Museveni’s Role in regional Forced Displacement is understated

Morris Komakech

Africa with a landmass of 30m Km2, twice the size of Europe, and with a population of 1.2billion inhabitants, is also the continent most afflicted with preventable incidences of violence and natural disasters that cause displacements.

The consequences of violence alone, on displacement and human life are remarkable. The 2017 Global Report on Internal Displacement indicates that of the 6.9million internal displacements caused by conflict worldwide in 2016, 2.6 million are from Sub-Sahara Africa.

Uganda recently enjoyed a spotlight over its unique refugee integration policy by the UN Secretary General, Mr. António Guterres. While Uganda presents the “best” refugee integration policy, the role of Uganda in forced displacements in the region was unfortunately understated.

The UN deserves apprehension of sort over its traditional reactionary responses to situations of conflict and violence in Africa which blinds it of Uganda’s transgressions. Uganda, under the 31 years of dictator Museveni has involved itself in unacceptable incidences of violence, leading to mass displacements and suffering- in DR Congo, Rwanda, Southern Sudan and Northern Uganda. In all these instances, the UN stood by and watched, while intellectualising whether genocide were occurring or not.

The UN seems specialised to be present after the facts of conflicts and disasters. One wonders, which other world organization is there to help the wretched of this world averting conflicts and preventing the destruction of human kind and human environments.

The sight of displaced African people and malnourished children with flies on their faces in this twenty-second century is embarrassing. African people deserve better!

Everyday news from Africa is that of tragedy, nothing novel about ground breaking discoveries, world class acts of human excellence or a major scientific breakthrough by an African. Since independence, Africa’s narratives stalled – poverty, war, disease, disaster, dictatorship, malnutrition, high child-maternal death, unemployment, human rights violation, etc. The stories are so usual that people from western hemisphere prefer tourism of Gorillas than waste time on African people.

The UN praises these dictators, in the process it covertly abets the proliferation of the continent with arms, allows predatory trade agreements, and trades in stolen African resources while legitimate African products are excluded from the lucrative global markets. What really is in the UN for the ordinary African people other than relief aid?

The real traitors of Africa are the greedy and unconscionable African leaders who come to power as “liberators” and turn to conspire against the African people as predators.

There is no justification for a leader to stay in power for three decades. Patterns have emerged where such leaders have abandoned the causes of their African people. Many stay in power as captives of foreign interests to exploit Africa by dehumanising Africans.

The longer they stay in power, the more foreign debts accumulate, poverty and disempowerment are entrenched, and human rights violation becomes the mainstay of their hold on power.

The loot exacted on the Gambia by its former deranged despot, Jammeh is one such evidence. However, the wealth of African leaders accumulated at home and those stashed abroad, shows that contemporary African leaders are worse than former colonial administrators. At least, the colonial administrators were clear with their intention to appropriate African resources to feed European civilization. They never pretended to liberate Africa for Africa.

Most disturbing is the effect of displacement in Africa on its economic progress. Displacement immobilizes, confines and destroys labour.  Displacement denies Africa conditions for its labor to harness its resources and feed its children. Armed conflict dehumanises and further alienates Africans from their land and natural resources. Transient state of displacement furthers the vulnerability of children women and persons with disability to diseases and death. Under the current breed of African leaders, living conditions are made impossible such that resourced, educated, skilled and strong Africans must flee the continent to benefit other continents.

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