Uganda’s regional policy has been arrogance, wars and aggression. It is epitomised by the 1979 war, the aggression and war in Rwanda in 1994 by Rwandan-Uganda Generals purportedly supported by Uganda, the Congo invasion in the 1990s with devastating effect on the image of Uganda, the ‘legitimate’ war on the LRA and now Ugnada’s presence in Somalia.
The latest terror attacks that dogged the country at the eve of the World Cup celebrations in 2010 claiming tens of lives in Kampala would have been avoided.
The terrorists claimed they were revenging against UPDF stay in Somalia. The zero sum politics and the bypass of Parliament made it possible for the Somalis to imagine it is not AMISOM but UPDF in Somalia. To appease western powers, the NRM goverment opted to push UPDF and popularised it as a Ugandan initiative.
To the extent that Ugandan Generals in Somalia were threatening real war on Al Shabaab as opposed to the AMISOM peacekeeping mandate in Somalia. The NRM government has used foreign policy as a bait to cling to power. The American interest in Sudan, the British Interests and the other world powers interests on democracy can be compromised by strategic interest!
For instance, whenever Western powers get tough on Uganda, our government threatens partnership with suspicious Iran, brings in China and Gadaffi’s Libya.
The Democratic Party will change Uganda’s foreign face. Uganda’s support to the SPLA, legitimate or not, forced Sudan then to support the LRA menace. The arrogance and militarism in our current leadership made it possible for war to flourish in Northern Uganda, a war that could have been avoided through dialogue but claimed thousands of lives, displaced millions across the world and above all spread across East and Central Africa further denting our image for the past 24 years.
The LRA war was big bait, a war that in 2003 alone ate over $1.3 billion through different operations. Corruption flourished as junk choppers, ghost soldiers became the order of survival of some unscrupulous fellows in charge of the war. DP will revisit our foreign policy and regional strategy. With the coming referendum in Southern Sudan and possible independence of the south, Uganda will be at the centre and a player in the next challenge in Sudan.
Our government will make it possible for the good governance principle of checks and balances to take its course in international relations to suit our character of a peaceful and strong economic bloc of East Africa and the Great Lakes region.
With oil discoveries, and with President Museveni ruling with no term limits and the Constitution tampered with, Uganda needs Norbert Mao with a strong DP foreign policy and oil policy that will spare our country from the oil curse that has be-devilled many oil economies.
In a nutshell, the Democratic Party realises that the country’s objectives of economic development, social welfare and democracy, is inextricably bound to the international economic, social and political settings under the present conditions of globalisation.
DP’s foreign policy will be premised on regional and international cooperation to protect the country’s vital interests and for mutual socio-political and economic benefits focusing on accelerating greater integration within the East African community, energy security, strengthen relations with Europe, South-North America, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Russia, the Middle East-India, China and countries of south east Asia and Australia.
Mr Emmanuel Mwaka Lutukumoi, the DP National Publicity Secretary, wrote this article on behalf his party leader.
Monday, January 03, 2011
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