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Structure & Agency in Acholi Genocide

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Introduction

Genocide as political program and military policy does not occur by inadvertence but by deliberately orchestrated actions resulting in the destruction of a targeted group. To conceal it, modern genocide perpetrators have intentionally harnessed a synergy of debilitating factors such as infectious diseases, starvation and enforced hopelessness to execute the extermination policy. The high mortality caused by such debilities would have otherwise been benign if the targeted population was not entrapped in an environment where mass death could expeditiously occur.

In the Acholi genocide debate, Olara Otunnu, a former United Nation’s Under-Secretary General for Children in Armed Conflict, argues that the Government of Uganda has knowingly created an environment where mass murder of the Acholi population would occur. But General David Tinyefunza of Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF), formerly, the National Resistance Movement/Army (NRM/A), and presidential advisor on security disagrees. He argues that the UPDF is providing security in “protected villages” and the mass murders are because of war. But war usually allows a regime to hide the implementation of mass murder from the international community and media and the gullible domestic population. It also enables a regime to shift blame for mass murder on the other combatant army, and at times, on the victims for their extermination. Most important of all, war allows the spreading of xenophobia and homicidal hate, necessary ingredients for the extermination of a targeted group.

Genocide as political program and military policy does not occur by inadvertence but by deliberately orchestrated actions resulting in the destruction of a targeted group. To conceal it, modern genocide perpetrators have intentionally harnessed a synergy of debilitating factors such as infectious diseases, starvation and enforced hopelessness to execute the extermination policy. The high mortality caused by such debilities would have otherwise been benign if the targeted population was not entrapped in an environment where mass death could expeditiously occur. In the Acholi genocide debate, Olara Otunnu, a former United Nation’s Under-Secretary General for Children in Armed Conflict, argues that the Government of Uganda has knowingly created an environment where mass murder of the Acholi population would occur. But General David Tinyefunza of Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF), formerly, the National Resistance Movement/Army (NRM/A), and presidential advisor on security disagrees. He argues that the UPDF is providing security in “protected villages” and the mass murders are because of war. But war usually allows a regime to hide the implementation of mass murder from the international community and media and the gullible domestic population. It also enables a regime to shift blame for mass murder on the other combatant army, and at times, on the victims for their extermination. Most important of all, war allows the spreading of xenophobia and homicidal hate, necessary ingredients for the extermination of a targeted group.

I will examine the politics and the strategy of the war between General Museveni’s UPDF and General Kony’s Lord Resistance Army (LRA) to unravel the contours of Acholi genocide. Did the civil war offer the excuse and the occasion to execute the final solution against the Acholi population? What ideology and justifications have precipitated the destruction of the Acholi population? What roles have state institutions played in perpetrating the mass deaths of the Acholi population? How has the military policy of “protection” harnessed the debilitating synergies to exterminate the Acholi population? Against this background, I will test the hypothesis of advertence through harnessing a synergy of debilities in comparison with that of offering security in “protected villages.” The aim is to show how the confluence of factors that have synergistically caused mass deaths of the Acholi population came into being and what arguments have been used to sustain it.

In the foregoing analysis, I will examine the nature of the state that can commit genocide against its own population. In the second, I will examine the role of the mass media in the genocide against the Acholi population. In the third, I will analyze the military strategy pursued by the UPDF and the LRA; and, the response of the media. In the fourth, I will examine the response of the international community. Finally, an attempt will be made to uncover the political and military policy that have concealed and deliberately harnessed mortal synergies of genocide against the Acholi population. 


1. CREATING A GENOCIDE STATE: NRM/A REGIME AND GENOCIDE

The account of genocide that ignores the role of the state in the destruction of a target group is incomplete. In Uganda, the state took the form of a one-party dictatorship known as “the Movement System.” Every Ugandan citizen, young and old, was forced by law to become a member. It followed that all military and local level leaders were chosen from among the Movement Cadres, who graduated from Kyankwanzi Political School, a college where “virulent xenophobia and racism” according to one graduate cadre, “was officially taught.” The Movement System was so ubiquitous that the NRM/A regime was truly a totalitarian state. Here, General Museveni could pursue a life presidency project, uncontested. Democracy, which could provide for a peaceful contest for leadership, was demonized as sectarian, divisive, backward and anti-human. Sorrowfully enough, western donor governments promoted and financed the one-party totalitarian state, which was in contradiction with what they have promoted around the world as necessary for good governance, respect for human rights and equitable development.

