Global Advanced Research Journal of History, Political Science and International Relations ISSN:2315-506X
October 2013 Vol. 2(3), pp 041-052
Copyright © 2013 Global Advanced Research Journals



Nationalism, popular uprising and the un-doing of martial race concept in Uganda, 1971 to 1986

Charles Amone

Department of History in Gulu University, Northern Uganda. And Guest Researcher of the University of Southern Denmark in Odense. 

E-mail:; Tel:  Office: +256 0471432922, Mobile: +256772462901

Accepted 07 October, 2013


When, on 19th June 1979, newly installed President of Uganda Professor Yusufu Lule, announced plans to reform recruitment into the armed forces to reflect the ethnic composition of the country, he was ousted by the army the next day. His successor, Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa, made a similar mistake and attempted to end the hegemony of northerners in the military, by removing army Chief of Staff Brigadier Oyite Ojok. He also suffered a coup. The lesson Ugandans learned was that the century old military ethnocracy in the country could not be ended by a mere stroke of the pen. It required a protracted people’s struggle, which explains why Yoweri Museveni succeeded in 1986 where Lule and Binaisa had failed in 1979 and 1980 respectively. This paper illustrates the growth and metamorphosis of a military ethnocracy in Uganda, and how it was defeated through a popular people’s resistance.

Keywords: Nationalism, Military, Ethnocracy, Bantu, Nilotics, Acholi


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