UNSC decision means only Africa can fix African problems

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NGUNJIRI WAMBUGU

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) made the decision that the African Union (AU) request for a deferral of Kenya’s cases at the International Criminal Court was not justified. Ironically, this decision was made without a single country actually voting against the request.

The countries that did not support the deferral just opted not to vote at all, ensuring the bid did not get the nine votes required for it to pass; while making sure that no one would be directly blamed for it failing to pass.

Several local and international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) have joined the UNSC members who frustrated Kenya’s bid in arguing that this was the best way forward for Africa. They insist that had the request been accepted it would have become like a red flag to the bull that is impunity African-style.

The NGOs directly, and the UNSC abstaining members indirectly, argue that the African Union is a ‘club’ of illegitimate Presidents who are supporting the Kenyan deferral bid not for the sake of their citizens; but as a means of self-preservation in case one day it is them on the ICC radar. They argue that the AU Heads of State have no legitimacy to represent African victims, because some are the perpetrators in the guise of getting into power, which is through undemocratic means.

Some of the NGOs also claim that President Uhuru Kenyatta is not in office legitimately; because he manipulated the Kenyan electorate to the point where ‘they did not vote in their own best interests’. They also argue that the ‘tyranny of numbers’ of two tribes corrupted the democratic process and gave Jubilee unfair advantage (one wonders what democracy is if it is not tyranny of numbers!).

This is the basis on which they will not recognize Uhuru’s Presidency, or the claim that his case at the ICC is interfering with his presidential responsibilities in Kenya. As far they are concerned he should not even be in office; and maybe the ICC could be what ‘rights’ the ‘wrong’ that was committed on March 4, 2013.

The unfortunate thing about these arguments is that whereas the African Union does have some certifiable tyrants as Presidents of some countries; at least one third of the continent’s population elected their Presidents through electoral processes that the entire world acknowledged as free and fair democratic elections.

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria; Jacob Zuma of South Africa; Seretse Khama of Botswana; Alassane Ouattara of Cote D’Ivore; John Dramani of Ghana; Macky Sall of Senegal; Ellen Sirleaf-Johnson of Liberia and Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania are some examples of Presidents legitimately in office. Between them they preside over one in every three people in Africa; or over 350 million Africans.

They all supported the Kenya deferral bid.

In the Kenyan case we must acknowledge that Uhuru Kenyatta was not running for President of Kenya unchallenged; that in fact his main rival Raila Odinga is one of Africa’s most astute politicians; who knows every trick in the book.

Uhuru’s victory was also challenged intensely by both the NGOs and his political rivals; and Kenya’s highest court confirmed it. That anyone can continue insisting that his presidency is not legitimate, especially when even Raila has accepted him as Kenya’s legitimate President, shows how insincere some NGOs are.

So the UNSC and its supporting cast of NGOs are happier presenting the entire African Union as illegitimate leaders, who do not know what is in Africa’s best interests; because then they do not have to analyze why legitimate leaders in Africa also supported the bid. This allows them to ignore any decision made by all the 54 sovereign states, otherwise they would have to respect some of them if they acknowledged their legitimacy. (It would put them where America founds itself, when its plans to invade Syria were challenged by Russia).

In addition, de-legitimizing the African leadership helped the UNSC avoid having to substantively consider the basis of the request for a deferral. The AU stated that for as long as Kenya has troops in Somalia, an internationally recognized terrorist haven; there is a risk of heightened terrorism in Kenya and the neighbouring region.

It is also stated that having Kenya’s President shuttling between here and some European city on a regular, internationally accessible, pre-arranged schedule, raises this risk to the stratosphere. These are facts. However as long as they were raised by an ‘illegitimate’ continental body UNSC could pretend the concerns are not real.

The message from Geneva is that Africa must her destiny. African must also develop African solutions for African problems. Finally Africa must challenge the power that the ‘West’ exercises over her. (Power does not concede unless it is challenged). Africa must take power over her own destiny, and make and execute decisions that help Africa. If we fail, the ‘West’ will happily watch us self-destruct, and then pillage the continent in the guise of rehabilitating us (again).

