Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Uganda LRA: Who is Fooling Who?

Although atrocities and barbarities Lord Resistance Army (LRA) and government forces commited cannot be condoned, something needs to be done a tad differently and urgently. A gory and cataclysmic war between LRA and the government has take long and caused a lot of mayhem in northen Uganda. Those who have been keen to dig into this unremunating war will agree with us that something urgent needs to be done.

When we look at the history of crises in Africa, there have been other atrocities with even higher magnitude than the one going on in Uganda. Conflicts in Mozambique and South Africa, for instance, claimed many more lives than the conflict in Uganda. Brutality, if compared, for instance, between Boer South Africa and Joseph Kony’s megalomania, chances are that tha latter shed more blood and committed many atrocities than the former. Taliban in Afghanistan also brutalized and killed many.

But again, the conflicants found that power of arms did not work. They decided to sit down and talk it out and brought stability and tranquility in their country. Afghanistan government is currently talking to Talibans despite all. So far as Uganda is concerned, the problem is that gross power hunger and power play are worsening the situation. Another problem is tha fact that Uganda, just like other bellicose states, groups, persons and whatnot, is the enemy within, but not without. So to solve the problem and do away from impasse and mayhem Uganda and the region have been in is look within but not outside. Somewhat, gross power greed and abuses should be vectored above everything. No violent person or warmonger can surely expect the realization of peace if at all what he does is war. How can he if at all he kills his kith and kin that he says he is fighting for? Is the situation different from this anology? No death can result into life except under religious dogma. We’re mortal human beings who must think likewise whether obversely or reversely. Gandhi said that means to be means must always be within our reach. The means of war and manipulation Uganda is using is not means even if it goofs to think this means can justy the end which by all account is going to be problematic given that it does not follow proper procedures. What has Uganda attained by means of war and this behindhandedness?

What is obvious is that even if Ugandan authorities for long used top-to-toe-armed units, it did not and won’t attain anything worthy mentioning except creating more calamities. What do you expect when two madmen confront each other? Like blind horse making circles, they’ll deceive themselves thinking they are making development while they actually are but stranded. Let us face it; conflicants in Uganda are stranded between Scylla and Charybdis. They need to be helped out. If the protagonists had a gist of love for their country and people, they surely would embark on dialogue. Mahatma Gandhi once said; Force of love and pity is infinitely greater than force of arms.

Again, why was it possible for Mozambique and South Africa to forgive forge ahead; but the same-unfortunately though, is impossible to Uganda? Somewhat, there is power play in this conflict whereby the government is using the conflict to cling to power. For Museveni, Northern Uganda conflict is but an extravaganza bonanza. Those who know how bellicose rulers use wars, pretexts and threats as it is in this case, have an inkling of what the upshot is.

So, to solve the conflict in northen Uganda won’t come by the way of the barrel of gun or political machinations that are going on causing mayhem or conjuring up Philip. Instead, through peaceful inititives, this conflict can be put to rest shall the protagonists act seriously and committedly instead of politics. I understand. Joseph Kony is a wanted person after being indicted by the International Criminal Court after president Museveni wanted to. But again, why listening did ICC work exparte in the first place instead of pilloring Museveni by ordering nonbias investigation into the conflict? Why favoring the explanations of one conflicant against another instead of listening to both or devising another mechanism to rid Uganda of the quangmire it has been in for longtime? Does it mean that Museveni did not commit atrocities in Northen Uganda prior and after coming to power? Who wants to bring this to the international séances dealing with the conflict in northen Uganda?

If anything, Uganda needs to form a true Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) as it was the case in South Africa if it really wants to forge ahead. What should be underscored is the fact that means used to attain something decided the results. Peace reached by force is as good as violence because it will create a good breeding groud for violence and revenge.

Conflict in Northen Uganda has become a sort of gismo Museveni has always depended on to gain popularity and legality to foster his illegal regime over Ugandans the same Kony uses it to stay afloat in his criminality and barbarity. It is an open secret that there in no democracy in Uganda. Human rights are violated openly and nobody is taking Museveni to task. Instead Ugandans have been kept at tenterhooks when it comes to when they will be free.

So we need to stalwartly demand that the parties to conflict in Uganda come to the round table and solve their problems instead of hanging on destructive means that have always destroyed the lives of innocent and poor people in the region. Refer to the overflow of the conflict to DRC and CAR. We need to chop the hydra heads of atrocities in the region by facing the truth instead of subscribing to political machinantions.

In sum, the protagonists must be reminded to consider the problems their standpoints are causing to the economy and security of the region instead of their grip on power. They rust for power deos not even help them. It time for Ugandans to deal with their demons.
Source: The African Executive Magazine Jan. 18, 2012.

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