Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

A rare foray into Africa

What the pissing hell is going on in Uganda? We’ve had attacks on foreign aid workers, the arrest of the opposition leader on charges of treason and rape, had the riots in support, further arrests, more riots, then mysterious gunmen disrupting court cases, and now newspaper offices being raided by police (the paper’s own take is here, which I’ll cut and paste in the comments in case it goes offline).

This all sounds rather like Mugabe’s tactics in Zimbabwe, which is hardly a good development. Could we be witnessing the early stages of a return to the darker days of the country’s history?

And why, exactly, has Britain been pretty much silent on the issue? The US has issued travel warnings, expressed its “deep concern” and called for fair trials. Why haven’t we done the same?

Uganda remains part of the Commonwealth, and was even visited by the Commonwealth’s Secretary-General a month ago. Is the post-Empire organisation just going to sit back and do fuck all once again, as it did with Zimbabwe? Are we all once again going to ignore what’s going on in some far-off African country until it’s too late?

The answers to those two questions, sadly, are likely to be “yes”. Based on past record, the Commonwealth will simply sit back and watch, despite protestations that Uganda is a top priority for the organisation.

After all, who cares, eh? Most of the western world’s interest in Africa is represented fairly well by those pre-Livingston maps of the continent – a few vague attempts to understand the edges, but the heart of the continent, the deeper understanding, remains blank. They’re just savages, aren’t they?

Nice to see our compassion and understanding of Africa has advanced so far in the last two centuries…