Why The Struggle To Oust Sam Kutesa Must Continue
Sam Kutesa -- U.S. Ambassador to Uganda in Jan. 13, 2010 memo to State Department said his "corruption is egregious"
What the UN has done is to designate a fox to chair a meeting of chickens.
In a series of well researched articles, the Black Star News, persuasively documented evidence of mass corruption, alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes, and abuse of office for which Uganda’s foreign minister may be directly or indirectly responsible for.
The Black Star News also documented Mr. Sam Kutesa’s close, social, political, economic and official relationship with Uganda’s long-time military dictator Gen. Museveni and his family. President Museveni’ government has ruled, and continues to mismanage the Ugandan state, in a mafia-like style, and effectively as a criminal outfit. It is through these, and other arrangements that Kutesa has amassed wealth through dubious UN connections in Somalia, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Yet, the United Nations, as a representative of the citizens of the world, went ahead, and by acclamation, elected Sam Kutesa, the discredited foreign minister of Uganda’s vampire state, as chair of the UN General Assembly for the next one year, commencing in September 2014.
By electing Kutesa, the UN gave a vote of confidence in President Museveni’s government; endorsed President Museveni’s anti-people and anti-gay policies; and publicly approved his cross border criminality, particularly his unlawful and illegal military actions in South Sudan and the DRC.
Endorsement of President Museveni’s diabolical government policies sends the wrong message to the majority of the Ugandan people who struggle for peaceful and democratic change in particular, and other minority groups in and outside Uganda. Ironically, Kutesa’s elections as President of the UN General Assembly functions to remove human rights issues from the UN agenda and undermine the enjoyment of human rights by LGBT throughout the world. What the UN has done is to designate a fox to chair a meeting of chickens.
Why has the UN, with offices scattered throughout the world and with easy access to all incriminating evidence against Kutesa and other senior officials in the Uganda government, went ahead and acted the way it did? Where is the UN’s moral campus? Has the UN learnt no lessons from the Oil-for Food programme to put in charge another tainted individual who is, going by his track record, more likely to abuse his position for the benefit of his companies and against the interests of the UN?
Interestingly, the UN is structurally incapable of operating outside the lens of the UN-state power relationship. One of the reasons the UN ignores abuses in far-away and less strategic countries until it is too late to address the issues, is primarily due to the complexity and context of local situations that do not interest the International Community (read: the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and their allies).
A second problem is that even if the UN understands the problems, the vast resources and strategic interests of the major powers who control what the UN do, tend to protect such cruel regimes. In the case of Uganda, despite plausible criminality of the acts and policies the Museveni regime pursues in Somalia, South Sudan and the DRC, the UN, through its major minders in the Security Council, sees Museveni’s vampire regime as an entity it can do business with based on the maxim: Better the Devil You Know.
The main consideration in the appointment of Sam Kutesa to hold a high office within the UN system is not whether he is a suitable candidate. Rather, the relevant consideration is premised on the usefulness of the Museveni regime in policing the East and Central African region by making it safe for “investment” for the International Community. Sam Kutesa is nothing but an accidental beneficiary of this flawed policy. Consequently, the International Community which the UN is but its agents, sacrifices truth and moral perspective for short-term benefits.
Additionally, the fault lines between the United Nations and “We the people” as stipulated in the preamble of the UN Charter, is the separation between the 1% who control the UN for their benefits and the 99% of the tax payers, the unemployed and the “crowd” that are freely manipulated by those who control state structures.
The 1% represented by the International Community determines what constitutes crises that must be addressed; the quality of representation the people need, and, often the more compromised a candidate for a senior position is, the more likely the candidate shall be appointed; and finally, there is always a desire not to rock the boat.
It is only in this context that President Museveni’s atrocity in and outside Uganda, atrocities that require almost wilful blindness for the UN to ignore, must be understood. But the buck does not stop with the UN for the UN is but a collection of states with varying interests around the world.
The East African region, including Uganda, is currently a place of great interests to powers that control the United Nations. There are reportedly vast oil and gas reserves that have been discovered by ‘Western’ oil companies in the region, including vast reserves of uranium in Tanzania which is much more than originally anticipated.
The big powers, through the UN do not want to upset the balance of power as it currently stands in the region and unwittingly allow the greatly rivalry, or put differently, scramble for power in the region between East and West for control of resources to upset the balance of power and ultimately paternal and condescending relationships between the West and the Eastern African nations, on the one hand, and the East and the East African nations on the other. At the UN both West and East compete to please the region, hence Kutesa’s easy elections notwithstanding his murky background.
Regardless of the recent unfortunate appointment of Sam Kutesa, Opposition to his appointment and criticism of Museveni’s pervasive policies must continue. The UN Secretary General must be tasked by “We the People” in accordance with the UN Charter, to take responsibility and explain to the citizens of the world why an unsuitable candidate was elected to head the UN General Assembly, a candidate who lacks moral standing and does not support UN’s basic principles on human rights and respect for minority rights.
Overall, a framework for understanding how interests of economic and political power are pursed in the region and around the world through policies of the dominant states within the UN assists in explaining why the UN deliberately lowers its normally high standards on the protection of human rights and throws away its moral campus.
Ultimately this policy reveals the ugliness of the International Community in the pursuit of its interests; a policy that suggests that the real job of the International Community is to equivocate and obfuscate, and to betray the interests of the majority of people on this planet earth.
The struggle to oust Kutesa as President of the UN General Assembly must continue.
Dr. Obote Odora is an advocate, researcher and writer