(Wambugu is the Executive Director, Change Associates Trust)

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  • Mazzdark

    Unforseen circumstances have forced Africa to finally contemplate its place in the world….

    • Noah England

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      • Mazzdark

        ???

      • Duncan Muchina

        Stop drinking!

  • Qwani

    Firstly, the NGO Bill has to go through. Some of these NGOs are nothing more than extension of foreign embassies.
    Secondly, the UN has its owners. Those owners look out for their own interests and not that of Africa. It is important that Africa unites and begins to look out for its own interests.

  • grace mwai

    I sometimes read or watch the Kenyan media and feel sorry for the so called Kenyan elite , commentators and journalists. I happen to be a naturalized American citizen who is Kenyan born and raised. Iam proud of my country despite that it made me an economic refugee during Moi era. What those Kenyans don’t realise id that Americans fight tooth and nail even for their own criminals in foreign lands eg. the diplomat who recently committed vehicular homicide in Nairobi, Amanda[ the girl who allegedly murdered another girl in Italy] and many other criminals all over the world with the excuse that no other court can try an American fairly in the world. If any country or people attack our president, we all come together regardless of political affliations. So those Kenyans who go about attacking their motherland or president in foreign lands should know that they are all laughing stocks or fools even though they are given a few dollars in exchange. I LIVE WITH THEM AND KNOW HOW SOME HOLD AFRICANS WITH DISDAIN.

    • kush

      those uncle tom sell outs will die bitter men cos all their sinister agendas and works will end up embarrassingly in the public domain.Remember NO weapon formed against us shall prosper.Let the devil and his minions do what they do best but still they can’t bring darkness where there is light.

    • Anne Biti

      I agree completly with this view. I’m a Kenyan who have lived in Europe for almost 3 decades. My conclusion is that Africa is not respected at all, the general opinion in general population and at policy making levels is that Africans are divided, shortsighted and there to be exploited. Africa is not taken seriously and any progress made by any African country is still ignored or attributed to aid donor’s contribution. To think that any western country cares about our problems/human rights or victims’ rights or justice is very naive. They only think about their own interests. Only Africans should/can solve their own problems themselves at home, and the illusion that the West will solve our problems will end with more division among ourselves, humiliation, exploitation and the sad confirmation that inspite of the 50 years of independence and hard work, we are still at the mercy of the former masters.

    • Duncan Muchina

      That’s the grace I dream about….full of wisdom and poise!!!

  • Antony Mbandi

    This is an interesting piece and pretty refreshing. I 100% join the call for Africa finding solutions and taking lead in solving her problems.

  • OrdinaryCitizen

    Very unfortunate perspective here. What are Africans doing to bring justice to the African victims. For some reason, perpetrators have now become victims and the reverse is true.

  • unitykey

    There are no African solutions with the current AU setup unless changes are made to it! Think Big or outside the Box, not just Kenya or Uhuru Kenyatta, if we don’t have the ICC what then for all the atrocities going on in Africa?, AU has always been there what has it ever done apart from protecting the African Presidents, unfortunately it is not serving the purpose for which it was created. It is understandably when you are all out there crying foul and pretending you are so African while you are living abroad and not on the receiving end of the brutality committed by the so called ‘African presidents’, but we need the ICC(or a neutral place where they can be tried and certainly not in an AU court,). The impunity must end, unfortunately African leaders don’t have the guts to stand up against fellow African leaders who are committing atrocities or are a cause of such in their own countries, hence the need for the ICC. there is an African saying; ‘do not spill the main dish just because someone spilled the soup’, or in Kiswahili; ‘Usimwage ugali kwasababu mwenzako kamwaga mchuzi’. you end up with a loose loose situation instead of of a win win situation for Africa. THE IMPUNITY MUST END… PERIOD!!!!!

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