On Genocide: Enough Of Enough!

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The Feingold-Brownback Bill contains a section about accountability; not surprisingly Enough! has not been highlighting this. The Bill supports "a body to investigate the history of the conflict…” which would result in Yoweri Museveni possibly sharing a jail cell with Joseph Kony in the Hague.

[Black Star News Editorial: Africa Conflict]

The organization Enough! claims its mission is to “end genocide and crimes against humanity” and yet in one of the most perverted foreign policy initiatives ever it’s calling for the U.S. to invade Central Africa in pursuit of Joseph Kony, leader of the vicious Lord’s Resistance Army.

At the same time, Enough! would have the U.S. military align itself with the army of Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, who is possibly an unindicted war criminal who is actually being investigated by the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague for alleged war crimes committed in the DR Congo; the revelation was in a June 8, 2006 front-page report in The Wall Street Journal.

The alleged crimes committed by Uganda’s army and Uganda-financed militias in Congo, when Uganda occupied eastern Congo between 1997-2003 included massacres, mass rapes, looting of Congolese natural and mineral resources, destruction of Congolese homes, and ethnic cleansing.

Please see Human Rights Watch’s report, “Ituri: Covered In Blood, Ethnically Targeted Violence In Northeastern DR Congo”
http://www.hrw.org/reports/2003/ituri0703/DRC0703.pdf

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) subsequently ruled in favor of the Congo government on the civil complaint in 2005 and awarded $10 billion in compensation, not a dime of which has been paid. 

Please see http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/116/10455.pdf

According to The Wall Street Journal’s 2006 news report, the ICC took up the criminal investigation after the Congo government referred the complaint to the Hague.

Presumably, the ICC might be guided by the evidence that the ICJ found compelling. Why then would Enough! and other "human rights" organizations be pushing for U.S. military ties with the Ugandan regime, unless they have hidden agenda and want President Barack Obama’s Administration to be aligned with a potential unindicted war criminal?

Museveni himself fears the investigation and takes it seriously, and so should Enough! The Wall Street Journal reported: “President Museveni of Uganda asked U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to block the Congo investigation, according to one person familiar with the matter.  Mr. Annan replied that he had no power to interfere with the court, this person said.”

Moreover, two of the leaders of the murderous Congo militias financed by Museveni, Jean Pierre-Bemba, and Germain Katanga, have been indicted and arrested and are  already at the Hague.

So is Enough! really serious about peace in Central Africa? Is it on a mission to discourage the ICC’s probe by trying to steer a policy that would bind the U.S. into an alliance with Museveni? Certainly the ICC takes signals from the U.S. Administration.

Enough! has issued many statements decrying genocidal acts in Sudan’s Darfur region and for long demanded action against Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. The Sudanese has since been indicted and an arrest warrant issued.

Enough!’s silence with respect to atrocities directed or commissioned by Museveni and his sometimes allies, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame and the terrorist he sponsored in DR Congo, Laurent Nkunda, is deafening.

That Kagame and Nkunda are responsible for genocide in Ituri and eastern Congo has been well established by Human Rights Watch and is known to Enough! Even the New York Times, which for long had treated Museveni, Kagame and Nkunda with kid gloves, conceded in an article headlined "Rwanda Stirs Deadly Brew of Troubles in Congo" on December 4, 2008, that the Rwanda president was financing Nkunda’s massacres and even supplying the men and arms.

Where are the press releases from Enough! calling for the ICC action against Kagame and Nkunda?

Enough! issues press releases deploring massacres and mass rapes in DR Congo without clearly stating who the responsible agents of these crimes are—as if they occur in a vacuum.

Enough! correctly attacks ongoing atrocities in the Darfur region and those committed by Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) but demonstrates selective outrage elsewhere. Is this done by design? Is this clever duplicity? After all the information about the other crimes are out there.

How can an organization that purports to fight genocide and war crimes pick and choose? Is this not an unfair and even immoral demand to impose upon the victims of such crimes? One is either outraged by all mass crimes; or one is simply engaged in duplicitous “outrage”.

