Skip to main content

Without Peace, there can be no Economic Development

posted onFebruary 15, 2023
Former AIGP, late Lokech interacting with some members of the UN Peace keepers

By Alexander Kinyera
The Somali Civil War is an armed conflict that erupted in Somalia in 1991, following the overthrow of dictator Siad Barre. After the overthrow of Siad Barre, various clan-based groups fought for control of Mogadishu. The most notorious of these was that headed by Farah Aideed. In July 1992, the United Nations deployed military observers to try and monitor a fragile truce. Ultimately the truce collapsed and Somalia was left without a functioning central government. It therefore, became a "failed state".

To date, about 500,000 lives have been lost and a further 1.1 million Somali citizens have fled their homeland. Of course, critical Infrastructure has been destroyed. Not until the pacification of Mogadishu and surrounding areas by the UPDF in 2007 did the economy of Somalia begin its recovery. In DRC, when the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) was founded, the task was to neutralize armed groups and reduce the threat posed to state authority. The bad relations between the peacekeepers and the Congolese government have created bad blood amongst the local populations who don't see them as a neutral actor in a volatile situation.

In April 2021 people for several days protested in the towns of Beni and Goma, demanding the departure of MONUSCO for its failure to stop the bloodshed in the region. With all the modern weapons, the UN mission has also failed to engage one of the most notorious militia group in North Kivu province, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). This indicates their agenda is DRC is not peace but political business (Natural Resources) Worse still is that under Mobutu, the territory of Zaire but now known as Democratic Republic of Congo became host to many anti Uganda government groups such as the ADF and even the Lord’s Resistance Army of Joseph Kony.

Un peace Keeping Mission in DRC
The UN Peace Keeping Mission in the DRC

The ADF, now affiliated to Islamic State has repeatedly practiced its terrorism on the Congolese in the Kivu provinces at the same time against innocent Ugandans as they did in the Kampala bombings of November 2021. ADF as well as anti-Rwanda groups in eastern DRC have been able to remain because the UN peace force is ineffective. The cost of this ineffectiveness was ably captured by a London based publication, The Guardian, when it wrote in a 2008 article, “A decade of fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo is continuing to kill about 45,000 people each month half of them small children in the deadliest conflict since the second world war, according to a new survey.” Long before our security concerns with the DRC, Uganda’s post-independence history of conflict and war was profoundly shaped by its colonial experience. Characterized by violent conflict, war and state collapse in Uganda since independence.

The coup that removed Milton Obote from power for the second time in 1985 was partly influenced by the pressure of Yoweri Museveni’s National Resistance Army. With the capture of power in January 1986, the NRM government presided over the integration of former combatants into a true national army built on the correct ideology of NRA. This notwithstanding, peace in Acholi remained elusive for nearly 20 years. In 2006, the Lord’s Resistance Army was finally pushed out of Acholi and Uganda by the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF). UPDF successes were because of the ideology of NRM right from the early days, based on four principles of; Patriotism (love Uganda), Pan Africanism (love Africa), Social – economic transformation (from peasantry to middle and skilled working classes), and Democracy (power of the people, by the People, for the people). Today on account of peace and like the rest of Uganda, the region of Acholi is enjoying renewed economic success on account of the peace in the region. The town of Gulu now enjoys city status and continues to thrive.

This week, Uganda celebrates one of Acholi’s most prominent sons – the Late Archbishop Janani Luwum. I can’t help but marvel at the extraordinary journey that we have made since that humid February 16th night in 1977 when he was murdered because he would not stand by, as the UN has done in DRC, and let Amin continue his murderous reign. And yet some still seek to derail the efforts at gaining and maintaining peace in many parts of Africa and in Uganda, respectively. They forget that the traditional African culture is a peaceful one. We should remind them.

The writer is a Ugandan citizen, a peace lover & supporter of Yoweri Museveni and the UPDF.


Archbishop Janan Luwum Janani Luwum Day

About Author

Kp Reporter - Chief editor