“The International Criminal Court (ICC) is a bunch of useless people” is one of President Yoweri Kagutta Museveni’s direct fire backs at the leadership of the global-west, often referred to as ‘world leaders’. It is all about face value. Kind of: if you publicly beret me as you have intensively done for the past couple of months, I have to fire back at you in a manner that shows my fellow Ugandans, other Africans, especially so African Leaders that I do not give a toss about you and that you are not the one that is yanking my chain.
It is all a power play and the United States of America (US), Canada, and the European Union (EU) diplomats who walked away from President Museveni’s swearing in ceremony provided the perfect pawn. This is especially so since this is not the first time that President Museveni has expressed such sentiments of the ICC – in fact, he expressed similar sentiments during Uganda’s historic presidential debate earlier this year. Did those diplomats who walked out not know this already?
For that particular out bust by President Museveni on the ICC during his swearing in ceremony the US Ambassador Debora Malac should take full credit. She played with fire in Uganda exposing her total ignorance of Museveni the man. She gave life to Norbert Mao’s acronym FILTH = Failed in London Trying Here. Mao coined FILTH to describe global-western expats, who after a few weeks in Africa go on to speak of the continent like they are the experts and in patronising tones. Yes, one was among the Ugandans who were totally repulsed by the Ambassador. One considers the Ambassador disrespectful of the nation-state – the Republic of Uganda and its citizens.
Understandably, Ambassador Malac was not prepared for another African country unlike Liberia. Until very recently and perhaps still, for a significant period, it is the United Nations (UN), US forces and US corporations that are really in control of Liberia. Uganda is completely the opposite of Liberia. Uganda is a country that is seemingly hired by the US to fight its proxy wars in places such as Somalia, with which Uganda does not share borders; and in Iraq where Ugandans are the foot soldiers guarding US personnel and interests. Uganda is the host to a huge UN base from whence the UN services the east and central Africa region. How in hell did Ambassador Malac not know that? And if she knew, how in hell did she not factor this in her diplomacy strategy for Uganda? One wonders.
The European Union (EU) election monitors who monitored Uganda’s 2016 Elections also take some credit for President Museveni’s ICC outburst during his swearing in ceremony. EU election monitors’ reports and statements to the press on matters regarding the 2016 elections in Uganda often came out unnecessarily skewed and biased. The bias in their statements which in some cases also do not always hold true was to the extent that their conclusions likely cannot hold up in a court of law. This is perhaps the reason why the EU monitors’ report, statements and conclusions were never presented as evidence in support of the Uganda Supreme Court petition that challenged the election of President Museveni.
There is an exact opposite opinion to that of the EU election monitors, moreover, coming from monitors from the African Union (AU). “I was very happy to observe the patience and orderliness with which the people of Uganda conducted her General Elections … These and many other things that have also been highlighted in the report, can be used as benchmarks for which other countries can borrow good practices from.” His Excellency Ali Hassan Mwiniyi the former President of the United Republic of Tanzania is quoted as having said of the Uganda 2016 Elections.
In terms of diplomacy, in the context of Uganda, the current responsible EU and US officials have failed miserably. This is especially so since President Museveni is a known entity – he has been in power for the last 30 years. One means, take for example the manner in which President Museveni engaged with the US President Barak Obama on Uganda’s anti-homosexuality law clearly shows that President Museveni is one not to back down when the global-west publicly flexes muscle – by telling African leaders what to do. Instead, he will use it as an opportunity to play the neo-colonialism card. This he did on Thursday, 12th May 2016, in full view of ‘the world’ and with seeming backing from his fellow African leaders and African people.