Enough!'s double standards are most glaring with respect to Uganda.

Uganda invaded Congo when it was still known as Zaire, in 1996. The invasion was popular; it rid the country of dictator and kleptocrat Mobuttu Sese Seko.

In 1997 Uganda again invaded Congo. This time, the mission was occupation and illegal enrichment through pillaging of the country’s resources, as detailed in Human Rights Watch’s “Ituri” report.

So why is Enough! not demanding that the ICC also indict Museveni for the war crimes in DR Congo? Instead, Enough! wants more warfare in Central Africa.

Last December, while George W. Bush was still in office, Uganda’s army launched a U.S.-coordinated and financed attack against the LRA called “Operation Thunder”. It was Bush’s gift to Museveni for sending troops to prop up the weak Somali government installed by Ethiopia at the behest of Washington.

The attack backfired –Kony was not captured and only increased his mystic by eluding U.S.-backed Ugandan forces. Kony’s forces then reportedly resorted to a vicious campaign of killings against Congolese civilians.

Ironically, there had been no combat, killings and destruction for more than two years, as Uganda’s government had negotiated peace with the LRA, from 2006 to the end of 2008.

Impatient with Kony’s reluctance to sign a final peace treaty, Uganda’s Museveni resorted to what both he and Bush seemed to favor in resolving conflicts: militarism.

The Obama Administration should not be lured by organizations such as Enough! into this trap; the victims are civilians—women and children primarily.

If President Obama is willing to dialogue with Korea’s Kim Jong-Il; Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmedinajed; Cuba’s Raul and Fidel Castro; and even with reasonable elements of the Taliban in Afghanistan, why the rush to promote more bloodshed in Central Africa without exploring all options.

Obama is not Bush; that’s why he beat a Republican candidate. His Administration should design its own approach to Uganda and Central Africa, not inherit Bush's and Enough!'s

Enough!'s own vision for Central Africa is very clear; in a most chilling manner. Enough! has posted a paper, “Finishing The Fight Against The LRA” on its website www.enoughproject.org

Here's what Enough! boldly declares:

“Operation Lightning Thunder did not end the threat of the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, and it sparked harsh reprisals by the LRA against civilians in Congo. Yet, it would be an even greater tragedy for civilians if key states in the region and the international community lost their collective will to end the threat of the LRA once and for all. What is needed now is a second Ugandan-led operation against the LRA. This new operation must place civilian protection front and center. In addition, it will require stronger and more effective support from the United States and the international community, and the full commitment from the Congolese government and army to complete the job in a reasonable timeframe and operate in all LRA-affected areas of northeastern Congo. If the United States takes the lead in supporting a new Ugandan military operation, as Enough believes it should, it must provide solid planning, intelligence, coordination, and logistical support—and take greater responsibility for the execution and outcomes of the operation.”

What manner of cold-blooded madness is this? What kind of organization that purports to fight genocide would call for more bloodshed in order to “stop” bloodshed?

Of course it’s easier to advocate warfare when it’s done on someone else’s backyard with the victims being someone else’s African daughters and sons.

Enough! is also excited about the recent Bill introduced by Senators Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Sam Brownback of Kansas, hoping it will lead to more U.S.-sponsored war in Central Africa. The Bill, borrowing language from Enough! is called the “Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009.”

The Bill contains good elements when it calls for multi-million dollar financing of recovery in Uganda’s devastated Acholi region. Even then, U.S. representatives would have to be involved in the monitoring. Corruption in Museveni’s government is so rampant that even money sent to combat HIV/Aids was embezzled according to Uganda news reports.

The Bill’s problematic part  --actually favored and promoted by Enough! as well as Museveni's regime--  is section (3), or "statement of policy" and in part reads that, it's U.S. policy, in furthering the goal to end the conflict in northern and eastern Uganda and other affected areas by "eliminating the threat posed by the Lord’s Resistance Army to civilians and regional stability through political, economic, military, and intelligence support for a comprehensive multilateral effort to protect civilians in affected areas, to apprehend or otherwise remove Joseph Kony and his top commanders from the battlefield, and to disarm and demobilize Lord’s Resistance Army fighters..."

