Uganda: Don’t be pushed into war by power hungry individuals

There is almost a consensus that the First World War should not have occurred. And we should learn a lesson from this war. It was very costly and led into the Second World War. Here are the costs.

“More than ten million men were killed in the war [when you add civilians killed or died of causes related to the war the number is higher], a whole generation wiped out. In a single day, the British lost 60,000 in the battle of the Somme. … In the siege of Verdun, the two sides had 1.2 million killed. Worldwide, the Spanish influenza epidemic took more lives than even the war, an estimated 20 million. Genocide such as the slaughter of the Armenians, while not directly connected to the war, took millions more.

Besides the dead, 21 million were wounded in the war; 7.5 million were taken prisoner or missing in action. Shipping losses totaled 15 million tons, of which 9 million were British.

All the belligerents mobilized 63 million. The total gross cost of the war was estimated by E.R.A. Seligman at more than $232 trillion during the fiscal years of combat. The daily expenditure by all belligerents was $164 million”(Chronicle of the 20th Century 1987).

The wars that have happened in Uganda since independence could have been avoided. But we have had leaders that are greedy for power and cannot get it by popular means. Amin carried out a coup of 1971 to save his skin regarding the millions of dollars that were missing from the defense department and asked to answer questions about the murder of Brig. Okoya and his wife. Amin pushed Uganda into a war with Tanzania to divert domestic problems. Museveni dragged Uganda into a costly civil war that reduced the people of Luwero Triangle alone in half because he lost the election in 1980.

Now we have Sejusa/Otunnu and Kafero who are behind the agitation for war. FADDU was not talking war until yesterday after it joined with the “dead’ FUF of Sejusa and Otunnu to form the so-called FADDU/FUF (Remember after they buried FUF Sejusa asked Otunnu to form another group to continue the agitation for war!).

Let me advise Ugandans once again. Before you decide to team up with an individual or a group do some research and find out who the people are. For example, who are FADDU members? Who leads them? When was FADDU formed? Where were they before? Why did they choose to join with FUF that died a few weeks ago and was buried in London? Check their record and character and then decide what to do and don’t blame anyone else should you discover you made a wrong choice.

These people who are agitating for war are living in exile relatively well with their families (you should see the vehicles they drive and how expensively they dress) in North America and Europe and elsewhere. Sejusa has joined them and is stirring them for war.

As Ugandans know very well I am not Museveni fan but I don’t have to recommend a dangerous course because I want NRM out of the way. Some argue that war is the only alternative because demonstrations have failed. They are not the only method available. In fact the demonstrators and their leaders started with the wrong method. The Hague Process (THP) has issued some 200 methods to choose from depending upon local circumstances. 70 percent of authoritarian regimes have been removed from power by non-violent means. That is a fact. Those who oppose me don’t have evidence to prove me wrong. They resort to desperate personal attacks only to reveal their character. I know some of them and have dealt with them directly. They have nothing to offer. Let them come out and show their record. Instead they hide under fake names and email addresses.

You saw what happened in South Sudan. When war started the president of South Sudan called on Museveni to save him and the war is still on. People are dying of bullets or of starvation or diseases connected with the unnecessary war. Look at Central African Republic. It started as a small thing by a few disgruntled people who wanted power by a military coup. The country has been engulfed into a war or instability/insecurity that may not end soon.

Must we listen to a few power hungry people who are worried that those advocating peaceful resistance might win?

Some people are calling on the youth to arm themselves and fight. The choice is yours but who is pushing you and what is their motive? Please study Uganda to the Rescue (UTR) and now FADDU that has joined with a “dead” FUF to wage a war. People have said I am a pensioner. That is true but I am a pensioner with wisdom and experience and want to use them to prevent another reckless war that may destroy a whole generation of Ugandans like it happened in World War I. Do we really know who is behind this agitation for war? Luwero Triangle people were dragged into the war and lost 700,000 people and who is occupying their land. They wanted to do the same for Northern Uganda but thankfully that has not happened. Ugandans wake up and don’t be driven into a lion’s den.

Eric Kashambuzi