Hadn’t Obote resorted to military which was dominated by Northerners during 1966 crisis, nobody would have talked about Anyanya, Luo, Acholi, Langi etc……The main source of data on the composition of Uganda Army (UA) in the evening of Obote I is Olara Otunnu’s brother:
Omara-Otunnu, Amii (1987), Politics and the Military in Uganda, 1890-1985, (London: Macmillan).
When you look at pages 80-82, he indicates that, by December 1969, the Uganda Army officer corps was 171 strong. Of that, 141 officers were from the North of the country: 88%. Rank and file reflected similar ethnic proportions.
At that time, 61% of Uganda Army were from the north of the country, whereas the North constituted 19% of the national population. I think some people’s question on who did the recruitment is neither here nor there, although of course the answer is obvious.
The C-in-C, AM Obote had the opportunity to redress some of those imbalances in 1964 following the mutinies in all the EAC countries, following which, Mw. Nyerere disarmed, disbanded and dismissed the colonially recruited Tanganyika Rifles, and set out to form a new force, who were not mere rifles, but JWTZ: Jeshi la Wanainchi. He locked up the leaders of the mutiny. Mzee Kenyatta did the same.
On his part Dr Obote dismissed the 300 or so mutiny leaders on 24 January 1964, and roundly reinstated them on 25 January 1964. He honored all their demands, upheld the promise that Felix Onama made to the soldiers at Jinja Barracks, through a tiny window at the quarter guard, of increasing soldier pay 135-300%…..and promoting all the ring leaders; after which, Uganda’s defence budget became more that 10% higher than that of Kenya and Tanzania combined; and Uganda Army soldiers became the highest paid in Anglophone Africa. The game AM Obote was playing is well-known. The rest, as they say, is hysteria! or is it historia in Swahilli?
Lance Corporal (Rtd) Otto Patrick