YLF Post No. 1 for Regional Young Leaders Forum


This is the first pre-conference post before our Regional Young Leaders Forum on Regional Security and Local Grievances. Every few days we will post a text asking you for comments on its theses or recommendation. It will about the kind of issues you will be dealing with in your presentations. Today, we have compiled three columns of the Ugandan Journalist Onyango Obbo on armies and rebels read more.

  • In his first column the author is arguing that West-African armies (Nigeria, Mali) „are running away from barefooted rebels not because they are cowards but because their relationship with the state is changing“. In short, the ruling elites is stealing even the money destined for the upkeep of the army
  • In the second piece he is arguing that the well stocked East African armies don’t flee, because „they have a lot of practice fighting at home and in neighboring countries“. In a way, he writes,  these capable armies „are creating a political federation“.
  • And finally he suggests that the recent success of extremist groups has changed the frontline and that in the international fight against terrorism „the most critical point defence line is in central Africa.“ With consequences for some rebel groups. „In this new reality“, he writes, „Machar and the FDLR are flies in the soup“. And are loosing in support.

Do you agree with Onyango-Obbo’s arguments? And how does this analysis – or your objections to it – relate to the conflicts in your countries? Will it change policies and alliances? Can we already talk about a „Return to Realpolitik“ where the propagators of a new war on terror are going to look for reliable rather than democratic regimes?