President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has urged army officers to protect Uganda from the divisive politics of identity, which he claims undermines national unity and the effectiveness of national institutions like the army.

Delivering a lecture to army officers at the Senior Command and Staff College Kimaka on Tuesday, at State House Entebbe, Gen. Museveni emphasized that the politics of identity has hampered the prosperity of many African nations and must be discouraged.

“You have seen what has happened in countries like Sudan, which has a lot of potential but has been hampered by leaders who engage in politics of identity, dividing people between Arabs and Africans, or Islamic groups against Christians. Sudan broke up. In Juba now, goods come from East African countries like Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania, whereas they used to come from Khartoum. Sudanese leaders destroyed their market with identity politics,” said President Museveni, who is also the Commander-In-Chief of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF).

Addressing 77 army officers, President Museveni recounted the negative impact of ethnic and racial politics in Uganda’s past, highlighting Idi Amin’s expulsion of Asians, which led to economic collapse. “When we took over the government, we returned their properties. Now, we have about 900 factories built by these Indians. Uganda’s economy grew by 6% this year and will continue to grow. Identity politics is wrong, and here in Uganda, we rejected it,” he said, stressing the need for broader markets to ensure prosperity.

“We need the East African market and the market of the whole of Africa to ensure our prosperity. That’s why, in addition to patriotism—love for Uganda—our second principle is Pan-Africanism. We dismiss ethnic politics as backward.”

Regarding security, President Museveni noted that many African countries struggle to build strong national institutions like the army due to ethnic divisions. “This was our problem during the time of people like Idi Amin,” he remarked.

Touching on the security situation in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, President Museveni asserted that resolving identity politics is crucial for stability, even with the presence of foreign forces.

Maj. Gen. George Igumba, the commandant of the Senior Command and Staff College Kimaka, reported that the delegation included 27 faculty members and 50 students, 13 of whom were from East African Community states and South Africa, while 37 were Ugandans. These students are set to graduate on Thursday, June 27.

“I’m delighted to report that the college has met expectations over its 20 years of existence, contributing to the professionalization of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) and the East African community forces through military training and education. Since its inception in 2004, the college has trained 726 officers from East African partner states and South Africa,” Maj. Gen. Igumba said.

He added that the college plans to embark on an ambitious infrastructure development program to increase enrollment to 100 students per intake over the next 3 to 5 years, reducing the backlog of untrained officers at the grade two staff college level.

The Senior Command and Staff College (SCSC) Kimaka is Uganda’s premier military training institution, providing operational level training for mid-level military officers of the UPDF and officers from allied foreign countries. The training focuses on military science and Peace Support Operations, aiming to enhance the officers’ analytical skills for modern military environments.

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