Crimea: some lessons for Africa

Editor, This is a very good article and food for thought on the African continent. The people of Crimea exercised their democratic right, but you find powerful nations, thousands of miles away, claiming they are not happy with what the Crimeans want. 
Local residents vote on the Crimean referendum in Simferopol. Voters had two choices: Joining the Russian Federation or “restoration of 1992 Crimean Constitution and Crimea’s s....
Local residents vote on the Crimean referendum in Simferopol. Voters had two choices: Joining the Russian Federation or “restoration of 1992 Crimean Constitution and Crimea’s s....

Editor,

REFER TO Lonzen Rugira’s article, “Crimea: Reform the UN or expect a global jungle” (The New Times, March 24).

This is a very good article and food for thought on the African continent. The people of Crimea exercised their democratic right, but you find powerful nations, thousands of miles away, claiming they are not happy with what the Crimeans want. 

Are there people who are meant to choose for others what they want? The new world order should not be dictatorship of the powerful.

Vladimir Putin made logical arguments. However, as you pointed out, his logical actions, if taken up by other nations – especially in Africa – would bring about endless world disorder. 

Instead of redrawing the borders, artificial as they may be, we should focus on creating a better world. 

Indeed, reforms at the UN, especially the way the five permanent members of the UNSC work, are urgently needed.

Gerald, Rwanda

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THERE IS no secret, the West’s purpose is to take over the Russian Federation like they did with the Soviet Union. Putin made a wise decision for preventing it from happening (for now).

In regards to Africa, people need to observe borders as fixed by the Berlin Conference. Moving backward will create more unnecessary wars and ethnic conflicts that will likely benefit Western powers.

Mark you; no one will develop your continent, except yourselves as Africans. There will be no ‘marshal plan’ from the West to rebuild Africa or develop Africa. 

Whether Westerners or Orientals, we are there first and foremost for our own interests. That is the rule of the game on this planet earth.

Eddy Chico, Baltimore,
United States

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SELF-DETERMINATION is an inalienable right of any people, enshrined within the international law. There are, however, many factors, including historical, cultural, political, geographical, etc. that affect each individual case. 

There is no clear-cut prescription or specific rule, per se, to be followed to achieve separation, be it through independence (South-Sudan, Eritrea, etc.) or annexation as is the recent situation with Crimea.

There seems, however, to be consensus that any move by any part of a country towards self-determination must be allowed by its central government and, in many situations, other stakeholders, for it to be seen as legal and recognised internationally afterwards.

Cases that seem to follow the foregoing principle include the Italian region of Veneto, which is voting on whether to break away from Rome, following in the footsteps of Scotland – which wants to split from the UK – and Catalonia, which wants separation from Spain.

In Africa, we have the Western Sahara situation, which has not found a solution to date.

Albert, Lubumbashi,
DR Congo

 

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