With western governments’ complicity, the NRM/A regime used the mass media to scapegoat the Acholi population for the deaths in Luwero, a district where General Museveni fought the Uganda National Liberation Army (UNLA) of the late President Milton Obote. We must be clear that the Acholi population never fought any community in Uganda and never had an army or a militia group of their own during Obote’s regime. However, Museveni needed to scapegoat the Acholi people, as a group, in order to consolidate an ethno-nationalist power base and intimidate any opposition through a militarist policy.

 
2. THE NRA REGIME AND THE MASS MEDIA

The NRM/A mass media was the ultimate tool of political mobilization of sections of the domestic audience and western governments whose cooperation or at least acquiescence was necessary for the perpetration of genocide. It forced every significant organ of information and opinion to chorus the same litany of disinformation, demonization and homicidal xenophobia against the Acholi population in the following ways:

[a] Demonization and Incitement to mass murder

The Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC), former Radio Uganda, developed a very eerie linguistic formulation of negative emotion that inspired hatred for the Acholi population. It played xenophobic songs interspersed with vilification and offensive announcement of “Abanyanya” (meaning non-citizens, in fact, it refers to southern Sudanese) to urge a bloody revenge. Provocative songs like, “moto nawaka, mama eh!, moto nawaka….” translated as, “fire is burning Mother, eh! Fire is burning… when we reach Soroti, we will bomb, when we reach Lira, we will bomb, but when we reach Kitgum and Gulu, we will bomb and desolate completely.”

Following the song with wild and fictitious accusations that the Acholi population killed people in Luwero, it stirred negative emotion by rattling human bones amidst scary torture cry and staccato of machinegun fire to provoke a homicidal revenge against the Acholi population. As a result many Acholi’s were lynched on the streets of Kampala with vehicle tires slung around their necks and ignited, thus, popping out the victims eyes and cooking their brains. The media campaign to forge and consolidate such ethno-xenophobia and homicidal hatred is without precedent in post-independence Uganda.

[b] Justifying ethno-xenophobic racism and homicidal exterminations

The language of extermination, elimination, massacres and butchering proliferated in the media as the description of war policy against the Acholi people. On many occasions, the NRM/A regime used [a] a language of demagogy and headlong irrationality like “those killers who lost power are fighting to return to finish the job and we must preempt them.” [b] It posed rhetorical questions and exclamations such as “if the Acholi population did not kill in Luwero, who did it, eh!” [c] It issued menacing ultimatums based on a sense of infinite self-righteousness like “any opposition to us will meet with uncompromising annihilation.” [d] It made immense accusations backed by no evidence or investigations such as “all the Acholi people are killers” and [e] resorted to conspiracy-mongering and homicidal paranoia like “when we finish with the enemies, they will never rise-up as a community of people.” These powerful and brazen incitements to massacres through a language of genocide before genocide was even conceivable had immense negative effect of creating homicidal hate and indifference following the commencement of mass murders of the Acholi people. The NRM/A regime’s fictive arguments only make sense when the political and military elite chose genocide as a political strategy to retain power.

The provocation to homicidal extermination radicalized many NRM/A soldiers and auxiliary militia forces to a state of extreme paranoia and xenophobic hate. One senior NRM/A military officer observed, “we really hated the Acholi people and wanted to exterminate them. Our favoured slogan was ‘kill the Acholi, kill more Acholi, kill all the Acholi people…’ We vowed that by the end of the war, Acholi language would only be spoken in hell.”

The instigation of homicidal hate made it a relatively simple matter for the NRM/A political commissar, Commander Karusoke Kajabago, to remark that those who oppose the NRM/A (meaning the Acholi population) are biological substances to be exterminated. Regrettably, no protest to President Museveni was ever lodged by human rights and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), western donor governments and Uganda citizens for a declaration of intention to commit genocide.  


3. THE NORTHERN UGANDA CIVIL WAR

It was possible for the UPDF in alliance with militia groups against the LRA to have fought an aggressive war in a just manner. This would have involved following the provisions of the Geneva Convention on the protection of non-combatants, proportionality in the application of lethal force, proper treatment of POWs and observance of customary and positive rules of engagement.

