Somaliaâ€™s Shabaab Mustnâ€™t Export Their War
The citizens of Uganda and Burundi should not have to pay a price for the reckless decisions of illegitimate leaders. Ugandans are victims of tyranny. Their misery will only be compounded if Shabaab exports the Somali conflict.
[Black Star News Editorial]
The Somali group fighting to topple the U.S.-backed government in Mogadishu now says it will take its fight to the capitals of Uganda and Burundi. The group claims the so-called African Union intervention force in Somalia from these two countries killed civilians by shelling a market in the Somali capital.
A spokesman for the intervention force denies that its forces shelled the market.
The Shabaab insurgents promised Thursday to hit Kampala and Bujumbura, the capitals of the two respective countries. Sheikh Ali Mohamed Hussein, a Shabaab leader claimed 30 Somalis were killed when the U.S.-backed intervention force allegedly shelled civilian areas.
The intervention force was allegedly retaliating after the Shabaab tried to destroy the plane that carried Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, Somalia’s current president, from Mogadishu to a meeting in Uganda.
"We shall make their people cry," Sheikh Ali Mohamed Hussein told journalists in Somalia, according to news accounts.
There is no justification whatsoever for the Shabaab to carry their acts of violence to Uganda and Burundi; the citizens of Uganda and Burundi have no say over where their respective governments deploy soldiers in the national army.
Uganda has been ruled by Yoweri K. Museveni, a militarist dictator for more than 23 years. Since he removed presidential term limits, it’s clear that he wants to be president for life.
General Museveni attaches no value to human life; except perhaps his own. The evidence is everywhere.
He recklessly sponsored an invasion of Rwanda in 1990 and, according to some reports, provided the invading RPF army with the missiles that shot down the plane carrying two presidents, including Rwanda’s Juvenal Habyarimana, in 1994.
By the time the bloodletting ebbed, hundreds of thousands of Rwandese, mostly Tutsis were dead; they may never have died had Museveni not invaded Rwanda four years earlier.
The Ugandan dictator then invaded what was then Zaire –now Democratic Republic of Congo—and occupied Eastern Congo. Again, when the blood flow ebbed, and the rapes and looting of mineral wealth stopped, estimates of Congolese deaths ranged from 5 to 7 million people.
In 2005, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) found Uganda liable for the Congo atrocities and assessed compensation at $10 billion.
Subsequently, The Wall Street Journal reported on June 8, 2006 that after the International Criminal Court (ICC) launched its own investigation, Museveni urged then U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan to block the Congo investigation. Annan said he had no such powers.
Have the permanent members of the Security Council now shelved that investigation so Uganda's Museveni can act as the surrogate in Somalia?
If not, why then was Museveni’s army, after the atrocities the ICJ found it liable for committing, ever allowed to provide “peace keepers” to Somalia? The African Union, the United Nations, and the U.S., bear responsibility for this perversity.
Within Uganda, so callous is dictator Museveni, that he confined more than two million Acholis in concentration camps for more than 20 years. Hundreds of thousands died through planned neglect; hunger, dehydration, and diseases, including HIV/Aids.
This is well documented by the United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO). The dictator is an enemy of human life.
Yet, even though he is president of Uganda, he is illegitimate. His regime is secured by control of the armed forces, including the police, and the apparatus of state torture, confinement, and, imprisonment.
The Uganda dictator was quoted on the BBC as warning the Somalis: "If they try to attack Uganda, then they will pay because we know how to attack those who attack us."
How? When the only experience he has is invading countries that never violated Uganda? As macabre as it sounds, he might actually welcome –or even manufacture “attacks”—so as to seduce the U.S. into more military support and legitimacy for his regime.
Ugandans are not enemies of the people of Somalia.
Ugandans never wanted Rwandese to perish en mass; and Ugandans never wanted millions of Congolese to die at the hands of General Museveni’s army. Ugandans never declared war on Rwanda or on Congo. It was the dictator, who acted in his capacity as absolute ruler.
General Museveni, hoping to deflect attention from the tyranny within Uganda, has been ingratiating himself with every American Administration by servicing U.S. interests. After all, Mobuttu who was once a master at the game in the former Zaire bought himself nearly 40 years in power.
Of course Somalia deserves the outside world's help. But would the U.N. or AU allow Sudan's president Omar Hassan al Bashir to send his soldiers, similarly accused of human rights abuses, to serve as peace keepers?
If the international community wants to send a legitimate AU force to help stabilize Somalia, after consulting Somalia’s warring factions, such a force must include soldiers from countries with democratically elected governments such as: South Africa, Ghana, Botswana, and Senegal.
Ugandans are victims of tyranny. Their misery will only be compounded if Shabaab exports the Somali conflict.
Please post your comments directly online or submit them to Milton@blackstarnews.com
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