The effects of commercializing conflict in Africa
By Kuach Tutkuay,
Sept 21, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — In a rather ignorant attitude or, perhaps, coupled with lack of knowledge, the generation before 17th century could only pick a fallen apple for consumption and never dared to ask why it fell, until Isaac Newton questioned what make the apple fall down and discovered the gravity. Four hundred years passed and we are in 21st century, but oops! No one inherited Newton’s aptitude. I can see the world of our time is void of people who can question and criticize social issues that confront our societies. War has become the culture of the Africa of today and our leaders could not find a solution to that. We organize peace conference, negotiations; we went as far as preaching peace in churches and mosques. We incorporated it into our learning system, yet we can’t find a meaningful peace. Has one ever wondered what is this “blank search” for centuries yet no one finds peace?
I used to fancy, in my own little brain, the world searching for peace in all corners—from the East to the Occident—tirelessly but, alas! Sometimes I use to think that the world has tricked itself into this miserable search such that Peter profits when John fights James. People intentionally throw away peace and ends up spending millions in search of it—quite ironic. I cannot say the whole world is falling short of wises to distinguish between a letter-B and a bull’s foot in relation to conflict resolution techniques. Everywhere in the world is bloodshed. In Somalia, the Al-shabab kills fellow Muslim in pretext of protecting Islam. In Nigeria, the Boko Haram, killing people every day in pretext of fighting western civilization—really? In South Sudan, government massacring its own citizens in masses in pretext of foiling a coup attempt—a coup by civilians? I wonder! In Central Africa and DRC, people killing fellow citizens over trivial issues. Christians believes there will be judgment day, I can’t believe this would be started with African.
I want to pinpoint the confidential secret that precludes Africa from finding peace. I am sure many African leaders knows it too but decided to play it cool because they don’t want to kill the goose that lays golden eggs—golden eggs really? I mean, they don’t want to cut the dirty hand—a real dirty hand—that feed them. Africa’s problem is because some African countries took conflict for a cash cow. As conflict happens anywhere, every country will be thinking of the economic opportunities of that conflict. Hence, they will work on anything that prolongs the conflict so that they continue to benefits as long as the conflict moves on. The egocentric attitude of African that seeks to hone their economies at the expenses of a sisterly nation is a real big problem, a real stumbling block into the search for peace. These things happens in our everyday lives and no one has ever took an initiative to critically understands Africa’s conflict dynamics and employ the right remedial techniques—I hope you will not think of “affirmative action” because this is also another loophole for creating inequalities.
To validate these, I am compelled to give an example with a country none other than Uganda, since it became the colonialist of the 21st century to fellow African nations. It is estimated that 25% of Uganda’s annual income is from the export of mercenaries to South Sudan, DRC, Somalia and Central Africa. We have heard Uganda last month issuing a stern warning to South Sudan demanding millions of dollars to be remitted to Kampala; otherwise Uganda will withdraw its troops. This is a real business; if these Countries find peace, Uganda will lose 25% of its revenues. This is not easy for a country that put her interest first other than the regional wellbeing. This could be a business like any other kind of business but are we blind enough to have not seen the suffering it inflicts on innocent civilians? Are we ignorant enough to overlook the plight of our fellow African? Are we inhumane enough to kill a fellow human and enrich ourselves with his bread?
African of the olden days believes that if you have problems in your family which you cannot solve, call your neighbors to help you solve it. This believes has since backfire; in this commercial Africa where you need to pay for anything even asking for direction, these believes no longer makes sense. If you can’t solve your family problems and you are tempted to take it to neighbors, they will only increase your trouble so that, while you are busy with the complicated problem, they will extend the ridge that mark the boundaries between your farm and theirs, annexing part of your farm to their own. For instance, by the time South Sudan solved its internal conflict, Uganda will have annexed Nimuli to their territory, Kenya will have annexed Nadapal to their territory and all the same for Sudan. This is the Africa of today, but have we fallen short of leaders who will re-store Africa? Not really, there are young emerging leaders who will re-store Africa but conditions are that they will learn to strike the elephant not the shadow.
Sometimes African leaders point fingers to the west to conceal their weaknesses. In all my thinking, I don’t blame the west nor any other actor outside Africa because I believes we as African are capable of solving our own issues—we alone! If African could be used against their fellow African by an invisible hand and they accepted this treacherous act, then, I am sorry, it will be very hard for the archeologist to distinguish us from the forest apes. As humans, we are supposed to be humane, to have a sense of humanity within us. If this is lacking, then, what shows that we are human and not apes?
If you think all I have said is not true, try a voluntary military assistance—that is to say, any country whose neighbor is in trouble and wish to help will do so voluntarily without demanding anything from the country in question. I don’t think any country will dare helping her neighbor because it will cost them monetary resources as well as human resources.