Rujumbura county has been a troubled area for a very long time and the situation is getting worse. More time and resources are being wasted on character assassination and intimidation at the expense of economic and social development, hence high levels of unemployment, poverty and the associated adverse social and environmental consequences – under-nutrition, alcoholism, crime, violence and extensive de-vegetation with adverse hydrological and thermal conditions – rising temperatures, irregular rainfall, falling water tables, drying rivers and spring wells as well as deteriorating soil quality and declining food productivity.
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Everybody knows that wars are very nasty. People lose their lives, their relatives and their friends as well as their properties. The survivors are driven off their lands into exile or into camps as displaced persons, where social and economic conditions are extremely difficult and cultural values break down in an attempt to survive. Wars have been fought from time immemorial between states and increasingly within states. And no end is in sight.
People go to war for various reasons. The wars of colonialism were waged by whites against defenseless people in new lands for God, Glory and Gold as well as European settlement resulting in loss of lives, property and land.
In Kenya for instance, the war between the British and the Kikuyu was costly in lives and property. Kikuyu villages and crops were destroyed, people were killed and over 4,000 goats, sheep and cows were captured. The survivors were herded into overcrowded reserves.
The political, economic and social crisis that followed Kenya’s presidential and parliamentary elections in December 2007 especially in the Rift Valley Province calls for a clear understanding of the causes in order to prevent a recurrence of the conflict and to draw lessons for other countries such as Uganda.
An attempt to understand the background will have to begin inter alia with the question of land going as far back as the start of the 20th century when the British decided to settle Europeans in Kenya. The British administration chose the most fertile land with a cool climate suitable for European settlement. People such as the Kikuyu and Masaai after their resistance was crushed were moved into overcrowded reserves. Their ancestral homes in the highlands and the rift valley became the “White Highlands”. The Africans felt that their land had been stolen and replaced with the bible.
Human beings instinctively understand that security means safety and protection from all types of threats to our daily lives such as hunger, disease, war and repression. When the United Nations Charter was adopted in 1945, the idea of human security was rooted primarily in the protection of states against external aggression although the freedom of the individual in the state was seen as an essential complement to the freedom of the state in the world community of nations.
Despite the improving security of states, people in many of those states feel more insecure than ever. Because of that, the definition of what constitutes human security is changing. Human security is now increasingly interpreted as security of people in their homes, in their jobs, in their communities and in their environment, which must be regarded as universal, global and indivisible.