Friday August 1 2014

Is the world as chaotic and wicked as the media depicts?

By Augustine Ruzindana

Watching TV is becoming a harrowing experience, what with the numerous dead people in the Rwenzori region and the inhuman and ill-treatment of alleged perpetrators and collaborators.

When you move to another channel you see an ongoing modern holocaust in Gaza perpetrated by a state created as a remedial response to the holocaust of the Jews in Europe.

Then back home in the capital Kampala, you see a modern version of iconoclasts (icon breakers) with bulldozers demolishing structures that the authorities had, by omission, permitted to be constructed, with wailing owners frantically trying to retrieve whatever they can from their former properties now reduced to rubble.
Then next comes eastern Ukraine where a passenger plane was “downed by shrapnel” with hundreds killed while the culprits have already been announced before investigations have even started. Then Boko Haram comes on the TV screen, this time having abducted a wife of the deputy prime minister of Cameroon.

Then follows the Caliphate declared in parts of Syria and Iraq where Christians are on the run because they have been given a choice either to become Muslims or pay a tax or face death.

Then there is the chaos in Central African Republic between Christians and Muslims followed by al-Shabaab massacres in coastal Kenya and Mogadishu, the virtual civil war in Libya, the unending Afghanistan problems of war and now protracted vote counting and impending civil war caused famine in South Sudan.

The East is shown being battered by typhoons and cyclones while Europe and America are busy imposing sanctions on Russia.

This media coverage of disasters every hour and every minute creates a sense of hopelessness as if nothing good is taking place in the world.

Is the world really so hopeless with only wicked things happening? Are the major problems facing the world unsolvable? There are some good things and there are no problems without solutions.

Even the Israel-Palestinian conflict can be solved if it could be handled not as a political problem but a human problem routed in the claim by both Jews and Palestinians for the same piece of land.

War is, therefore, not part of the solution. Eventually, a solution through talks must be found to make it possible for the two communities to live peacefully side by side as they continue talking on how to share the land.

There is no point for both Israel and the Hamas to refuse to talk to each other or for Israel to refuse the two-state solution. Israel’s current technological advantage will not be for ever and neither will American and European support.

Similarly, in the case of Uganda where essentially human problems are being handled by use of security forces, like in the case of Kasese, success will not be achieved. Kasese, formerly Busongora County, has the most forms of alienation of land.

There is the Queen Elizabeth National Park surrounded by several game reserves and another national park up in the mountains. There is Mobuku Irrigation Scheme, several prisons and army farms and several mining areas (Kilembe, Hima, Dura, etc).

There is, therefore, a basic human land problem, which is a common cause of intractable conflicts among people everywhere. Before resolving this land problem, new kingdoms were added as a source of conflict because they are not universally acceptable.

Therefore, the violent irruption that took place should first be properly evaluated before rushing civilians through military courts. However, the fact that actions of the magnitude we have seen could surprise all the security apparatuses should give us warning that anything can happen anywhere at any time, catching the security napping. That is very dangerous.

Mr Ruzindana is a former IGG and former MP.