Integrity and humility, lack thereof, in the stand-off between Rwanda and Uganda

Integrity and humility are the key missing ingredients in the brewing political stew between Rwanda and Uganda. Sadly, looking for integrity and humility in politics or politicians, especially when their political interests and privileges are threatened, is like looking for a needle in mounds of haystack.

It is obvious now that both sides are adamant to any steps, and indeed, pleas from either side, for a better, constructive and mutually beneficial way of settling issues, having good inter-state politics and good neighbourliness – which they should have, given the history between them.

But sadly, the stand-off seems to be about or has been irresponsibly allowed to degenerate into a futile contest of whose cojones are bigger and better at generating high levels of testosterone and whose mouth is the loudest more than the real issue, that of territorial integrity.

The noise is deafening and it appears there’s no end to it until – perhaps the only way the political boil that has been forming since their bloody fights in the Congo can be lanced – both sides can and will decide to engage in a decisive armed fight to settle the score.

This is the plausible and arguably the only way to end the political impasse at the heart of which, really, is the issue of both sides accusing each other of either consciously and directly or indirectly undermining and/or violating each other’s territorial integrity.

The beef between these two, ironically ‘sister’ countries – an oxymoron in itself – openly engaged in a futile political face off equivalent to the proverbial contest of wagging and comparing cojones, is way too big!

It requires a sharp meat cleaver, to cut it to [its] size, acceptable size that both sides can and are happy to settle for, without leaving either or both with ill feelings to simmer into any further future grudge.

Diplomacy cannot and will not solve the political issues between Rwanda and Uganda because diplomacy has long been seriously compromised, impaired and as such rendered ineffective by the accusations from both sides of each other’s actions against the other.

Needless to mention, diplomacy only works when people are rational and agree to behave and act rationally and therefore, the presence of an equally shared will and interest in the outcome. Whether the outcome is equal or not, does not matter so much as to have equally shared and agreed upon interest in the [expected] outcome of the diplomatic efforts.

The problem is that both sides caught in this political face off are not rational or acting rationally by all means, for each side is fully and squarely locked into its own political interests. Working to gain maximum outcome from its own efforts and actions with little regard to how that kind of single-mindedness of purpose and directed action affects the other. How the decisions and actions of one side on its end, ultimately spills over and affects the other side on its end.

Consciously or not, ignoring the magnitude of the spill over effects of one side’s decisions and actions to the other side. Or not sufficiently weighing up the resentment it is likely to cause and therefore the overall underlying political impact on both sides as a consequence.

Suffice to say that there’s no better diplomacy between or among any countries than [diplomacy of/through] trade. The diplomacy of trade among people from both countries or indeed all countries within a common geopolitical and economic sphere trading back and forth with each other and among themselves without or at least with limited political [politically motivated] restrictions imposed on them and thus affecting their business affairs.

Lastly, both countries should be willing, as part of genuine efforts to settling their issues – the ongoing political impasse and other underlying issues and in the interest of peace to the region – to reappraise their intelligence sources and information. Because, therein, possibly lies the major cause of the political misunderstandings or at least, it unavoidably contributes to the major problems between these two – to reiterate the not so funny joke – ‘sister’ countries; largely because most of such information is likely to be downright inaccurate, falsified or simply poorly sourced and/or collated and therefore not credible enough to be the basis of any political decision and/or action.