Uganda: 149 alleged rebels arrested after assault on palace

At least 149 people have been arrested in a restive region of western Uganda where clashes with a tribal militia have killed at least 62 people, a government official said Tuesday as the security forces continued to search the mountainous the area for rebels.

Most of those killed or in detention are guards who protected a traditional monarch accused of harboring the rebels in the western Kasese district, a stronghold of the political opposition and near the border with Congo.

The king, Charles Wesley Mumbere of the Kingdom of Rwenzururu, is now in detention after his palace was assaulted by the military on Sunday.

At least 46 supporters of the king and 16 police have died in the clashes, according to Ugandan police spokesman Andrew Felix Kaweesi.

Interior Minister Jeje Odongo told reporters Tuesday that weapons, including automatic guns and a cache of crude weapons such as spears and machetes, had been seized following the assault on the palace.

The killings underscore tensions between longtime President Yoweri Museveni and influential tribal rulers who are constitutionally recognized but have no real authority or armies of their own. Ahead of presidential polls in February, which were won by Museveni, Mumbere came out in support of the opposition, a move that appeared to violate the traditional leaders’ code of conduct.

Museveni lost the popular vote in Kasese, and a month later clashes erupted between the security forces and militiamen who were believed to be loyal to Mumbere. Among the king’s supporters are separatists who hope to create a new republic called Yiira, which would include Mumbere’s Bakonzo people and their relatives across the border in Congo. The separatists are accused of printing their own money and even collecting taxes in some parts of the area.

In March, amid clashes between Mumbere’s supporters and security officials, Museveni vowed to defeat the separatists, who complain of marginalization by the central government 340 kilometers (211 miles) away in the capital, Kampala.

“There can never be a Yiira Republic,” Museveni said at the time.

Mumbere denies being the commander of the separatists.

Rights groups are urging Ugandan security forces to show restraint.

Amnesty International said there were shocking examples of unlawful killings and a complete disregard for human rights during the arrests, and that many victims seem to have been summarily shot dead and their bodies dumped.

Opposition leader Kizza Besigye described the killings as a “massacre” and posted a photo on Twitter purporting to show bodies of victims outside Mumbere’s palace.

The attack on the palace shocked many in this East African country that Museveni has ruled since 1986. Although tribal leaders only have ceremonial powers, are revered among their subjects and are influential in their regions. Television footage showed Mumbere being led to a police station as a soldier jerked him by the trousers following the deadly assault on the palace.

Museveni, who took power by force three decades ago, has struggled to win over the support of the Bakonzo people in presidential elections. There are frequent land disputes in the area, with many accusing the government of sponsoring land grabs. A new plan to divide Kasese district into two parts has also been fiercely opposed.

Colombia’s President Extends Ceasefire With Rebels Through Year End

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has extended a ceasefire with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) through the end of the year in order to give more time for a peace deal rejected by voters.

Santos made the announcement about the extension with Colombia’s largest rebel group during a televised speech on Thursday.

The original ceasefire, which was put in place in August, was nullified when the peace accord was narrowly rejected in a referendum earlier this month.

This came after President Santos, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to clinch the deal, heard proposals from representatives of those who voted against the agreement.

Santos said he decided to further extend the ceasefire after meeting with students who are demanding that the ceasefire be implemented despite its failure at the polls.

“One of the students reminded me, that in the army and in the guerrilla ranks, there are young people waiting to see what happens, hoping that they don’t need to fire another shot,” Santos said in the televised address, adding, “For that reason, and at the request of the students, I have taken the decision to extend the ceasefire until Dec. 31.”

On Wednesday, thousands of people marched in the Colombian capital Bogota to voice support for the peace deal between the government and FARC rebels. Students and victims of the decades-long war also took part in the march.

Read More: presstv

Turkey Kills 40 Rebels Today After 16 Of Its Soldiers Were Killed on Sunday

Turkish warplanes early hours of this morning launched a massive air operation against bases of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, killing atleast 40 rebels. More than 50 Turkish jets were involved in the six hours raid.

The overnight operation came after 16 Turkish soldiers were killed in the Kurdish dominated southeast of the country on Sunday in an attack blamed on the PKK.

Army Clashes with ‘Rebels’ Blamed for DR Congo Massacres

The Congolese army clashed Monday with suspected Ugandan rebels blamed for two massacres in the town of Beni in the volatile east of Democratic Republic of Congo, a senior official said.

 The rebels were “organising themselves” for another possible attack on the town — the scene of two bloodbaths in almost as many weeks — when troops came upon them, the governor of troubled North Kivu province Julien Paluku told AFP.

