Kenya’s President William Ruto

The news of an African country sending troops to Haiti, an American country, has left many surprised. Dr. Alfred N. Mutua, Cabinet Secretary of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs of the Republic of Kenya, announced this intervention, framing it as a pan-Africanist effort to assist another Black country.

However, this goes beyond pan-Africanism, as Haitians have consistently rejected foreign powers on their soil.

By choosing African countries to participate in this intervention, it appears to be a public relations exercise, but it is worth noting that Haitian President Ariel Henry and his government were nominated by the US, which recently withdrew its citizens from the country.

Kenya was also joined by Rwanda, with Rwandese President Paul Kagame expressing willingness to send troops as well. Both Kenya and Rwanda already have troops stationed in other African countries like Congo and Somalia, where the wars being fought are imperialist conflicts.

The concept of sending troops to foreign lands to assist Western imperialism was pioneered by Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, and other leaders have learned from him. The West endorsed Museveni, allowing him to rule until his death.

Museveni’s involvement in imperialism began in Somalia in 1991 after the US withdrew its troops. Uganda’s People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) provided about 6,000 troops, leading the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom). Similarly, Museveni played a role in supporting the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in South Sudan’s war for separation from North Sudan in the 1990s.

Museveni also played a crucial part in installing Kagame as Rwanda’s ruler. After receiving military training in the US, Kagame, a former senior officer in the Ugandan Army, formed the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) with other Rwandese exiles in Uganda. The RPF, backed by the Ugandan government, waged a war against the Rwandan government of President Habyarimana, culminating in the Rwandan Genocide that devastated the Tutsi population. Kagame successfully overthrew Habyarimana’s government and has been Rwanda’s president since 2000.

Following Museveni’s playbook, Kagame sent troops to other African countries to bolster his legitimacy in the West, deploying forces to Central African Republic, Mozambique, Congo, Benin, and others.

Museveni’s cooperation with Western imperialists extended beyond Africa to the Middle East. During the Invasion of Iraq in 2003, 20,000 Ugandans worked in American military bases.

In return, the West has turned a blind eye to the poor human rights records of Kagame and Museveni’s dictatorships, as long as they maintain their troops on imperialist assignments. Even when these leaders commit atrocities against their own people, the West often ignores the situation.

As Africans, we must become aware of these imperialist tactics and see through our presidents’ hasty decisions to send our troops to suppress other people. Kenyan citizens, whose new president William Ruto appears to aspire to a career in Western imperialism, should awaken to the risks of turning their country into a validated dictatorship like Uganda and Rwanda.

Ruto’s policies should be guided by figures like Mohammed Ali, the American boxer who refused to fight in Vietnam. He questioned, “Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs?”

Instead of trying to fix issues in Haiti and prioritizing international interests, Ruto should focus on serving his own citizens, whom he was elected to represent.

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