The High and Growing Price of #Hege (#DRC #Rwanda #Uganda #ICGLR #Somalia @UN)

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November 3, 2012 by soniauwimana

It is unclear exactly how Steven Hege became appointed a member, then coordinator, of the Group of Experts on the DRC.  It will almost certainly become the subject of an internal inquiry in the aftermath of the his final report’s release later this month, the findings of which should inform a thorough review of the vetting procedures used by the United Nations when making such appointments.  Hege is fast becoming a byword for a broader systemic failure within the UN itself.

The Hege scandal grows daily.  Today, it has become clear that Uganda is serious about withdrawing its significant peacekeeping contingent in Somalia in protest at his efforts.  Those who think Kampala are bluffing don’t know Kampala.  Nor should this be considered an act of petulance.  Ask yourself this: why should a resource-strapped nation like Uganda make a contribution to peacekeeping — and put their troops in harm’s way — if what they receive in return is reckless abuse at the hands of a UN-sanctioned group engaging in the basest kind of political score-settling?

Ultimately, the UN cannot have it both ways.

Countries like Uganda and Rwanda are more than willing to play their full part in international peacekeeping and other initiatives.  The UN embraces this because recent history shows that African troops are the best bet when it comes to confronting security challenges on the continent.

But African states cannot be expected to make this contribution while at the same time enduring mistreatment at the hands of UN-backed expert panels of a sort that a developed country would never accept.

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2 thoughts on “The High and Growing Price of #Hege (#DRC #Rwanda #Uganda #ICGLR #Somalia @UN)

  1. Mwene Kalinda says:

    Dear Sonia, there is clearly a misconception among the high and mighty UN bureaucrats, who are in their positions solely on the basis of the horse-trading that is the appointment of this dysfunctional institution’s Secretary General rather than on merit, that poor developing countries like Rwanda and Uganda are in peacekeeping for purely mercenary motives: the payments they receive for participation. As unprincipled mercenaries themselves, they can never understand that these two poor countries could do anything unless they stand to gain financially from it. And yet when Uganda and Rwanda joined the AU peacekeeping/peace-making operations in Somalia and Darfur respectively the UN had yet to get on board and given the AU’s chronic funding difficulties both countries frequently had to meet the financial costs of their troops’ deployment for months on end.
    That those responsible for appointing such partisan activists like Hege and his merry band of pyromaniacs couldn’t give the slightest damn for the certain damage Uganda’s withdrawal from Somalia would inflict on AMISOM should by now be clear. Their sole focus is to discredit Uganda as the primary mediator in the ICGLR process and to save their preferred UN ‘force’ which is in the DRC, MONUSCO. Why they would be playing chicken with the more successful AMISOM in order to safeguard the laughable (at least as a peacekeeping force) MONUSCO should be the subject of an in-depth investigation. Why would the UN bureaucracy and the Security Council be prepared to do anything to protect a force that has failed on all fronts and has itself become a major source of insecurity for the population in terms of rape, arms and mineral trafficking and various other criminal activities, including sacrificing the viability of one of it’s more successful ones?
    Herein lies an enigma. But given the fact that only interests rather than human value matter in UN security council processes, an understanding of who benefits from MONUSCO’s presence in the DRC, and in what way, will clarify the puzzle for us. We know the beneficiaries are neither the mytyred populations where MONUSCO is based nor the states of the Great Lakes region of Africa. So who?

  2. Peter de Mambla says:

    “Why would the UN bureaucracy and the Security Council be prepared to do anything to protect a force that has failed on all fronts and has itself become a major source of insecurity for the population…”

    Because the risk is that Toto may pull back the curtain and the locals may come to realise that the West (its ruling elite) is not the sine qua non of development and peace and everything good in the world. The Scarecrow may come to realise that he has a brain after all, the Tinman a heart, and the Lion courage. It risks the poor and downtrodden becoming independent rather than dependent, of the powers that be losing the control that they need to have, that they must have. It risks the slaves revolting. And so the revolt must be crushed, and the slaves returned to their pathetic condition, forever.

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