LETTER OF AN ACHOLI UNLA OFFICER: AFRICA NOW MAGAZINE, AUGUST 1984
The situation in Uganda
I am an Acholi army officer situated at one of the barracks around Kampala . I have, been forced to write this letter because of the numerous Ugandans of the’ Baganda ethnic group who are being killed by us soldiers on orders from our commanders. These unfortunate and innocent people (young and old, men and women, and even babies) are being killed by us every day at military barracks, in their homes, villages and streets in Buganda .
Instructions to kill are passed on to us by Acholi and Lango officers, and a few trusted Itesots, in the Luo language so that other Bantu soldiers may not know the idea behind the killings. We are ordered to kill Baganda of all ages so that this province with 4 million will be depopulated before the next general elections. By reducing the Baganda to a minority group, it will enable us northerners to rule Uganda without any problems from the Baganda.
Recently, we were sent to the Luwero area with instructions to kill everybody and destroy all the homes, cattle etc.
Thousands of people of all ages were killed, houses bombed, women and girls raped and a lot of property looted. A good number of the soldiers, particularly the Acholis, did this against their will for they see no reason for killing innocent people. The majority of us Acholis now wish to leave the army but are afraid of the consequences which will be brutal. We are told that after successfully depopulating Luwero and Mpigi Districts (which is currently being done) the next area will be Mukono and then Masaka. All this must be completed in 1985.
The purpose of this letter is to draw the attention of the world to the thousands of people who have been killed in government institutions, in villages, etc. and to the fate of innocent Baganda awaiting death. In fact more people have been killed in Buganda during the last two years than in eight years of Amin. History will show this.
I wish to end by appealing to all Uganda Army soldiers, especially the Acholis, to disobey the killing orders and save the lives of the Baganda – for humanity’s, sake and for the sake of our tribe’s future.
(Worried Acholi Soldier – Kampala, Uganda)