• Students speak out on the Rwenzori conflicts

‘TOO EARLY TO CELEBRATE END OF TRIBAL CLASHES IN RWENZORI

image014JOSEPH AMANYA

Peace Club Member, Christ school Bundibugyo

Josephamanyastarren@gmail.com

The tribal clashses recently evidence in the Rwenzori sub-region date way back to 1921, and the post independence time of the 1960s (the Rwenzururu revolutions). The violent skirmishes that have been taking place in the last 3 years are likely to re-occur since it has been reported that some wrong elements are regrouping and were sighted with swords in areas of Kirindi, Kitara and Bundimulombi in Bundibugyo district using them to end lives of many. However much, the situation was calmed before it could graduate into a crisis.

After the scenarios, most people expected such attempts to be no more due to the pain it left behind to the victims. It is widely believed that some underlying issues which had led to the violent clashes were not attended to, as various sections of the warring tribes seem not have been satisfied by the government’s response and effort to end the clashes in both Kasese and Bundibugyo districts

It must be noted that the these recent clashes were orchestrated by opportunists, mainly politicians who want to build political bases using tribes. The massive killings amongst the local communities did not only cause mayhem in the region but also became a major national security concern. It caused loss of human labour, property, displacement, disruption of economic activities like agriculture and tourism,-as well as tension and fear in the region

Given the fact that there are issues that have remained unattended to, generations after us will see the relevance of clashes as they will be borrowing references from what is happening, making their togetherness unpredictable and living under tension.

Equally as the tendency is morally and legally unacceptable, using a stone to fight an armed soldier is a suicide attempt. This is either caused by sheer ignorance or the youth have some other hidden motivation.

It is also imperative to note that the measures used in attempting to end the crisis have yielded minimal success as they don’t cater for the causes and at times leave many people, leading to increased threats of vengeance.

Generally as we raise our voices through student led movements, let us involve those victimized in a collective struggle against this “kill or die” situation from not happening again. Let the responsible partisans take collective action and work with organizations like KRC to go on ground and interact with the locals in areas prone to the clashes. They should study and understand the nature of current religious, political and culture values which individuals and communities victimized are brought up on, they should asses how this has influenced their public conduct, relation with people of other ethnic linings, motivated their thoughts and mentalities on moral and legal aspects.

The move if considered will bring a sense of understanding of their beliefs and ; this will aid the production of possible measures basing on public opinions to bring persons on the right path, by giving spiritual and moral support to those who were victimized especially by losing their loved ones and property as a way of consoling.

In addition, to protect people from thinking otherwise let the government do all what it can with the best of its ability to strengthen the weak institutions in the societies such as poor service delivery, discriminating by ethnicity, failure of relevant authorities to perform their roles of providing needs to the people so as to protect the innocent crime victims who champion violence under directives of opportunists under the cover of liberation from the falsely alleged dilemma

This is predicted to save the people victimized in ignorance and change their attitudes which will save the states’ national output since the little gotten from the existing resources is drained in trying to prevent and eliminate such arising conflicts. The sums of money planted to end such clashes can equally cater or address their causes to provide room to handle arising conflicts of any nature rather than depending on argumentative dialogues.

Sensitize the public in affected areas to borrow reference from ancient history, the values, roles and traditions of cultural institutions in the region as kingdom based loyal groups have been the sole genesis of manipulating peoples’ minds, growing cultures of not valuing life and self importance to societies of residence seen by advocating for death in the scenarios, which have resulted into ethnic and political minded tortures which have seen strides in propagated tribalism and political violence that has never been called for.

IN conclusion, we need to involve the youth in and out of school who have often been used by conflict merchants is one pathway that can help to reduce and or curb dawn violent generations. Equipping the youth with Alternative Dispute Resolution {ADR} skills as its being done by a few CSOs in the region like KRC-Uganda, is one step forward to fostering positive peace. If government can adopt this and desist from fronting Military forces to respond to these grievances and create a positive image of the military and recover its lost glory in the minds of the people for now and fro the times to come.

 

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Kabarole Research & Resource Centre

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