A war for good governance

Women and Children the most Vulnerable group in a civil war

When I was young I had no idea why people of the same country wage a war against each other. As I grew up I learned from the media that people wage wars because they want to see good governance. The idea of war for good governance brought me to these questions.

  • Do wars really bring good governance?
  • Why do civil wars last for a long time?

It was 1994 when I first heard of the civil war in the neighboring country Rwanda. A war which flooded neighboring countries with a lot of refugees, mostly women and children. To date I have witnessed several civil wars all over the world with the same motive of bringing good governance according to news agencies. In a simple definition good governance entails ensuring communities have access to better health care systems, water, food, shelter, employment to earn their income, rule of law and both men and women have a voice in decision making. On the contrary to this, civil wars have displaced millions of people and left them without basic amenities, yet armed groups claim that we want to bring good governance in the country. 

Recently I invited five Bowling Green state University students to discuss the concept of war for good governance. All of them agreed with me that civil wars have not resulted into good governance. A student from France said, rebels have attacked government infrastructures to weaken the government and to make it unpopular to the community. Governments have also attacked their own infrastructure when they suspect that there are rebels hidden in them and wage war from them added a student from America. A British student highlighted that; it is obvious when you ask a refugee in Lebanon if he believes there will be good governance after a war, he will say "I am deprived of basic amenities, there is not and there won’t be good governance".

Generally civil wars have weakened the economy and slowed economic growth, however instigators of war often look at their own personal gain. In most cases armed groups wage war with the essence of capturing economic resources such as minerals and enrich themselves from them. Sometimes, government officials divert funds from these resources into their pockets triggering mass uprising stressed a French student. Diverting funds for personal use has led most of the government officials to amend their constitutions or use their military to stay in power, leading to uprising of dissatisfied communities added a Japanese student. The student also cited Arab spring, reminding me that most of the countries experiencing mass uprising had leaders who stayed in power for a longer time than expected.

A war for good governance will be successful if instigators realize that they are not really waging a war against individuals showing poor governance, but economic resources and infrastructures. Civil wars have proven to decelerate economic growth since most of the infrastructures are damaged by the war. In most cases the instigators fight with the same motive of stealing and benefiting from economic resources. This accounts for the endless civil wars in the world.  The war for good governance should be fought in a general election where the right candidate who can assure good governance is selected.

United Republic of Tanzania