25 C
City of Banjul
Monday, March 1, 2021

Ukraine bleeds

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I have been following with keen interest the stories in your international news pages as well the coverage of satellite news channels on the current political crisis in the Eastern European country of Ukraine. 

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The events in Ukraine have attracted great attention, especially at the international level. I therefore, kindly ask you to give me space in your widely read newspaper, to add my voice to the debate. 

The intervention by Russia is believed to have exacerbated the situation in that country. Taking reference of Article 2(4) of the UN Charter, no Member of the UN shall intervene in the internal affairs of another member country.

In letter and spirit, this provision is geared towards protecting the sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity and sanctity of member states of the United Nations. 

However, the Security Council of the UN shall have the power to intervene in any country whose actions pose a threat to global peace and stability. But this should be based on the consent of the Members. If I may ask: Was Russia’s intervention in accordance with international law? My question is quite rhetorical, isn’t it? 

To give the readers a historical background, Russia supported Crimea in its fight against polish domination in 1654. Three hundred years later, in 1954, Russia granted Crimea to be part of Ukraine. And, in 1991, when the collapse of the Soviet Union was eminent, Crimea voted in a referendum to be politically part of Ukraine. In 1992, Crimeans voted again in a referendum to gain full autonomy from Ukraine. The government in Kiev was fully against Crimean autonomy while Russia supported Crimea’s decision.

In 1994, Crimea elected their first president and all along Russia supported it. For, historically both Crimea and Ukraine were part of Russia and Kiev was in fact the first capital of the USSR. So politically, Crimea is part of Russia.

However, the United States stood firm and criticised Russia’s action, threatening to impose severe economic sanctions on Russia. Yes indeed, that is what we call ‘Deterrence’ in international law; it is acceptable in international law. 

Conversely, I believe the US should have first thought of her infamous actions in Iraq, Cuba, Somalia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Kosovo et cetera. A wrong cannot correct a wrong.

As we speak, those in Donetsk are also protesting demanding their autonomy from Ukraine. They call for a ‘Republican’ Donetsk. This is just getting out of hand.

Nevertheless, this should not be an obstacle to the restoration of stability in Ukraine. The international community, the UN in particular, should put forward measures and work tenaciously to bring normalcy in the Crimean region and Ukraine as a whole rather than leaving the US to take the game as their own. 

 

Lamin Bojang 

Bakau

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