German Troops to fight the LRA? Don’t hold your breath.
As this seemed to have the potential for a scoop (and, as it turns out now, it isn’t), this blog post has to be in English: No, Germany is not intending to send troops to Uganda to fight the notorious Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Nor is the European Union.
The Uganda daily New Vision broke the story today, (echoed by other online news sites) with a lead that sounded alarm bells in Berlin:
EU ready to join the hunt for Kony
THE European Union (EU) is ready to commit its troops to join the hunt down of Lord’s Resistance Army rebel leader Joseph Kony and other commanders perpetuating violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Central Africa Republic (CAR) and South Sudan.
‘This is not a forgotten conflict, the international community is getting concern with wave of LRA violence now in CAR, DRC and South Sudan,’ the German ambassador to Uganda Klaus Dieter Duxmann revealed.
Klaus said the LRA conflict has taken long and dragged out of northern Uganda because neighboring countries were not coordinating and working together to end the conflict.
‘We in the EU are ready to commit our troops and financial support to join the hunt for Joseph Kony to end this LRA menace,’ said Duxmann.
(update: New Vision is running a correction now on that site.)
Well, obviously Düxmann (spelled with an Umlaut) had been, err, let’s say misunderstood. In fact, the Auswärtiges Amt (foreign ministry) in Berlin explained, the ambassador had offered development assistance – and stressed the willingness of the EU and Germany to support reconciliation efforts. In no way, it seems, are the Europeans willing to follow the U.S. in sending combat-ready soldiers into the jungle.
Here’s the official German statement on this:
Unfortunately Ambassador Düxmann has been misquoted by allegedly saying that „We in the EU are ready to commit our troops and financial support to join the hunt for Joseph Kony to end this LRA menace“.
He didn’t say this.
Hence, the conclusion that „THE European Union (EU) is ready to commit its troops to join the hunt down of Lord’s Resistance Army rebel leader Joseph Kony and other commanders perpetuating violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Central Africa Republic (CAR) and South Sudan“ is wrong.
What he said was that any military action has to be complemented by development efforts and ways and means to promote peace and reconciliation. The German government therefore has decided to support the „Poverty Reduction and Development Plan“ implemented by the Office of the Prime Minister. Among others, German Development Cooperation provides EUR 25 million for renewable energy generation and distribution in West Nile and EUR 20 million in support of the Water and Sanitation Facilities North and East (WSDF). In order to support efforts to strengthen peace and reconciliation, experts are deployed in Northern Uganda under the Civil Peace Service programme .
While supporting the AU regional initiative on LRA financially, the EU does not intend to send military experts.
(There are, however, already some German soldiers in Uganda: With the EU Training Mission in Bihanga, they are part of the EU’s support effort for Somalia’s Transitional Government.)
To my German readers, I recommend today’s edition of Süddeutsche Zeitung with a pretty good piece on an Ugandan girl abducted by the LRA (however, not available online).
3 Antworten auf “German Troops to fight the LRA? Don’t hold your breath.”
Puh nochmal Glück gehabt. Ich sah mich schon im Dschungel mit Macheten schwingenden bekifften Kindersoldaten.
Interessant, wie schnell da solche „Missverständnisse“ auftreten können. Vielleicht wollte da ja jemand Düxmann missverstehen…was dann andererseits zur „Glaubwürdigkeit“ jeglicher Entwicklungszusammenarbeit nicht beiträgt.
Deutsche Soldaten in einem wirklichen Einsatz? Doch nicht mit dieser Außenpolitik: http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2011/03/18/deutsche-aussenpolitik-schafft-sich-ab/
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