement or not.”

So far details of over 3,000 suspected victims were being reviewed, according to the publicist.

“An exhibit of a laptop and mobile phone were recovered and are being processed to help establish whether it can lead us to a common source; or other information of evidential value.”
The leadership of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council is yet to find a new Deputy Mufti to steer the second most powerful office in the country`s Islamic faith for the next five years.

The UMSC which is the mainstream faction of the disintegrated Muslim administration held a Joint meeting on Thursday at their headquarters at Old Kampala to find two capable figures to fill the crucial offices whose bearers are leaving.

The tenures of the Deputy Mufti and the UMSC Secretary General end tomorrow Saturday of 23rd January 2016.

The Joint session chaired by the UMSC National Chairman Dr. Abdul Kadir Balonde, treatment only managed to nominate the new S.G in the names of Ramathan Mugalu.

According to a statement from the USMC on Thursday evening, here the nomination of Mr. Mugalu followed a process of thorough screening of many candidates who had submitted their applications to replace Eng. Sheikh Siraj Zaid Kavuma who will bid farewell to the Muslim leadership tomorrow.

Mr. Mugalu is a master’s degree holder in Arts, generic Community Participation and Strategic Management from Ndejje University.

The New UMSC Secretary General Ramadhan Mugalu
The New UMSC Secretary General Ramadhan Mugalu

He also holds a degree in Social Works and Social Administration as well as a Diploma in Business Administration.

He has served as the UMSC Deputy Secretary for Education and Social Services, UMSC Secretary for Education and Social Services and UMSC Secretary for Social Services.

Regarding the office of the Deputy Mufti, none of the three applicants for the position had a degree or its equivalent in Sharia.

Sheikh Khatwib Mukuluwakika was therefore retained as the Ag Deputy Mufti for a period of six months.

According to Article 6, section C of the UMSC Constitution, a person must have a degree or its equivalent in Sharia from a recognized Islamic University in order to be considered for the office.

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