President Yoweri Museveni has placed blame on United Nations Security Council for mishandling the Libya conflict that led to the death of Col Muammar Gaddafi.
“The crucial decisions of international peace and security, within the Security Council, are mostly taken by the veto-wielding members,” Museveni said while delivering a keynote address at the UN High Level Thematic Debate on ‘Strengthening Cooperation between the UN, Regional and Sub-Regional Organization’ in New York City, USA today.
“This is a big mistake and has already caused alot of harm to Africa, like in the case of Libya where Africa’s opinion was ignored; hence, the present massive human haemorrhage in that area.”
He said if the Security Council members that took military action in Libya had listened to the voice of Africa, the present chaos in Libya, Nigeria, Mali, the people who are dying in the Mediterranean sea from the African shores trying to get to Europe, could have been avoided.
“In fact, Gaddaffi’s Libya used to employ many workers from Africa.”
In any case, Museveni continued, it was very presumptuous for the five permanent members to claim that they are responsible for global security.
“Out of the global human population that is now 7 billion people, the 5 permanent members represent only about 1.9 billion people. How and why should they monopolize the “responsibility” for global security? This is a structural deficiency in the architecture for global security.”
Museveni suggested that UN re-examines its structures and changes some of the old fashioned ones to conform to the current realities.
“While we abhor impunity, the UN approach that usually, superficially and without proper contextualization, emphasizes justice in instances of conflict resolution at the expense of long term peace, is manifestly self-defeating.”
In this regard, he continued, the UN should not just blindly pursue the option of placing sanctions on individuals or referring them to the ICC without holding consultations with the regions affected as this often undermines the very process of resolving the conflict in question.
“Therefore, last minute high-handed interventions without a thorough understanding of the dynamics of the situation are wrong and injurious to the hapless populations of the concerned areas.”
“Mr. President, Many on the African continent and elsewhere have come around to agreeing with what Uganda and other African patriots have been advocating for, for long: African solutions for African problems.”
He added: “The international community, including the UN, can only support and should, therefore, respect regional processes. You are all aware of the long period it takes the UN to deploy in a crisis situation.”
He cited the situation in December 2013 in South Sudan resulting from an attempted coup on Salva Kiir’s government by his former deputy Riek Machar wondering why “the UN Security Council is still debating the issue up to now”.
“If we in the region had not acted when we did quickly, the region could possibly have had another genocide.”
He said the neighbouring countries could have stopped the genocide of Rwanda in 1994.
“We could not do it because the UN was obstructing us.”
Recommends establishment of African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC)
Museveni then recommended the establishment of the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC) which is an African owned initiative for rapid military intervention as and when the need arises, to quickly respond to crisis situations on the African continent.
“In situations where actual deployment by the UN has been taken as in Eastern DRC, the mandate of the mission is often so restricted that you end up with a “sitting duck” mission with troops in a “peace-keeping” role with no peace to keep.”
“What we need in Africa is support from international community in terms of funding and equipment so that we can do the job ourselves.”
He said this would be in addition to contributing about 45% of the UN’s uniformed peacekeepers.”
“Most of the time, they even mis-define identity on opportunistic, an irrational basis where the actors wish to remain “big fishes in small ponds” as one of our leaders once said.”
“Many of the conflicts in the world are authored, promoted and fueled by this ideological disorientation,” Museveni pointed out, adding, that we cannot only deal with the consequences but not look at the causes.
He said Uganda had become a failed State by the 1970s and 1980s.
“We were only able to rescue it by assaulting ideological disorientation mentioned above and dealing most harshly with indisciplined soldiers that loot people’s property, rape and defile women, take sex-slaves or commit homicide.”
“If the UN system, the regional forces or those acting under us are not able to handle the question of discipline, we shall become part of the problem and not part of the solution.”