Falt Earth: Off the party line

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The Independent Online
IT was a momentous announcement. Sam Luwero, chairman of the Uganda National Democratic Alliance (Unda) and commander in chief of its military wing, the rebel Uganda Federal Army, said he was suspending the armed struggle immediately, and pledged support for the Kampala government of President Yoweri Museveni.

That was on Monday, when a fax from Unda headquarters at Millmead Business Centre, Millmead Road, London N17, landed with the news.

On Tuesday the sky fell. Peace was off and war was on again. A fresh communique from the Millmead Business Centre said chairman Luwero had been ousted for 'unbecoming and intolerable misconduct'. He no longer had a mandate to represent Unda and its military machine 'in any capacity whatsoever'.

It was quite clear a coup had taken place. All inquiries, we were told, should be made to the organisation's unnamed secretary-general at the Millmead Business Centre command post. When we tried to get through, the line was dead. Fearing a counter-coup and armed mayhem in north London, we telephoned the authorities. 'This number, dear,' said the voice of authority, 'ceased in February last year. I don't think they paid the bill.'