In Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni’s appointment of Idi Amin’s son to be in charge of the West Nile and Congo has sparked controversy. Critics say the move will help perpetuate the legacy of the former dictator. Major Taban Amin has been appointed deputy director general of Uganda’s Internal Security Organization (ISO). The appointment reportedly came during a meeting with Amin and other dignitaries recently, after President Museveni addressed a rally. Amin has been an ISO operative engaged in persuading Allied Democratic Force rebels to surrender. He is himself a former rebel leader and once occupied Uganda’s embassy building in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. He later found favor with the government when he returned from exile with his fighters. Amin once led a music band that called for a third term for President Museveni.
Nsaba Buturo is Uganda’s minister of information. Speaking to English to Africa reporter Peter Clottey, he said, ”The gentleman was once a rebel and he took advantage of the amnesty law. He reconciled with the government of Uganda and came back home. And our policy has always been that those who come back home should take part in rebuilding our country. And so the moment he gave up his rebel activities and chose the part of peace, we then said, ‘Look, you are a Ugandan after all like every one of us. Do take part in what is going on.’” Addressing the concerns over the appointment, Buturo said,”I think people who think that way do not remember or know or rather they choose to forget that this rather complex country has had a very difficult past. And then in a way you can bring it together if [you allow] those who choose to participate in the affairs of this country…to do so. We feel that it is no good looking back all the time. It’s better to look forward. In a way you can rebuild this country through reconciliation, and that’s what the president has done.”