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{UAH} When Dr Apollo Milton Obote defended refugees who were running away from the violence in Rwanda

UGANDA: When Dr Apollo Milton Obote defended refugees who were running away from the violence in Rwanda between 1952-59, It was in the Legislative Assembly. The Belgian Colonial Government had decided to get rid of the Rwanda Tutsi State before granting the country independence. destroying the state meant freeing the majority Hutu from oppresssion. They became violent and carried out genocide of the Tutsi. The Belgiams alerted the Uganda Protectorate Government about impending refugee influx into the country. The Government passed Legal Notice No. 311 declaring the refugees persons non granta and said they were political criminals. But Obote, William Wilberforce Kajumbura Nadiope and Curthbert Obwangor -all UPCs- Opposed the Notice in the Legislative Council (LEGCO), arguing those people were running away from violence. against them. On 29th February, 1960, went ahead to present a motion in the LEGCO calling for the provocation of the Notice called "BaTutsi Immigration Rule". The Motion was defeated. However, after Independence in 1962, Onote used his powers as Prime Minister to allow thousands of refugees to come in. His government establishes 4 refugee camps further away from the Rwanda Border. The number of the refugees rose to 10,000. But the refugees turned Uganda into a base to attack the independent State of Rwanda, thereby abusing the hospitality of Uganda and embarassing especially Obote. In 1963 the refugees actually attacked Rwanda, forcing Obote to declare, "If our hospitality is abused we shall be compelled to withdraw the protection we give to these people". Obote has been misrepresented as enemy number one of the refugees from Rwanda. He defended them during the reign of the colonialists, he allowed them into Uganda, protected them until they attacked a member country of the OAU. Obote was embarassed further when the deposed King of Rwanda linked up with his host, Kabaka Edward Muteesa II to overthrow his government. He was forced to expel the King of Rwanda from Uganda.

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that  we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic  and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."
---Theodore Roosevelt

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