Museveni: Our liberation was costly- We buried 70,000 skulls in 33 mass graves

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The five-year liberation war that brought the National Resistance Movement (NRM) to power and ushered in peace, was very costly in terms of human life, President Museveni said on Friday. Ugandans should safeguard this peace jealously so that the country never returns to such turmoil, he added.

The President was speaking in Zirobwe Town Council, Bamunanika County, Luweero District at the National Heroes Day celebrations. Explaining the rationale for the commemoration, President Museveni told thousands of people that on June 9th, 1981, government soldiers attacked villages in Luweero and killed in cold blood nine freedom fighters.

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The crime of the nine led by one Lutamaguzi, was refusal to reveal the whereabouts of National Resistance Army military camps. The country lost over 300,000 people, most of them non-combatants killed because they were perceived collaborators of NRA.

“We buried 70,000 skulls in 33 mass graves but the total number of people that lost their lives was 300,000. This freedom was expensive and we shouldn’t play with it,” said the President.
“I salute the people of Luweero Triangle and the entire Uganda for standing together and liberating your country,” he added.

The President thus tasked the National Resistance Movement secretariat led by the Secretary General Kasule Lumumba to document and circulate the NRM history, ideals and literature right from the liberation struggle through the different development phases for benefit of future generations.

The President used the occasion to strongly warn those unlawfully evicting Ugandans especially Bibanja holders from their land, saying the government will deal with them decisively.

“It’s criminal and unlawful to evict a kibanja holder because they are lawful occupants, protected by the law. Even the busulu you levy must be determined by the government. You can’t force a Kibanja holder to own a tittle it’s his or her wish to have a title,” he said.

“I have appointed a commission of inquiry led by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire to dig out all land related matters and we shall act decisively on those taking the law in their hands,” he added.

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