Monday, April 9, 2012

KONY 2012: Is The Saviour Complex Being Used As A Precursor To Invade Uganda?

KONY 2012. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few days you should be well aware of the viral video made by Invisible Children (IC) to ‘make Kony famous’ so as to get him indicted and charged at the International Criminal Courts for crimes against humanity.
Now don’t get me wrong, Kony is an awful man, I agree. Indeed I think the fact that everyone agrees that Kony is a bestial man that ought to be brought to justice is what makes IC’s agenda so effective. In my opinion the bottom line is that IC are part of a process that pits the Ugandan Army (helped by the USA) against Kony rebels, in an area in Uganda in which (coincidentally) significant oil reserves were recently discovered (2006), ‘Oil experts estimate Uganda’s Albertine Basin has about 2.5 billion barrels of recoverable oil, positioning Uganda to become one of sub-Saharan Africa’s top oil producers’[1]. What is particularly interesting is that, ‘significant deposits of oil in the Western part of the country are close to LRA-active regions of the DRC’[2]. So we do have cause to raise our eyebrows and wonder when, in 2011, President Obama authorized USA troops to enter Uganda and work with the Ugandan government to help them, among other things, find Kony. It is nonetheless, important to note in all this that a, ‘WikiLeaks cable (dated March 13, 2008) describes a request by the Ugandan government to the US government “for assistance to train and equip a lake security force which could enforce Uganda’s territorial waters, protect Uganda’s oil assets, and reduce violent incidents.”’ [3] However the fact that the US government decided to respond and act in 2011 may be informed by the fact that there is oil in the very areas in which Kony has traditionally been active and thus need ‘protection’.
But let’s get to the heart of the issue and how IC fits into all of this. IC’s video and entire agenda is fuelled by what I call the Saviour Complex. This is a complex where well-meaning people, predominantly from EuroAmerica, troop to Africa to ‘help the natives’ improve their standard of living and generally assist the ‘poor Black Africans’ to create more dignified lives for themselves. Yes I’m being provocative in how I describe the Saviour Complex because I feel a sense of cultural superiority and self-aggrandisement is the root of the Saviour Complex. In spite of this, Africa is expected to accommodate those with the Saviour Complex because, after all, these people have left their comfortable lives in EuroAmerica to come and sweat it out in poverty stricken and even violent and remote African locales and thus should be thanked for their generous altruism. Africa is expected to accommodate those with the Saviour Complex because they have good intentions…whether or not they do anything of true value to Africa is a topic for another day but essentially, as an African, I’m expected to either be elated that they’re here, or, at the very least, bite my tongue and smile at their efforts. Let me bring myself back from that tangent and focus on how the Saviour Complex fits into what could be construed to be a US Foreign policy agenda- establishing control over the oil rich areas of Uganda. So, Kony goes viral, and an organisation with the Saviour Complex sees itself as essentially the only way that Kony can be found and brought to justice.[4]
What is truly sinister in all this is that I think IC’s Saviour Complex is a vehicle of legitimizing the welcome of the US Army into Uganda by Ugandans and the world, in an area that is of crucial strategic importance to Uganda’s economic future. This Saviour Complex held by IC and its sympathizers is giving everyone the impression that the USA is well intended and genuinely interested in catching a man whom everyone views to be heinous and is committed to helping Uganda. This is a very effective foreign policy strategy because it is a new twist or perhaps a precursor to some form of ‘liberation invasion’ of Northern Ugandan in areas that just happen to be situated on massive oil fields. And therein lies the reality that many in EuroAmerica who view themselves as liberals on the ‘left’ fail to understand. A mentality that, on a conscious level, seems to be interested in justice and equality, may be, on an subconscious level, more interested in self-aggrandisement and prejudiced oversimplification of other cultures, and thus can be used to do the very opposite that the conscious self believes it wants. The liberal left and those who are victim to the Saviour Complex (of course not everyone is), may very well be part of strategy to ‘liberate’ Uganda of Kony and his rebels and, with the US’s help of course, ‘stabilise’ the regions that are coincidentally located over oil reserves. So their mentality may actually be delivering Ugandan oil and people to the control of a greedy superpower and its linked multinationals and conglomerates that may end up exploiting the very region that the liberal lefties wanted ‘delivered from evil’ in the first place. What’s so funny about this whole thing however is that Kony may not be in Uganda, especially in the areas in which US troops have been deployed. The last we heard of Kony and his rebels, they were not in Uganda but rather had, ‘regrouped in Uganda’s neighboring countries, especially the Democratic Republic of Congo’[5].
Basically Kony has been driven out of Uganda already and hasn’t been able to re-enter since. But alas, who cares anyway. Kony 2012 makes EuroAmerica feel good and just imagine, by buying a couple of posters and a bracelet, YOU, my friend, are part of the process of hunting a man down who’s location is not known…how very useful. And bear in mind many of his soldiers are child soldiers working for a bedraggled, ill-equipped force.
So how, pray tell will the Ugandan army, with the help of the USA, get Kony without killing a bunch of kids? How does your KONY 2012 bracelet feel now?

[1] Uganda,
[2] Kersten, Mark (2011), US Sends 100 Troops to Uganda to Hunt Kony: Some Thoughts
[3] Kersten, Mark (2011), US Sends 100 Troops to Uganda to Hunt Kony: Some Thoughts
[4] Please note at NO POINT during the video was there mention of other ongoing local and international efforts to catch Kony. The video presented IC as the ONLY way Kony can be caught.
[5] Joseph Kony (2012)
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