In the war against the LRA, the UPDF would execute attacks on vital communication links, arrest of collaborators and safeguard of civilian institutions and means of livelihood. And the LRA would target the UPDF military installations with clear rules of engagement, arrest partisans and protect the civilian population. But what were the conducts of warfare of the LRA and the UPDF in the northern Uganda civil war? 


THE LRA INSURGENCY STRATEGY

Along a military strategy similar to that of Museveni’s NRM/A bush war in the 1980s against the late President Obote, the LRA military policy included the following strategies:

[i] Forced abduction of children to be trained as soldiers: These children were very cruelly indoctrinated into the art of warfare. Female child soldiers suffered the most. They were forcibly raped and kept as concubines and sexual slaves for the commanders. The LRA atrocities are documented in Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and numerous newspaper reports. These atrocities are similar to that of Museveni from a firsthand account by a former NRM/A child soldier, China Keitetsi. In her book, Child Soldier: Fighting for My Life, she documents similar acts of brutality and sexual enslavement of abducted children and girls. In this regard, both Museveni and Kony’s military recruitment strategies are similar.

The logic of relying on child abduction for waging war between Kony and Museveni was equally similar. A surrendered senior LRA military commander confessed to his elders, “we were abducting children because we needed to keep fighting to survive since mature adults have refused to voluntarily enlist.” This logic is similar to that of Museveni’s NRM/A. Museveni defended the forced abduction of child soldiers in a BBC interview as necessary for the war, rhetorically asking, “What is this Geneva Convention you are talking about? I have never read it.” and continued to defend it: “In our culture, children are trained to fight. It is normal.”

[ii] Demonstrative atrocities and destruction aimed at terrorizing non-combatant population into submission and non-cooperation with the others’ enemy combatant forces.  A former sergeant in the NRM/A observes that they use to execute or bind victims “kandoya” style (a very painful and debilitating form of punishment that often resulted in paralysis of victims hands). He emphasized that the goal was to deter cooperation with the defunct UNLA of the late Obote.

This is also similar to the LRA maiming of civilian population. A surrendered LRA soldier confessed: “we prohibited bicycling and maimed individuals believed to be collaborators with the UPDF. An Individual riding bicycle toward urban centers where the UPDF is located would quickly report our presence in villages, when we came to forcibly collect food. So we stopped bicycling when we are in the villages.”

As a security measure, the criminal logic of the NRM/A and the LRA atrocities are similar. Both leaders of the combatant groups, Museveni and Kony, must be indicted for committing crime against humanity.

[iii] Targeting civilian vehicles. The LRA have targeted civilian vehicles and killed scores of civilians. This is similar to NRM/A targeting civilian vehicles on Kampala-Gulu road and killing scores of civilians as well. In attacking civilians, both Kony and Museveni employed similar tactics, committing crimes against humanity.

With such a background, we need to assess the UPDF counter-insurgency strategy against the LRA in Acholiland. We must bear in mind that Museveni and the NRM/A regime vilified, demonized and made the Acholi people scapegoat for the deaths in Luwero. What influence has the demonization and scapegoat on the counter-insurgency policy? 


THE UPDF COUNTER-INSURGENCY STRATEGY

[a] The Tactics

Despite strength in weaponry and assistance by western donor military advisors, the UPDF adopted a counter-insurgency policy involving de-legitimating tactics.

[i] The de-legitimating tactics: In some respect, the de-legitimating tactics perpetrated atrocities committed by the LRA insurgents in order to deny support, if any, the insurgents enjoyed in the community. The media extensively illuminated and credited the atrocities solely to the insurgents, while concealing UPDF complicity and in a perverted manner, praising their gallantry as liberators. However, the success of the UPDF de-legitimating strategies was short-lived, as local militia units consistently caught them committing atrocities.

[ii] The perpetration of demonstrative atrocities and destruction against civilian targets: The UPDF would masquerade as the LRA and promote gross atrocities only to return and pretend to be saviors. Some testimonies from victims exposed such strategies: a 30-year-old woman victim confirmed that she was maimed by the UPDF; and, the defunct Shariat newspaper reported in the 1990s that the UPDF soldiers were caught masquerading as the LRA rebels and planting landmines to blow up civilian vehicles.

