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Where Are You, Opoka?

By Vision Reporter

Added 26th September 2002 03:00 AM

WHEN President Museveni revealed in April that James Opoka had joined Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), the Reform Agenda challenged him to substantiate or withdraw the allegation.

WHEN President Museveni revealed in April that James Opoka had joined Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), the Reform Agenda challenged him to substantiate or withdraw the allegation. Reform Agenda is a loose group that spearheaded Cols Kizza Besigye’s 2001 presidential campaign.
Government has since maintained that Opoka is with the LRA. Reform Agenda insists that this is a deliberate case of malicious propaganda.

UPDF provided The New Vision with photographs it claims incriminate Opoka. We published one in yesterday’s issue showing a man who the army claims is Opoka posing with a group of suspected rebels. The man sports a thick beard whereas previous photographs of Opoka show him as clean-shaven. Of course, if he is Opoka, it is possible that he could have grown a beard, which, besides, the army claims was on the express orders of Kony. But if he is not the one in the rebel picture, then the real Opoka should stand up.

Opoka now has an opportunity to clear or incriminate himself. If he is not with the LRA, then he should come out publicly. He should appear before the press wherever he is to clear his name. Failure to do so will lend credence to the army claims. And will also raise the fundamental question: is Besigye privy to Opoka’s contact with the LRA or not? Last year Besigye fled the country with six members of the Reform Agenda including Opoka who is his aide, though not much is publicly known of their comings and goings. But then they could have as well fled amid fears of persecution.

But the big question is: Where is Opoka? And what is he doing?

The army has given its side. Opoka too should do so.
Ends

Where Are You, Opoka?

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