Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

World now comprised of weak leaders who have caused more harm than good

08 Apr 2019 at 09:10hrs | Views
As Rwanda commemorates the 25th anniversary of the 1994 genocide by Hutu extremists against largely the majority Tutsi and Hutu moderates, one can not help but wonder whatever happened to the World War II determination to stop future atrocities - by any means necessary - before they get out of hand.

What happened to that spirit that had emanated from the horrors of fascism and Nazism- that the world would never again tolerate tyrants and anyone who seeks to subjugate and terrorise other groups of people?

As we watch the happenings in the world today, it is more than clear that that generation of strong leaders has since disappeared, leaving us with nothing but spineless self-serving weaklings - who would rather look aside, whilst atrocities take place, in the name of protecting business and strategic relations.

Where was the international community when nearly a million innocent and unarmed people were being mercilessly butchered by hard-line Hutus in Rwanda in 1994?

Yet, during that same year, those same leaders, who were supposed to be united against brutality and tyranny, fell over each other lauding South African hero Nelson Mandela for his fearless fight against apartheid.

Was that not the highest form of brazen hypocrisy?

As much as the international community shed some crocodile tears for its inaction against the Rwanda genocide, more atrocities have since been witnessed throughout the world.

There were atrocities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Republic of Congo, Central African Republic (CAR), South Sudan, Myanmar, Syria, and of late in Libya - to name just a few examples.

As I write this article, the Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar's militia are freely moving towards the capital Tripoli to confront the UN-backed government - whilst, the world meekly looks on without lifting a finger.

The United Nations chief Antonio Gueterres was in the country whilst Haftar was sending his troops - and even had a meeting with him - yet, when the UN secretary general was told point blank by the warlord that he was pushing ahead with his attack, he could do nothing except go back home!

Just as with the Rwandan genocide, what these world leaders are waiting for is the end of the bloodbath, then issue some pathetic statements of regret.

But, where are they now when a bloodbath is clearly imminent in Libya?

They are at the same place where they were in 1994 during the Rwanda genocide - the spectator stand!

In Myanmar, similarly, thousands of Rohingya have been murdered by the military - not in just one genocide, but two.

Between 9 October 2016 and January 2017 over a thousand Rohingya were killed; and then from 28 August 2017 over 10,000 were massacred by the military.

Even the Myanmar regime knew the world leaders' weakness such that they dared conduct a second wave of genocide in the same year - this time insuring more ruthlessness.

As predicted, the international community folded its arms, accompanied by the usual lame condemnation.

Where world have provided a facade of action, such as in the CAR and DRC, the response has been nothing more than lackluster - with even some accusations of the so-called international peacekeepers being complicit in the atrocities.

In South Sudan, thousands have been butchered in another senseless civil war, but all we have heard have been one useless 'peace agreement ' after another useless 'peace agreement'.

The world is more than satisfied to act as cheerleaders, whilst witnessing the signing of what they clearly know is yet another ill-fated peace agreement.

If the international community can be so lethargic in the face of grave atrocities, what then are we to expect from 'smaller' dictators who trample upon their citizens' human rights - and occasionally kill a score or two innocent people?

Obviously nothing!

What is Nicholas Maduro doing in Venezuela?

And he is by far not the only one!

If the massacring of thousands upon thousands of innocent women, children and men is meaningless to the international community, then what is the shooting of twenty or so unarmed protestors?

The likes of Saudi Arabia can murder opponents willy-nilly, including the journalist Jamal Khashoggi in its own consulate in Turkey, knowing fully well that no one will do anything.

Turkey itself can jail thousands of people, including journalists, on frivolous charges of attempting a coup, and get away with it.

So many other despots have become lions in their own countries, ruthlessly devouring their fellow citizens with impunity - as the world watches.

Does the United Nations serve any purpose at all?

Are we not back to the appeasement days of the pre-World War II - whereby, the world chose to allow German Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler to do whatever he felt like doing?

The world has now become a more dangerous place, as a result of this appeasement - as tyrants know that they can literally get away with murder.

It has become so tempting for any leader to resort to brute force, and killing of perceived opponents in order to consolidate their hold on power.

The world needs the spirit of those great leaders of old - who would not tolerate any form of oppression - to return!

We need the world to return to those days whereby every little dictator knows that they are being watched, and any wrong move will be punished.

Not by useless sanctions, empty condemnation, or the sponsoring of self-serving opposition parties - but, by concrete action!

There should never be any special considerations, like business deals or strategic alliances - any violations of human rights should be met by real and concrete consequences.

Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and speaker. He can be contacted on

Source - Tendai Ruben Mbofana
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.