Uprisings a testament of countries’ poor leadership
SEE ALSO :Impeachment vote set for WednesdayWhile uprisings from the top raise questions about leaders, uprisings from the bottom capture a different kind of attention, test leadership skills and have likelihoods of turning violent. In Europe, Spain is splintering in the northwest on the Atlantic and in the northeast on the Mediterranean Sea. The Catalans quarrel and hold counter demonstrations in Barcelona over their Castilian links. For Russia, ‘uprisings’ are episodic about ‘democracy’ and then disappear. China captures the imagination, whether with Xinjiang Province Uighur Muslim grumblings or with the Hong Kong riots. Although Hong Kong, previously a British island colony, returned to mainland China in 1999, it kept elements of autonomy. Usually, Beijing determines broad policy, appoints top regional administrators and then lets each region implement the best way it knows how. Hong Kong’s British colonial identity collided with Beijing’s communist beliefs and led to uprisings, initially against the administrator and then against Beijing. The uprisings test Xi Jinping’s control and, should he emulate Deng Xiaoping in 1989, the place could be bloody. In Latin America and the Middle East, externally manufactured disturbances in Venezuela and Syria are disappearing from the public radar on uprisings as presumably stable states take centre-stage. Those presumed to be stable in Latin America like Argentina, Bolivia and Chile, experience economy and youth-related disturbances that become social uprisings. In the Middle East, Lebanon has exploded in unprecedented ways, making Syria appear tame. In Saudi Arabia, American understanding enables the Saudis to continue pounding Yemen. Africa has its share of uprisings. While Libya remains the externally manufactured mess associated with US President Barack Obama’s administration, there are simmering grumblings against Egypt’s Al Sisi. South Africa leads ‘unhappiness’ with its xenophobic outbursts, which then make a mockery of its claims to leadership in Africa. Cameroon is split into two colonial identities, English and French, and there are few signs of positive reconciliation. While South Sudan continues with its unceasing civil war, uprisings in Khartoum’s Sudan managed to force Omar al-Bashir out of office, put him in a cage and start trials. Hitherto silent Malawi is deep in election-related disturbances that make schooling difficult.
Cyber activitiesFor some time, Ethiopia had given the impression of being stable as the government maintained tight security. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed even received a Nobel Peace Prize for settling disputes with Eritrea as he tried to secure access to the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean. His grip on Ethiopia, however, appears to be waning as demonstrations fill the streets of Addis Ababa. Prof Munene teaches History and International Relations at USIU
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