Quiet diplomacy won’t work on Uganda

03 Apr

The Star, December 09, 2005 Edition 1

Peter Fabricius’s analyses in both The Star and Pretoria News have always impressed me.
I am particularly interested in commenting on his analysis “Commonwealth must act on its promises” (The Star, December 2).

For a long time, the commonwealth (or is it commonpoverty?) has been so big on talk and extremely small on bite – that is when they are not bickering among each other.

With all the talk coming out of Uganda, you would have expected them to take a hard stance on Yoweri Museveni, who is doing all in his powers to ruin his country and treat the international community’s outcry with impunity.

That Uganda did not make it onto the Commonwealth communiqué is dumbfounding.
It was a grand form of irony to see Museveni posing with other leaders for a group photo when back at home he is hounding his people to the extent that he has put restrictions on demonstrations, debates and radio talk shows, among other things.

He and his cronies expressly control Uganda’s finances and, like many other African dictators, he started as an African statesman – 20 years ago.

He has now stated that he doesn’t intend to rule beyond 2013 – by then he will be tired of running a country and will hand over to somebody with a vision like his to carry on.

As Peter Fabricius notes, he has always been a darling of the West. Out of the praises heaped on him for his achievements on Aids, and coming at a time when Uganda was emerging from a period of political turmoil, he developed such a “big man syndrome” that he is now telling the West to go to hell. He now lectures them on how they underdeveloped Africa and says it’s them who need Africa.
Does this ring a bell in the likes of Mugabe, Mobutu, Moi, etc?

The Pan-African Parliament has taken an unprecedented step to severely condemn the actions of one of it’s members. The deafening silence from the African Union is astounding.

Maybe they are quietly doing diplomatic work behind the scenes. We may hear them more loudly when there is war. Calling for restraint and peacekeepers cannot be done quietly.

Stephen Twinoburyo


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