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“Politics Of Identity Undermines Prosperity,” H.E President Museveni Tells Army Officers

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has urged army officers to safeguard the country against the politics of identity which he said not only undermines national unity but it’s also responsible for the failure of national institutions like the army.

While delivering a lecture of opportunity to army officers of the Senior Command and Staff College Kimaka on Tuesday June 25, 2024, at State House Entebbe, Gen. Museveni reiterated that politics of identity has continued to undermine the prosperity of many African countries and it should be discouraged.

“You have seen what has happened in countries like Sudan which has got a lot of potential, but the leaders messed it up with the politics of identity between the ones who say they’re Arabs or Africans and the Islamic groups against Christianity. Sudan broke up. When you go to Juba now, the goods there are from East African countries like Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania but in the past, most of the goods were from Khartoum but the leaders in Sudan destroyed their market with the politics of identity,” said President Museveni who is also the Commander-In-Chief of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF).

He also informed the group of 77 army officers that politics of ethnicity and race had become a big problem in the past where some leaders like Idi Amin even expelled Asians which led to the collapse of the economy.

“When we came into the government, we returned back their properties. Now we have about 900 factories built by these Indians. The economy of Uganda this year grew by 6% and will continue to grow more. The politics of identity is wrong politics and here in Uganda we rejected it,” he noted, adding that whereas the economy of Uganda has grown, the internal market for the products is not enough.

“We need the East African market, and the market of the whole of Africa to ensure our prosperity. That’s why on top of patriotism – love Uganda, our second principle here is Pan-Africanism. So therefore, we dismiss ethnic politics as backward.”

On the issue of security, President Museveni emphasised that many African countries have failed to build strong national institutions like the army because they are infiltrated and divided based on ethnicity.

“This was our problem here during the time of the people like Idi amin,” H.E Museveni noted.

About the security situation in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the President urged that unless politics of identity is solved even the foreign forces will not do as much.

According to Maj Gen. George Igumba the commandant of the Senior Command and Staff College Kimaka, the delegation of 77 officers comprised 27 members of the faculty and 50 students.

The students comprised 13 foreign students; two from each East African Community states apart from DRC and Somalia. Two students were from the Republic of South Africa and one student from the Republic of Malawi while 37 were Ugandans. These are scheduled to graduate on Thursday 27th June 2024.

“I’m delighted to report to you that the college has lived up to the expectations over the past 20 years of its existence and we are making strides in as far as contributing to the professionalisation process of Uganda People’s Defence Forces -UPDF and the East African community forces through the professional military training and education. In this regard since its inception in 2004, the college has so far trained 726 officers from the East African partner states and the Republic of south Africa,” Maj Gen. Igumba told the President.

He added that the college desires embarking on an ambitious infrastructure development program which will in the long term see them increasing their enrollment to 100 students per intake from the next 3 to 5 years which will go a long way in reducing the backlog of untrained officers at the grade two staff college level.

The Senior Command and Staff College (SCSC) Kimaka is Uganda’s premiere Military training institution which conducts Operational Level training for mid-level military officers of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces and officers from sister foreign countries. The training is intended to impart to the officers the necessary skills in military science as well as Peace Support Operations. It is also aimed at equipping the officers with the level of training that enhances their analytical skills in order to make them relevant in a modern military environment.

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