The recent attack of Banyarwanda herdsmen in Uganda’s central district of Masaka by their Ugandan counterparts brought a lot of mental ill feeling.These Rwandans were beaten and hacked with machetes by their Ugandans neighbors- even those that had been their good friends.
First of all, it makes me wonder whether the East African Community integration dream will actually be successful in the first place.
Secondly, I wondered how people, who have lived together for more than thirty years, can clash over issues like land.
Well, it’s true that every country has its own style of doing things but I’m sure, as some one who was born and raised up there, that Uganda is a country that respects human rights and visitors.
In Rwanda, for example, foreigners have always felt at home irrespective of where they came from. None of them, insofar as I know, has been harassed or attacked their neighbors to the extent of hacking them with machetes over land disputes.
Though this has never happened in Rwanda, security and local authorities are always vigilant and make sure that they have an eye on every citizen’s welfare and security.
Ugandan authorities, too, should use the same strategy and save the lives of her East African citizens and other guests.
A fully integrated EAC will be attained if member states’ citizens are living under one umbrella along with the free movement of citizens. However, if the leaders of the regional bloc move at a slow pace, the EAC common goals will remain a mirage.
For Rwanda and Ugandan citizens particularly, it is horrible that such incidents happen. As it is said ‘that a friend in need is a friend indeed’, EA citizens should take note on this idiom and help each other in times of need-and not hack each other as soon as there is a simple dispute.
Rwandans have been in Uganda for quite a long time. As someone who was born and raised in that country, these events have hit close to home- those Rwandans could have easily been me or my relatives.
It is disappointing to see citizens who have been brothers and sisters for so long turning against each other.
In Western Uganda where my parents flew seeking refugee, social life was unique. They lived peacefully with Ugandans. If Ugandan government doesn’t act strictly to stop this, Rwandans in Uganda will no longer feel at home.