Two longtime ‘enemies’, Gen David Sejusa and Col John Ogole have joined forces to fight President Museveni’s government.
Sejusa is a veteran of the NRA bush war that ousted the Milton Obote and Tito Okello Lutwa regimes while Ogole was the linchpin in the Obote army that fiercely fought the NRA in the Luweero Triangle.
Their union was announced by Gen Sejusa at the weekend, almost a week after he formed his ‘liberation’ group, Free Uganda, to oust his former boss, Museveni.
It is not yet clear how Sejusa and his associates intend to oust Museveni. Announcing the formation of Free Uganda, Sejusa vowed to use all constitutional means. It’s not clear if armed rebellion is an option although seeking alliances with soldiers like him speaks volumes.
Prior to agreeing a deal to work together to end “the current oligarchy” in Kampala, the two met severally over months in the UK, according to an email from Sejusa.
In his weekend email, Sejusa said he and Ogole had been leading their respective teams of officers, drawn from inside Uganda and in exile.
Although the details of their discussions remain scanty, both Gen Sejusa and Col Ogole have confirmed meeting and burying the hatchet, ostensibly for the “sake of Uganda”.
Commenting on his monumental meeting with Colonel Ogole, Sejusa said, “…for the sake of Uganda, everything is possible, including admitting past mistakes and moving forward, as a way of atonement. Reconciliation of the Ugandan people is the only viable way to bring about sustainable peace in our country. Our mission is to secure the future of Uganda so we must not use the past to obscure the mission of today.”
For his part, Col Ogole, as quoted in Sejusa’s email, said: “…it is true we have been meeting. Uganda is bigger than all of us. And everything that can bring peace and reconciliation in our country must be done irrespective of history both real and perceived.
This is a historic opportunity to heal the wounds of our country. It will advance a sense of nationhood for all the people of Uganda. In the post-Museveni Uganda, we will all feel that we belong”.
Last week, the army warned Sejusa that he would be crushed.
“The UPDF is a powerful institution, we have defeated over 20 rebel groups since 1987 so whoever tries to destabilise the country is joking with fire and will be dealt with, with full force,” said Lt Col Paddy Ankunda, the army spokesman.
Sejusa has been in the news headlines since April, when he fled the country. Shortly after, media reported his dossier in which he demanded an investigation into a rumoured plot to kill top army and government officials opposed to the alleged presidential ambitions of First Son Muhoozi Kainerugaba.
Brig Muhoozi heads the elite Special Forces Command, and both the government and the army have denied that he is eying his father’s job.
Ogole, now in his 60s, rose through the ranks in the Uganda Army. Now head of the Lango Elders Council in the UK, he joined the armed forces in the mid 1960s and served in several positions that included Adjutant, Commanding Officer; Brigade Commander; Deputy Director of Records; and Chief of Personnel in the Uganda National Liberation Army (UNLA).
Around 1983-5, after attending a military course at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, USA, he was deployed in the Luweero Triangle to fight the rebel NRA led by Museveni.
It is said Ogole, who came to be known as “a brilliant battle technician and chief strategist, commanded operations that gave NRA fighters a bloody nose, leading to the guerilla group’s temporary disintegration.
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