By Goodluck Musinguzi
The Fore Fathers of Uganda People’s Defence Forces living and dead are proud of the institution that was built by blood and other sacrifices.
The violence in Uganda was threatening to tear down the country.
President Yoweri Museveni a young intelligence officer freshly deployed in the President’s office left for exile after Col Idi Amin Dada had led a successful coup against Dr Milton Obote.
Eight years of President Idi Amin Dada were climaxed with a devastating war involving Tanzania Peoples Defence Forces. In one year Uganda had three Presidents until another guerilla war was launched in Luweero, Central Uganda.
Building a united Uganda and forging a post war country was a sacrifice of thousands of people that were killed in the bushes, offices and homes in a bid to support a government that would form a strong army.
35 years ago, Uganda has largely been free of armed wars as Uganda People’s Defence Forces was built on a stable foundation, professionalized and well funded. President Museveni says he led an army with all sorts of people from different groupings.
“Much of my time I was in Tanzania, Mozambique etc. How many Banyankore or Westerners were there? We fought in the Luwero Triangle. Many Ugandan groups were there: Baganda, Banyankore, Barugwaara, Baruuru, Barundi, Banyarwanda, Baruuli, Banyoro”, President Museveni wrote in his latest missive.
Those fatigued by the success of Uganda People’s Defence Forces are trying to create a narrative which incidentally is supported by a few mistakes in a force of thousands of people. They say President Yoweri Museveni has not built a perfect army that gives each tribe the same numbers and offices.
President Museveni addresses the issue of tribalism, negative responders tried to cast the NRM as a system monopolized by people from western Uganda. They shared an unclear picture trying to show some army people. Kindly, leave our Armed Forces out of the nonsense of tribal debates.
Its easy to think the top most people are the one running affairs of the army or government but those who know how governments work the lower cadre make things happen. Gains of an army built on blood and other sacrifices cannot be destroyed by a narrative that create disharmony among individuals serving.
South Sudan is facing the challenge of tribalism, the perception of Dinka domination pervading the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA) by other ethnic groups is not new.
But it has become increasingly marked in a country with a fragile economy, limited opportunities for employment and deep-rooted patrimonialism throughout all tiers of government.
A lasting conflict in South Sudan would likely lead to further displacement of people, which would place an increased strain on host communities in neighboring countries. Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda already have a long history of accepting refugees from the Sudanese civil war.