The U.S. must not align itself with Uganda’s military establishment in escalating conflict in Uganda and Central Africa. That’s precisely what Museveni wants; that’s a strategy he’s pursued for 23 years, with only deadly and destructive consequences.

It’s also allowed Museveni the excuse to extinguish political opposition to his regime.

Moreover, while it was fine for Bush to become mired in “Operation Thunder,” President Obama, a Constitutional Law professor, may want to maintain a firewall with a potentially unindicted war criminal, with respect to the Congo atrocities; even while working on other matters with the Ugandan government.

The Feingold-Brownback Bill also contains a section about accountability; not surprisingly Enough! as well as the Ugandan government have not been highlighting this.

The Bill supports "a body to investigate the history of the conflict, inquire into human rights violations committed during the conflict by all sides, promote truth-telling in communities, and encourage the preservation of the memory of events and victims of the conflict through memorials, archives, commemorations, and other forms of preservation...."

Thorough investigation into the history of the conflict between Museveni's army and the LRA, would result in Museveni possibly sharing a jail cell with Kony in the Hague.

Ironically, if the Feingold-Brownback Bill could lead to removal of both Museveni and Kony from Uganda’s political stage, peace would be restored in Central Africa almost overnight.


EDITOR’S CALL FOR ACTION PLAN:

Anyone who cares for Africa and wants to end the suffering of countless civilians on the continent can take some of the following actions:

(1) Contact Enough! by e-mail message at info@enoughproject.org and by telephone (202) 682-1611 or fax (202) 682-6140 and tell them to prove that they are not a nefarious partisan organization recklessly advocating for more bloodshed in Central Africa, by calling for the arrest not only of the LRA's Joseph Kony, but also for the indictment and arrest of Museveni, Kagame and Nkunda, for the war crimes in the DR Congo. Send Enough! a copy of this editorial.

(2) Demand that Enough! quit its preposterous campaign of promoting American military involvement in escalating war in Central Africa under the disingenuous excuse of going after Kony. If Museveni could not defeat Kony in 23 years –though he was able
to invade Rwanda and overthrow Juvenal Habyarimana's government in 1994 and invade what was then Zaire and overthrow Mobuttu's government in 1996— what makes Enough so sure that U.S. involvement would lead to Kony's defeat?

(3) Contact members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) by going to the Website www.thecongressionalblackcaucus.com. Once on the website click on “Meet Rep” and you’ll get the list of all the Black members of Congress. Contact them all and urge them to oppose Enough!’s warmongering in Central Africa.

(4) Contact Senators Feingold and Brownback and tell them to remove from the Bill any call for U.S. military cooperation with President Museveni, who is possibly an unindicted war criminal as indicated in The Wall Street Journal front page article of June 8, 2006. Brownback's contact: Phone: (202) 224-6521 and Fax: (202) 228-1265
Feingold's contact: (202) 224-5323 and Fax (202) 224-2725 or via e-mail message at:
press@feingold.senate.gov.

(5) Directly contact President Barack Obama at the White House 
(202) 456-1414 or www.whitehouse.gov and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the State Department (202) 647-4000  and www.state.gov and tell them not to support any more warfare in Central Africa but to promote a negotiated end to the Uganda conflict.  You can also send an e-mail to the president via  http://www.whitehouse.gov/CONTACT/

(6) E-mail this Editorial widely: to all your friends, relatives, contacts, general e-mail lists, news organizations, and to all elected officials so as to counter the propaganda of Enough! and help save the lives of innocent people in Central Africa.

 

Other reference articles

Uganda’s Genocidal President Eyes Kenya
http://blackstarnews.com/?c=135&a=5682

On Museveni, Allimadi’s Blinded By Bias
http://blackstarnews.com/news/135/ARTICLE/5702/2009-05-21.html

Ituri: Covered In Blood, Ethnically Targeted Violence In Northeastern DR Congo
http://www.hrw.org/reports/2003/ituri0703/DRC0703.pdf

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