We must reject 'KONY2012,' the pro-AFRICOM propaganda

MILTON ALLIMADI Black Star News Publisher | 3/22/2012, 4:28 p.m.

Since everyone knows about Kony's atrocities, who would object if the United States started off by sending 100 U.S. "advisers" to Uganda, as it did a few months ago purportedly to help fight Kony? This is a brilliantly devious maneuver. It's likely that there are many more U.S. troops in the region than the announced figures.

The Associated Press reports that U.S. troops are now deployed in Uganda, South Sudan, Congo and the Central African Republic. Meanwhile, according to media reports, Ugandan troops are once again committing atrocities, this time in the Central African Republic, where they are raping women and looting resources, including diamonds.

So Washington, using Museveni and IC, has brought AFRICOM to Africa through a back door. People who love the continent must denounce this deployment and demand that U.S. troops pull out of Africa.

Museveni welcomes such deployment of American troops alongside his own discredited army. It legitimizes his dictatorship and diverts focus from the fact that he's stolen the last three presidential elections in Uganda and that he's been in office for 26 years. When he visited Ghana in 2009, President Barack Obama denounced African dictators. Now the United States has embraced Uganda's brutal Museveni.

However, the people and leadership in Acholi region, which bore the brunt of the war between Kony and Museveni, reject militarism. Members of parliament and religious leaders from the region, such as Archbishop John Baptist Odama and Bishop MacLeord Baker Ochola II, want a resumption of peace talks. These were abandoned in December 2008, when the Ugandan army, supported by the outgoing Bush administration, attacked the LRA's camps in Congo. The LRA had assembled as part of the negotiations. After that United States-backed attack, the LRA scattered all the way to Central Africa, so the LRA is not even in Uganda today; this is another crucial fact disingenuously omitted by "KONY2012."

It's a shame that the U.S. administration would use Museveni and IC's "KONY2012" to mask Washington's true designs on the region. Sadly, the United States has a long history of working with brutal leaders who are destructive to Africa's interest. In the past, it was Mobuttu Sese Seko in what was then Zaire.

Museveni has been a close United States ally since he made bizarre remarks published in September 1994 in the Atlantic Monthly. The Ugandan dictator told the magazine: "I have never blamed the whites for colonizing Africa; I have never blamed these whites for taking slaves. If you are stupid, you should be taken a slave."

In recent days, media have reported that Jason Russell, the maker of "KONY2012," suffered a personal meltdown, with peculiar public actions on the streets. It's possible that Russell may be having second thoughts following the criticism of IC for participating in the Ugandan and U.S. government's propaganda campaign to pave the way for AFRICOM in Africa.

Two other such so-called non-governmental organizations--Resolve, led by Mike Poffenberger, and the Enough Project, led by John Prendergast--have been promoting militarization and war in Africa. Both are fronts for Western business interests on the continent. The Ugandan debacle must be a lesson to all so-called non-governmental organizations like IC to either let Africans take the lead when they go to the continent or to stay out of Africa completely.

IC must do the right thing and apologize for presenting half-truths. It must help undo the damage done by "KONY2012" by making a new film. It must use its marketing skills to present a documentary that shows the roles both Museveni and Kony have played in the Ugandan calamity.

The new film must reject militarism and call on the millions of new viewers to demand that both Museveni and Kony come to the negotiating table to bring to an end their bloody and destructive war of 26 years. At the end of the day, both men deserve arrest and prosecution by the ICC.