The effectiveness of the militia units against the disguised UPDF soldiers embarrassed the government. But the guilty UPDF soldiers were promptly transferred to other mobile units to continue perpetrating more atrocities against civilians. A UPDF officer based in Gulu pointed out “that these atrocities are approved by higher headquarters and committed under clear operation mission orders.” And in cases where the guilty UPDF soldiers told the truth, the UPDF Military Court Martial (MCM), to silence and conceal complicity, expeditiously and summarily executed them. The Military Court Martial has become a legal weapon of war against truth and human rights violations. It is part and partial of the counter-insurgency policy concealing the perpetration of genocide.

[ii] The UPDF abductions and atrocities: Masquerading as the LRA, the UPDF burned down Radio Wa in Lira and abducted civilians. When a stage-managed rescue was conducted, the abductees testified that they were abducted by the UPDF. This prompted a Lango Member of Parliament to issue a press release that the “UPDF burnt Radio Wa and abducted civilians.” The terrorizing of the Langi, a community of the late President Obote, was meant to isolate and contain the LRA within the Acholi sub-region.

As the local militia units were quickly uncovering these strategies of mass deception, an ingenious strategy was developed by the UPDF elite and military advisors to entrap the Acholi population in concentration camps, under the ruses of protection. 

[b] The UPDF tactics of creating the concentration camps

One of the common features of genocide is the concentration camp. The tactics of evacuating the Acholi population into concentration camps by the UPDF, ostensibly to “protect” them, was sheer terror and genocidal campaign. The strategies, which can be described as state terrorism against the Acholi population, attacked the family units, means of survival and livelihood and social infrastructures. This scorched-earth policy included the followings:

[i] Siege and artillery bombardment of villages: The UPDF siege and indiscriminately bombed villages with little, if any, regard for civilians. The attacks were aimed at terrorizing the civilian population, thereby inducing them to flee into concentration camps. The Monitor newspaper reports that after the expiration of a 48 hours dateline, heavy artillery bombardments commenced against civilians.

[ii] Intermittent or sporadic artillery bombardment: The aim is to cause civilians to falsely believe that they are safe and when the civilian populations commence mass exodus, expose them to more artillery bombardments. The tactics of siege and intermittent bombardments caused a very large, though incalculable proportion of the total dead Acholi civilians moving into the concentration camps.

A victim sobbed, “we thought we were temporary safe in our hiding place but during the lull in bombardment we got out of our hiding place to run for safety; the bombardments started killing my pregnant wife and two years old daughter who could not run.” The false sense of security to lure unsuspecting civilians into open ground for bombardment caused appalling massacres of women, children, young and old people, who were daily shredded to pieces by shrapnel debris scattered by motor shells deliberately lobbed among exposed fleeing civilian columns.

[iii] Strafing with helicopter gunship: The nature of the shelling, strafing with gun ships destroyed schools, hospitals and dispensaries and water wells. This scorched earth policy is a genocidal campaign. An Acholi Member of Parliament remarks to the New Vision newspaper: “we spoke with President Museveni about moving Acholi civilian population in a planned manner to camps. The President said that he would look into the matter. To our dismay, the next day, helicopter gunship came and started strafing villages killing scores of unarmed civilians.”

[iv] Deploying UPDF mobile military patrols into villages: Following the bombardments and gunship strafing, UPDF mobile infantry units went into villages to destroy homes of those too frightened to move and to force them to abandon their homes. Water wells were poisoned, food granaries were burned or looted and those grievously injured or too weak to move were summarily shot. A victim cried, “we were herded like animals. We were not considered human beings; only the UPDF felt they were human beings. They killed our family members and got rid of them like animals.” A UPDF patrol leader agrees, “The mission order from my superiors was to “omuhiigo ebikoko” (translated from Runyankole to mean, “to go hunting animals”). He emphasized, “the ‘ebikoko’ (meaning animal) obeys order or gets shot.”

