Somewhere in the office pines of the oval house on a vanished desk is a New York Times published Op-ED ruffling a feather or two in Obama and America’s ego. The missive (as is commonly referred to by Ugandan media) came as the perfect baby-sitting advice America needed on world affairs.
We can all agree Putin does not agree with half of what he wrote, if indeed he was the author. For a former KGB militant, authoritarian leader with a stark needle on America’s hunt for Snowden, Putin presents a new voice of reason in foreign intervention.
But here is my recent understanding of foreign intervention.
When Uganda and Rwanda set out to attack Congo in 1998, key on the agenda was to topple Kabila’s government and set up a democratic state, as we were so made to believe. The invasions were counter –productive as neither Kabila was toppled nor a democratic state setup. What however sprung up was a multitude of fighter groups undermining the state and controlling small areas of Congo.
Another attempt at foreign intervention came as a ceasefire agreement between the six countries fighting in the Congo then and a year later calling in a UN force to enforce the agreement adding to the fighter groups in the region.
Long story short 2.5 million lives later, no peace has been returned to the Congo and it is still not clear whether Congo is a state or an organisation of areas.
I could name off my fingers Libya, Egypt, Central African Republic, Mali and Somalia all in turmoil over foreign funded rebels fighting legitimate governments! The empire of impunity has lately become a two-way arrangement, one of rebels starting a war expecting dissident governments to help them join or governments oppressing their citizens expecting friend governments to join the fight. Either way, let’s not rule out the rebel forces using international governments and key elements in governments as footholds in challenging legitimacy.
The biggest recruiter for Al-Qaeda to date is the US. In seeking to dismantle the terrorist organisation under the foreign intervention guise, an empire of anti-US elements has founded ideology and financial resources for the organisation not forgetting the propaganda rubbed onto the world media walls by both sides.
The coming years are going to be a challenge and just as Putin states in his letter, “This Threatens us all” Syria might be a million miles away from Uganda but let’s not forget Sejusa could drum up support from an Anti-Museveni faction of leaders or elements and start a fresh war here.
To quote from Putin’s letter again “We must stop using the language of force and return to the path of civilized diplomatic and political settlement.” If we have agreed as a country that political settlement is achieved through elections, war should not be a forum to discuss.
Countries are not on the same footing of democracy, in fact countries are all not from a democratic history, the transition to democracy ought to be delicately handled and not pushed down the throats of people. The rush to enforce democracy has successfully created an empire of impunity, one of rebels backed by governments and another of Governments backed by their resources and partner governments.
“It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.” Putin
Governments and international organisations should invest more time in Understanding the history of conflicting countries and reach agreeable stands through political dialogue not influenced by any threats or favours.