Who is Col. John Ogole?

Colonel John Ogole was the officer of Uganda National Liberation Army [UNLA] WHO spearheaded the ejection of Kaguta and his rebel peasant army,from the bushes of Luwero between 1983/84.

Before taking Command of the then Mobile Brigade;he had completed successfully a counter-insurgency officers training at Fort Lavenworth Kansas United States . It is of no wonder that Colonel John Charles Ogole became a brilliant battle Tactician and chief Strategist during the peak battle against Kaguta and his NRA/M.

By 1984 Yoweri Kaguta Museveni had fled in panic and promptly sought asylum in the ”safe” sanctuary of Sweden as Colonel Ogole dispersed and unleashed superior fire power on what remained of Kagutas’ peasant army,many surrendered,some fled in great panic in the Rwenzori region of Western Uganda,some crossed into Zaire now renamed Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC. Actually , those who were fleeing to the DRC were mainly Rwandese of Tutsi descent. You should recall that many of them had been violently expelled from Ankole and so being uprooted from Luwero meant that they had to go some where else .

Zaire was the only natural choice because of its’ vast deep forests. Since they had hope to resume/continue their struggle against Habyarimana, that is when they moved towards Rwenzori mountains and had expected to cross through Fort Portal, Mitandi into Congo when lady luck struck. Instead they moved on into Kasese, Mbarara Katonga and eventually Kampala. Four years later, on October 1st, struck Mirima Hills/ Kagitumba and after a disastrous start in which they were completely annihilated, the remnants headed out again towards DRC settling in Virunga mountains were many of their comrades died of cold, hunger and diseases. It would again take them four years to bring the hutu regime in Kigali on their knees, thanks to Yower Kaguta Museveni pay back.

It is said that even former Zairean President Mobuto Sseko had contacted Obotes’ government to arrange for repatrations of the national resistence fighters through United nations Refugee Section but as fate would have it , the Okellos coup against Obote was staged on 27th July 1985 and a LIFE LINE was thrown to Kaguta .

When Museveni {aka Kacumita} got an early morning call in Sweden as he waited on his asylum application, that UNLA had overthrown itself, he could not believe his ears thinking that it was a joke. But no, it wasn’t. I can only bet that it still is news in his ears considering how he has had to stay in power for all these years using any means.
For someone who had lost all hope and then is handed power on a silver plate, relinquishing it, is going to be a huge problem.
Col John Ogole is now a grey haired retired man whose appearance and demeanor does not seem like the man NRA dreaded most lives in London , UK.

Greetings from Gisoro.
Turikumwe Ijana kwijana.

Allow me to spice it a little, by1985 because of the causalities that UNLA had incurred, the divide between the Acholi and Langis officers and men widened so much that suspicion brewed up that it was on purpose to exterminate them,if you may recall this was the same time when long serving Lt. col. Otheino was Ambushed and killed in western Uganda on his way from Kasese exhasubeting the already bad relationship.

Who was Lt. Col Othieno?

Lt. col Otheino was the commanding officer in Mbarara between 1982 to 1985 i do remember that Cpt.Smith Opona Achac served under him,as you may recall Cpt. Smith was harrydly promoted to replace the late Brigadier David Oyite Ojok. This hurried promotion for a Langi to replace A fellow Langi did not go well with so many senior Acholi Officers who felt more experienced , it widened the already existing cracks much of it caused by massive pressure on UNLA locally and internationally, in the mean time a plan was hatched in 1985 to get rid of all the negative forces before the general elections, most top brass army officers and opposition politicians were to fall suit.

It’s alleged that the plan was to stage a fake military coupe by loyalist troops based in Nakasongola to temporarily overturn the Government of Obote as he toured the Eastern region with then minster of internal affairs Luwuliza Kirunda.
This failed coupe turned up to become the great uncoordinated movement of troops as code named by the Late VP Paul Muwanga, the rest is now history. Those of you with good memorry should recall by this time VP Muwanga and his boss were standing on opposite sides of the pond , he also reshuffled his escort detail replacing all the Langi officers with Acholis and people from other regions in fact there was a young Assistant inspector of police on his detail i wonder where he is today ,what of Makanya who almost looked like his boss.

In conclusion, yes NRA did suffer a blow when Katushas and helicopter gun ships were introduced in the battle field, NRA made a tactical withdraw to western Uganda Rwenzori Mountain ranges, UNLA made attempts to dislodge them from the hills but failed resulting in many UNLA Recruits recruited by then Cpt. Namiti being Mascared in hundreds. If the late Namiti was a live today he would be called to explain.

The push towards Kampala was UN stoppable as so many players had taken the stage in Kampala, this was followed by the great Nairobi peace Jokes.

joseph magandazi




4 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Peter Okello Maber,

    You seem to contradict yourself. Yous say Col. Ogole drove the NRA to Zaire i.e. defeated them in Luwero and yet again you say that the high casualities by NRA on the UNLA caused a division in UNLA which among other things led to the coup against Obote. So what is the truth, who was winning the war: the UNLA or the NRA?

  2. Good history for us the young generation. Could you plz post some of the pictures for opon Acak, col Obot.

  3. Pacu otoo, am waiting for u to write more about opon acak and his pictures.plz respond.

  4. Karamagi Alex Baguma Abooki,

    Thank you so much for keeping us updated on Uganda’s history. Give us more pliz

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