This scorched-earth policy threatened Acholi survival in fundamental ways because families were separated by death due to thirst, exhaustion, physical abuse and execution by the UPDF. The traumatic evacuation process destroyed the Acholi social, cultural and economic support system, which is fundamental to their survival. It is what Jan Egeland, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) accurately described during his visits to the concentration camps on April 4 2006, as the “worse form of terrorism in the world.” He emphasized that “nowhere in the world have large areas where between 80 and 90 percent of the population been terrorized into camps by violence.” Once again, General Museveni opposed Egeland’s comprehensive approach to the concentration camps, including a Special UN envoy for northern Uganda. This means that the genocide project against the Acholi people will continue unabated. 
[c] The UPDF administration of the concentration camps

The concentration camps administration strategy is a total war against the Acholi society because of the following strategies:

 [i] Proliferation of sodomy: The HIV/AIDS infected UPDF soldiers sodomize families with the view to infecting them with the disease and also humiliating them. The Gersony report points out that the UPDF battalion based in Gulu was nicknamed by the population “langungu-gungu” (meaning to sodomize). Sodomizing the Acholi population became part of the UPDF rite of passage, where a soldier was not considered a true man and was mocked to “go home and rear children” if he does not sodomize the Acholi concentration camp residents. The UPDF sodomy patrols armed with assault rifles and HIV/AIDS roam the camps at night stoking for families. A UPDF officer explains how difficult it was to resist the temptation of joining the mobile sodomy patrol units.

He said, “when UPDF soldiers sodomize the Acholi population, they would return to barracks shouting, ‘we are real men, we are real men, we have been into camps on patrol and sodomized the Acholi people. We are men, real men, now!’

Hardcore UPDF warriordom respect was won by severally sodomizing the same household members. A UPDF Captain boasted, “the soldiers have no taste for moral rectitude because renown and manhood is easier won in moral debauchery and depravities. These young warriors are eager to earn a badge of manhood and hardcore warriorhood against the Acholi population. This is war.” To the extent that the UPDF soldiers see themselves as earning a badge of honor and warriordom respect, they do not impute criminality to it. But we must impute the genocide intention to the UPDF political and military elite who planned, concealed and promoted the concentration camps as sexual commons.

Thus, sodomy was not simply an aberrant behaviour that the UPDF HIV/AIDS infected soldiers engaged in, it is an official policy that served to define rite of passage, manhood and warriordom respect to the UPDF officers and men.

[ii] Enforced Starvation: crops that concentration camp residents planted have been destroyed on the excuse of providing food to rebels. Many women who risked going out to forage for food for their starving and malnourished children were shot and killed by the UPDF soldiers.

[iii] Rejecting and Frustrating Humanitarian Assistance that can ameliorate mass deaths. General Museveni’s Cabinet Ministers refused any international humanitarian assistance to ameliorate the dire humanitarian situations. This has turned the concentration camps into infamous sites of mass murders. The World Health Organization (WHO) and NGOs reports document over 1,000 people die every week, that is, over 50,000 deaths per year. The mortality rate is three times that of Darfur in the Sudan. The violent death rate, according to Oxfam and Uganda civil society groups, is 146 deaths per day and this is several times higher than that of Iraq, a country actively at war with the United States of America. Yet, in a discussion with Jan Egeland, the United Nations Under-Secretary General for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) on April 4, 2006, General Museveni dismisses the daily death figures, of over 146 per day or 1,000 per week, as not worth highlighting. General Museveni also opposed the suggestion of a UN intervention force to provide humanitarian assistance and security to the Acholi genocide victims arguing that there is enough security in the concentration camps. We must be clear that the policy of rejecting humanitarian assistance by General Museveni and associates is a ploy to continue perpetrating mass murder in the concentration camps. This policy must be exposed for what it is, - a genocide policy. 

[d] The response of the media: complicity and concealment of genocide.

 

 In the uncritical and non-investigative reporting of numerous attacks, there was prevalence of ambiguous and deceptive phrases, which actively promoted and concealed genocide. Some of the mischaracterization of war against civilians included the followings:

[i] Use of ambiguous and deceptive phrases:

[a] War against non-combatant civilian Acholi population was reported as “pacifying the north”

[b] Murderous artillery bombardments and helicopter strafing as “moving people into camps for their protection”

[c] Poisoning civilian water wells as “denying the rebels drinking water”

[d] Emphasizing vacillating perspectives on the attacks on unarmed civilian Acholi population. At times, it reported it as a war against the LRA, or against the Sudan, or against terrorists instead of the Acholi population being attacked by the UPDF.

[e] Killing abducted children as “killing rebels”; when the abducted children escape from LRA captivity, they are reported as “rescued abductees.”

[ii] Misrepresenting the frame of reference in the war
Occasional accurate reporting of civilian bombardments is interspersed with blaming the LRA as responsible for the creating the camps. This is then followed with a more focused rendition of alleged LRA rule by 10 commandments and other alleged lurid and perverted details of vile atrocities, suggesting that the UPDF atrocities against the Acholi people are less severe, and therefore, acceptable.