Soldiers freed a hostage, but the shooting stopped as night fell, he said. “We couldn’t see the enemy… and we risked falling into an ambush.”

The fighting erupted as families in Beni were preparing to bury the dead from the latest attack when 11 people were killed — mostly hacked to death with machetes — in a raid on Saturday night.

Credit: Yahoo News

Congo Crowd Kills Man, Eats him After Militant Massacres

A crowd stoned to death a young man in northeast Congo on Friday before burning and eating his corpse, witnesses said, in apparent revenge for a series of attacks by Ugandan rebels.

The incident in the town of Beni followed a number of overnight raids in the area blamed on the Islamist group ADF-NAUL, who are thought to have massacred more than 100 people this month, using hatchets and machetes to kill their victims.

Witnesses said the man, who has not been identified, aroused suspicion on a bus when passengers discovered he could not speak the local Swahili language and that he was carrying a machete.

Tensions ran high in the town on Friday morning with around 100 demonstrators blocking the road from the airport into town, throwing stones and waving machetes to demand greater government protection against the rebels.

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Ukraine Rebels get Self Rule & Amnesty

Rebels controlling Eastern Ukraine have been granted self rule and fighters have been granted amnesty, under the new adopted parliament law.

The measures are in line with the 5 September ceasefire agreement signed by President Petro Poroshenko. The amnesty affects rebels in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, but does not cover the shooting down of the MH17 plane.

The European and Ukrainian parliaments have also voted to ratify a major EU-Ukraine association agreement.

Negotiations with Russia last week led to the free-trade part of the agreement being postponed until 2016.

Syrian Rebel Leader Killed

The leader of one of Syria’s most powerful rebel groups has been killed along with dozens of other commanders in a bomb attack on a high-level meeting in Idlib province.

Hassan Abboud, the head of the Ahrar al-Sham brigade, was among up to 45 people killed on Tuesday at the meeting in an underground bunker near an ammunition dump outside Ram Hamdan. The Idlib meeting brought together Ahrar and a number of other brigades fighting as the Islamic Front alliance, such as Ahrar, Abdallah Azzam and the Iman brigades, to discuss a strategy to fight the Islamic State.

Activists named others killed in the attack: Abu Yazan al-Shami, a member of the Ahrar’s shura council, military field commanders Abu Talha al-Askari and Abu Yousuf Binnish, and Abu al-Zubeir, the head of the Iman brigade.

It is not known who staged the attack but Islamic State sympathisers hailed the death of Abboud on social media.

Ukraine & Rebels Sign Ceasefire Truce Deal


Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels in the east have signed a truce deal to end almost five months of fighting. The two sides agreed to stop firing by 15:00 GMT and the truce appeared to be holding. But the rebels said the truce had not changed their policy of advocating splitting from Ukraine.

Meanwhile, NATO has agreed to form a multi-national “spearhead” force capable of deploying within 48 hours.

The takeover – which followed the annexation by Russia of the southern Crimea peninsula in March – prompted a military operation by Ukrainian forces to retake the cities.

Ukraine Ceasefire Talks/ West Plans Russia Sanctions


Talks regarding restoring peace and ceasefire among conflicting sides, is ongoing in Belarus. Ukraine, Russia and pro-Russia rebels form the oppositions that are considering agreements to end the crisis in eastern Ukraine. However, there are new reports of shelling near the town of Mariupol.

Meanwhile, Western countries are preparing to announce a tightening of sanctions on Russia. They are attending the second day of a NATO summit in Newport, Wales.

The West accuses Russia of sending arms and troops to back the rebels in eastern Ukraine, even though Moscow denies the accusation. The enhanced sanctions are expected to target Russian banking, energy and defence, as well as what British sources call “Putin cronies”.

The UK however says the sanctions will probably go ahead whether or not a ceasefire is agreed at the talks in the Belarus capital, Minsk.

UN Peacekeepers Under Attack by Syrian Rebels


Filipino UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights have been attacked by Syrian rebels who are also holding dozens of Fijian troops hostage.

The Philippine Defence Secretary Voltaire Gazmin informed reporters on Saturday that Filipino troops operating in one UN encampment have been “extricated,” while soldiers in another encampment were “now under attack”. Gazmin said the attack started early on Saturday Syrian time.

Syrian rebels have seized 44 Fijian peacekeepers two days ago and have demanded for 75 Filipinos operating within two separate UN encampments to hand over their weapons, which they rebuffed.