Uganda Diminishing the Stature of United Nations Security Council
By Amanuel Biedemariam
Note: this article is a repost. The original was posted on Nov 27/2009. The revelation by Wikileaks on the role of Uganda’s Museveni and Dr. Jendayi Frazer played to hatch the ILLEGAL sanctions on Eritrea confirms what Eritreans have been saying all along. It is a travesty to see the one of the greatest nations to resort to this low! President Obama needs to repeal the ILLEGAL sanctions NOW!
For centuries, African leaders have done tremendous harm to Africans equal to that of the European colonizers by selling Africans to Western slave masters and by allowing foreigners to exploit Africa for their selfish interests. The exploitation of Africa using African leaders is pervasive. African resources are exploited by the West and other powers using African leaders who work for the interest foreign powers. These include leaders such as Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Mwai Kibaki of Kenya and the notorious Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia amongst others.
These leaders do not represent African interest, but worse, everything that they pursue is at the expense of the people they are supposed to lead. In the process, they are destroying the harmony, cultural heritage, the economies, health, agriculture and customs of the people in Africa. They are standing on the way of traditional cross-border trade amongst neighborly countries by igniting wars in an effort to fulfill the interests of their masters.
Over the years this tactic was used by many international actors. Since World War II, US governments have empowered and employed African strong Men to do their bidding in Africa extensively. During George W Bush´s administration however, the roles of these surrogates have expanded into many areas to achieve different geopolitical interests. They are being used as advocates for African related matters at the UN, as peacekeepers in sensitive areas where direct Western military involvement could conjure up anti-Western backlash and for PR purposes around the world. They are providing cover for Western powers to pursue questionable strategic interests and provide unfettered access into the countries of interest. The sole purpose is to exploit resources; and always at the expense of the lives and livelihoods of the people.
The human rights records of these surrogate African leaders are abysmal and should put them in jail for crimes against humanity. Their grade for governance is, Fail. The futures of the countries they lead are bleak. They are looting the resources and have neglected the infrastructures; health, agriculture, education and business opportunities are limited to the privileged few and foreigners. Their countries are ready to disintegrate from religious, ethnic and regional strife. We saw this in Kenya during the 2007 election-violence that paralyzed the country and in Ethiopia, during the May of 2005 sham election, with Ethiopians taking to the streets to protest against the criminal Meles regime, which responded by massacring innocent students by sharp shooters while the world witnessed in horror. The recent ethnic violence in Uganda that threatened to destabilize the country was quelled by violent Ugandan army that butchered people on the streets.
That is the hallmark of these leaders .But the irony is that they have the green light from the West to do as they wish in order to quell any popular uprising that could rise up against the interest of the West. The atrocities Museveni commits in Uganda and throughout the region is a shameful reminder of the warped justice Africans are subjected to. The West is making a mockery of justice as they employ it at will based on their geopolitical economic interests. Those on the payroll of the West can commit any crime ala Yoweri Museveni, Meles Zenawi, Mwai Kibaki and others while The International Criminal Court (ICC) looks the other way. But if you fail to tow to the whims of the West you are certain to face the fury of justice, or threat of it, as we have seen attempted on Sudan´s Omar Al Bashir.
Yoweri Museveni has constitutionally outlawed all other political parties and is ruling Uganda using his militarized one party dictatorship. He disbanded the presidential terms for him to rule indefinitely. Yoweri Museveni is one of the key US operatives in Africa and he doesn´t even care to hide it. When the ICC came out with Omar al Bashir´s indictment, he was the first to come out and express his intention to put President Bashir in jail while the rest of Africa unanimously denounced the process and stood by Bashir. The irony is Uganda and Sudan share common borders. Sudan is a huge country with untapped potential that could create opportunities for Ugandans. Instead, Museveni chose to aggravate the situation instead of inviting cooperation between the two countries.
It is evident Yoweri Museveni cannot keep peace and stability in his own country but on behalf of his masters, he sent Ugandan forces into Somalia as peace keeping forces with disastrous results. Ugandan troops are mowing civilian populations from behind their barracks in Mogadishu using heavy artillery. He does that because that is how he makes money. The Somalis are unfortunately surrounded by leaders that entirely depend on Western support and as a result they are suffering mightily with no one to speak on their behalf. That is why Somalia cannot free itself from perpetual misery.
The geopolitical games at play are bearing deadly consequences for the people in the Horn of Africa in particular and Africa in general. The conflicts are widening and the international actors are desperate to assume full control using any means at their disposal. They use political, economic and military pressure to achieve their objectives. They are imposing leaders on the people of Africa and the weaker the leader the easier for them to control, exploit and impose their will. Therefore the main idea is to place a "leadership core" however possible. That is the West´s modus operandi. This means, third world nations will not be allowed the opportunity to create their indigenous governance policies. Instead, they will be subjected to leaders imposed by the West in contradiction to their own history which allowed them go through political strife to establish systems of their choice as in the case of the American Civil War. During the French revolution the US deliberately remained neutral.
The problem with this approach is that it is impossible to achieve. It is a fool´s dream certain to create human calamity much worse than the holocaust. It´s already created tremendous loss of life and resources with dire ramification for future generations. It is certain to fail for many reasons:
Firstly, the problems are overlapping and the issues interlock creating chains across borders and throughout the region. Unlike the Middle East, the situation and actors in the Greater Horn region remains unsettled. It is impossible for any imposed leader to be effective because of the complicated ethnic makeup of the region. Kenya and Ethiopia have Oromo ethnic population, Ethiopia and Somalia share Ogaden while Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia share the Afar and/or Issas´ and on and on. These overlap is multiplied across borders throughout the entire region. Many of these nationalities are fighting for some form of recognition, and in some cases they are fighting for total independence as in the case of the Ogaden. There are border issues, ungovernable and ungoverned areas. There are regions that claim to be independent and operate independently as in the case of Somaliland and Puntland.