On the many occasions when Museveni scuttled the almost successful peace negotiation between Betty Bigombe, a government appointed peace negotiator with the LRA peace team, the media often misreported that the LRA are disinterested in peace talks. They would then make a case for war, which is the cover for the genocide against the Acholi population.


5. THE RESPONSE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO THE PLEA OF ACHOLI GENOCIDE VICTIMS: CHIDED AND INDIFFERENCE!

The international community have chided and reacted with indifference to the plea of Acholi people for a genuine and unconditional negotiated peace.

The Acholi population based their plea on precedents from the International Community’s resolution of conflicts in Mozambique, where RENAMO committed serious atrocities against the civilian population; Sierra Leone, where Foday Sanko’s Revolutionary United Front (RUF) committed unspeakable atrocities against the Sierra Leonean people and South Africa, where the apartheid regime committed horrible crimes against humanity. For the sake of peace, civil co-existence and continuation of a sense of nationhood, a genuine unconditional negotiated peace and amnesty was enforced.

The international community, against the background of other cases in Africa, points out that there must be no wanton impunity to perpetrators of crimes against humanity and genocide. Nonetheless, they are silent on numerous documented crimes of genocide being committed by the UPDF in the concentration camps. They have also refused to label the “worse and most forgotten humanitarian catastrophe in the world” festering under the “worse form of terrorism” as described by Jan Egeland, genocide.

To salvage the surviving genocide victim population, the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative (ARLPI), a non-partisan ecumenical coalition of the religious faiths, traveled to the capitals of western countries seeking a peaceful resolution to the war but their efforts have been ignored. Instead, the international community has joined factions of the genocide forces by training and equipping the UPDF in lethal war-fighting tactics, thus, continuing the perpetration of genocide against the Acholi population.

The indifference shown by the international community by throttling fast-forward with militarism, equipping and training the UPDF, providing psychological warfare expertise for concealing and perpetrating genocide against the Acholi population is unparallel in the twenty first century. It is mockery of the international community’s dictum of “NEVER AGAIN,” will genocide occur under our watch. For this dictum to garner hope for our collective humanity, it must be openly and dispassionately enforced. 

CONCLUSION

 When we evaluate General Museveni’s sustain media campaign of ethno-xenophobia and official racism jointly with the UPDF war strategies, we must characterized the trajectory of the NRM/A regime as a genocide revolution, with the complicity of western donor governments and the United Nations.

The regime of General Museveni intentionally provided the structure and agency for genocide. It constructed and sustained it by [a] creating a genocide state, [b] demonizing the Acholi, as a people, [c] infusing the UPDF with ethno-xenophobic hate, [d] deploying artillery bombardments and helicopter gunship strafing to terrorize and forcibly induce exodus of civilian population into concentration camps, [e] encouraging rape by HIV/AIDS infected soldiers, [f] enforcing starvation [g] and entrapping the population in unsanitary and disease ridden concentration camp environments where the synergy of deadly agencies bring about genocide. While the LRA war strategy of child abduction, enforced sexual liaison with commanders and concubinage, which is similar to the NRM/A strategies against the southern/western Uganda population in the 1980s, is crime against humanity.

 With a combination of such negative and deadly synergies intentionally imposed upon the Acholi population by General Museveni and associates, it would not be farfetched to accurately say, according to an NGO relief worker in Acholiland, that the “Acholi, as a people, face extinction” unless a stinging indictment of regional and global political alliances that routinely put ideological and strategic agendas before international law, moral accountability and plight of the victims is exposed and shamed.

Most important of all, the United Nations unanimous endorsement of the “responsibility to protect” during the World Summit in 2005 will remain hollow and sham. Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair, made the commitment very clear: "For the first time at this Summit we agree that states do not have the right to do what they will within their own borders, but that we, in the name of humanity, have a common duty to protect people where their own government will not." The genocide by General Museveni and associates against the Acholi people provides a test case of the UN commitment to protect in the name of humanity. The United Nations must without delay exercise the common duty to protect in the name of humanity, the Acholi people from the ongoing genocide now! 

Onek Adyanga
(a PhD candidate in History, the University of Connecticut, Storrs, USA) 

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