Kristof Titeca

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Security forces gather on election day in Kampala, Uganda, on Jan. 14. Ugandan opposition leader Bobi Wine on Monday released a list of 243 people who have allegedly been abducted by the security forces, piling pressure on the government to find those missing amid continuing political tensions after last month’s elections. (Jerome Delay/AP)

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni won a sixth term with 58.6 percent of the vote last month, in an election marred by unprecedented violence and repression. Measures supposedly aimed at enforcing covid-19 regulations de facto criminalized political competition, preventing or banning the opposition from electoral campaigns. Security forces targeted opposition candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, known popularly as Bobi Wine, and his supporters, in particular.

Kyagulanyi and his National Unity Platform party firmly rejected the election results as fraudulent. The United States and European Union noted concerns over the credibility of the Jan. 14 election, and the United States called for an audit of the returns.…  Seguir leyendo »

Bodyguards of the now-deceased LRA commander Vincent Otti, around 2003. (Charles Tabuley/Kristof Titeca)

The French news magazine Jeune Afrique noted on Nov. 20 that despite decades of international attempts to capture warlord Joseph Kony, he remains free. Kony’s movement, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), began in the mid-1980s with the goal of protecting Northern Ugandans from the newly installed regime of President Yoweri Museveni. But the insurgency turned against civilians, becoming notorious for mutilations and large-scale abductions. By 2006, the LRA had abducted up to 38,000 children and 37,000 adults, researchers estimated. Those abducted were forced to become fighters or fighters’ “wives” — a euphemism for sex slaves — and household servants. Today, the movement has only about 100 to 150 fighters left, but they are still abducting and causing insecurity in the borderlands between Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.…  Seguir leyendo »

Recently, Brussels — and Belgian politics at large — have been shaken by a corruption scandal. Last month, news broke that then-Brussels Mayor Yvan Mayeur and a political ally had each collected about 112,000 euros since 2008 for meetings that never took place. The meetings were supposed to be for Samusocial, an agency caring for the homeless. In other words, they were diverting funds for the homeless into their own pockets. The mayor was forced to resign.

This was not the first such scandal. The French-speaking Socialist Party (PS) has been all-powerful for decades in French-speaking Belgium and Brussels. PS members have been repeatedly caught siphoning off public funds.…  Seguir leyendo »