These countries have competing economic and geopolitical interests making it impossible to create harmonious trading and political partnerships. For example: Ethiopia depends on Djibouti to access the sea. Djibouti needs Ethiopia because Ethiopia is the main source of income. Therefore, the conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia serves Djibouti well because if Ethiopia utilizes much bigger ports in Eritrea Port Djibouti will be out of service. Moreover, the situation in the region is complicated by competing security interests, suspicion and history based-on-bloodshed.
Secondly, some international actors have always played and continue to play negative roles. All the problems in Somalia are byproducts of colonial and cold war legacies. And unfortunately, Somalia and the region are beset by foreigners with means and resources determined to their own interest at any cost to the detriment of the lives of the people.
At the height of the Bush era war-of-terror, Chinese oil explorers were killed in the Ogaden while under the protection and guidance of Ethiopian army. US oil companies´ have had licenses to explore oil in the Ogaden since 1945. The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) is claiming to have controlled sizeable territories from Ethiopian forces, which is a major development! While at the same time, the US operatives like David Shinn, in a complete change of tone, is accusing Ethiopia of human rights violation in the Ogaden. This is taking place in the backdrop of what is taking place in Somalia, a country that once claimed Ogaden as her own and went to war for it in 1976-1978. Consecutively, the US is trying to assert control in Somalia by putting in place a transitional government hatched by the failed diplomat Dr. Jendayie Frazer in Djibouti at the waning hours of the Bush Administration. Furthermore, in the same period, to satisfy foreign interest, Djibouti started unprovoked conflict against Eritrea and on and on…
Thirdly, the leaders in the region are susceptible to the very conflicts hatched by the West. Since they are surrogates and dependent on Western direct support, they have to parrot any agenda being pushed. It is to be recalled Dr. Jendayie Frazer threatened to place Eritrea on the List of States that Sponsor Terror. To satisfy Dr. Frazer, from the offices of African Union in Addis Ababa, the surrogates led by Meles Zenawi went on full gear to blame Eritrea for the problems plaguing Somalia. The Irony is these countries are key-parties to the conflict in Somalia.
Uganda is a TEMPORARY member of the Security Council. And instead of using that time on a useful agenda that can foster development in the region and Africa they are using it to undercut and weaken Eritrea. Uganda is circulating a draft resolution at the UNSC to slap sanctions on Eritrea for alleged support of Al Shabab. These are Somalis fighting to rid Somalia from outside forces like the Ugandan-army responsible for the death of thousands of Somalis.
The regional organization that sponsored the draft includes Kenya a country that is admittedly arming and training Somalis. Djibouti is a country that has turned into a Trojan-horse for the region and has become a major nuisance at the behest of US and France. Somalia; the transitional government is a government in exile with no legitimacy on the ground. Ethiopia is a country at the center of the problem and responsible for the displacement and death of millions of Somalis. Meles Zenawi should be put in jailed for crimes against humanity he committed in Somalia, Ogaden and other places in the region.
The question here is who gave Ethiopia the right to invade and occupy a sovereign nation against UN resolutions with impunity and without consequences at the cost of millions of Somali lives displaced, dead and wounded. Who is the international arbiter to decide who is guilty? Why not sanction Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya for arming, training Somalia flouting international law? Why is the US exonerated? Is the US interest more important than that of the interest of the people in the region? Who makes the US above the law? Does it mean that a Superpower can use international law and mechanism to punish others and accord themselves immunity from justice regardless of the crimes? What does this mean for the future of the region? Do the people in the region have to be subjected to hardship that surpasses the holocaust in volume and impact until US interests are fulfilled? How is justice going to be served on the true crime that is being committed by Museveni? The questions are endless.
What this shows is a broken international system and, if allowed to continue, it can threaten international stability and disrupt world trade because the area is a major international waterway. And the people in the region will suffer endless conflict cycles.
The UNSC has diminished its stature by allowing its permanent members to use dictators that are unaccountable to their own people and region in order to fulfill ill conceived agendas. Yoweri Museveni is a dictator with criminal human rights and poor governance record. He is alms dependent and beset by civil strife. In other words, a criminal is playing a prosecutor for one month because of a broken international system.
This also shows the hypocrisy of the international organizations that claim to represent the interest of justice, human rights, freedom of speech and the like. Organizations like Enough Project, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Reporters without Borders and individuals who claim to care about humanity. But what these organizations are Faucets that can be turned on and off on queue based on the interests and the whim of their respective governments. They are PR tools. They use justice as a tool in places where they can help the powers in subjugating these nations.
If the mercenary, Yoweri Museveni, is seeking stability in Somalia, he needs to get out of Somalia and give the Somalis a chance to solve their own problems. The money he earns for providing soldiers is not worth the destructions he is causing. Using Eritrea as a scapegoat is not going to change the situation in Somalia. Nor, will it exonerate or absolve Uganda and Ethiopia from the crimes they have committed. The Somali people have a legitimate right to cast their path and must be allowed.
As history shows all the attempts by foreign powers to control the resources in the region failed because it doesn´t belong to them. It belongs to the people and they should be allowed respite to gather their nation. The Somalis must be allowed to go through the process of re-forming their nation and become responsible international citizens capable to exploit their wealth while satisfying international appetite based on market dictates. Furthermore, it is incumbent upon all and particularly the people in the region to stand for the rights of the people of the region!