Thursday, September 10, 2009

The morning.

So this morning things seem to be more calm here in Mukono. It is kind of expected that flare ups will occur today, but I do not think that much is expected. With that being said I will try to explain why this happened.

In the 70's and 80's during the Idi Amin and Obote regimes Uganda was in perpetual civil war. A man named Yoweri Museveni helped to topple both of them, and in 1986 he assumed power of Uganda. During his leadership Uganda has been touted as having the best national system at HIV/AIDS control and prevention. With that being said there have also been flaws during his years in control. Most of all, the creation of what is essentially a one party system has been his biggest downfall. In 2006 just before the last elections he extended the time a president could stay in office and being basically unmatched he easily won, to the dismay of many.

There are many tribes within the borders of Uganda, tribes that were placed together in a room in Europe by the League of Nations, completely arbitrarily drawn lines that did not take tribal and ethnic differences into account.

Buganda is the largest Kingdom in Uganda, but still only is 20% of the population. Their language is Luganda. I live in Buganda here in the Mukono district, the suburbs of Kampala. Uganda was named after the Buganda. This Kingdom is so important because it encompasses Kampala, the largest city in Uganda, and the location of government offices. The Kings of Buganda, or Kabaka were among the first in Uganda to convert to Christianity in the late 1800's with English missionaries. The English kept their relationship up with the Kabaka and in 1962 Edward Muteesa, Kabaka (King) of Buganda became the first president of Uganda at the time of independence.

In 1966 Obote overthrew the King.
In 1971 Idi Amin took over through a military coupe.
Around 1980 in a war with Tanzania Amin lost power and this led to the return of Obote from exile.

So this leads back to where I started with Musevini leading a successful military campaign against both of these heinous leaders.

Today, the youth do not remember the civil war years of Uganda. Most of the older generation do and they are very loyal to Musevini for the most part, for he led to peace. But here is the problem, he is not Buganda. Today the Kabaka remains, but as a figurehead as far as the nation is concerned. But to the Buganda people he is more than that. The next election is 2011 and much violence is expected as there has never been a peaceful transfer of power in Uganda.

This week the Kabaka and the President spoke on the phone for the first time in two years. The president said that he was disrespected by the Kabaka. So yesterday when a high up government official tried to visit the Kabaka and was stopped by a police roadblock ordered by the president riots broke out. This of course was perpetuated by mob mentality, but most of all the youth angst against the president in general. This is a brief taste of the violence that is expected for 2011.

I hope this makes sense! It is pretty complicated. Pray for shalom in Uganda.

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