1. Let’s remember, this turbulence in relations with our brotherly country was started with refugee kidnaps, including one particular one who was found in a UNHCR safe house, tortured until his tormentors, who included Rene Rutagungira thought he was dead, then dumped his body in Mabira forest. Residents around Mabira found ‘the body’, except Pascal Manirakiza had not died yet. I operated on him, discharged him only to find his name on Rwandan refugees who had disappeared in Uganda.
But he was not the only one. Other 50 or more Rwandans had either been killed in Uganda or killed in Rwanda following their kidnapping operations.
2. There was terror meted on Ugandans through shocking, dramatic and frightening assassinations of Ugandan politicians, senior civil servants and security personnel.
3. Still Uganda is committed to peace.
I will qoute JFK once more:
First: Let us examine our attitude toward peace itself. Too many of us think it is impossible. Too many think it unreal. But that is a dangerous, defeatist belief. It leads to the conclusion that war is inevitable–that mankind is doomed–that we are gripped by forces we cannot control.
We need not accept that view. Our problems are manmade–therefore, they can be solved by man. Man’s reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable–and we believe they can do it again.
I am not referring to the absolute, infinite concept of peace and good will of which some fantasies and fanatics dream. I do not deny the value of hopes and dreams but we merely invite discouragement and incredulity by making that our only and immediate goal.
Let us focus instead on a more practical, more attainable peace– based not on a sudden revolution in human nature but on a gradual evolution in human institutions–on a series of concrete actions and effective agreements which are in the interest of all concerned. There is no single, simple key to this peace–no grand or magic formula to be adopted by one or two powers. Genuine peace must be the product of many nations, the sum of many acts. It must be dynamic, not static, changing to meet the challenge of each new generation. For peace is a process–a way of solving problems.
With such a peace, there will still be quarrels and conflicting interests, as there are within families and nations. World peace, like community peace, does not require that each man love his neighbor–it requires only that they live together in mutual tolerance, submitting their disputes to a just and peaceful settlement. And history teaches us that enmities between nations, as between individuals, do not last forever. However fixed our likes and dislikes may seem, the tide of time and events will often bring surprising changes in the relations between nations and neighbors.
So let us persevere. Peace need not be impracticable, and war need not be inevitable. By defining our goal more clearly, by making it seem more manageable and less remote, we can help all peoples to see it, to draw hope from it, and to move irresistibly toward it.
Second: Let us reexamine our attitude towards those who do us wrong. It is discouraging to think that their leaders may actually believe what their propagandists write, that Uganda means to harm any of our neighbours by force of arms.
Truly, as it was written long ago: “The wicked flee when no man pursueth.” Our people must not to fall into the same trap and not see only a distorted and desperate view of the other side, not to see conflict as inevitable, accommodation as impossible, and communication as nothing more than an exchange of threats.
So, let us not be blind to our differences–but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.
For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.
Third: Let us reexamine our attitude toward towards our sour relations with Rwanda, remembering that we are not engaged in a debate, seeking to pile up debating points. We are not here distributing blame or pointing the finger of judgment. We must deal with the world as it is, and not as it might have been.
We must, therefore, persevere in the search for peace in the hope that constructive changes within Rwanda, might bring within reach solutions which now seem beyond us.
To secure these ends,…… our weapons are nonprovocative, carefully controlled, designed to deter, and capable of selective use. Our military forces are committed to peace and disciplined in self- restraint. Our diplomats are instructed to avoid unnecessary irritants and purely rhetorical hostility.
For we can seek a relaxation of tension without relaxing our guard. And, for our part, we do not need to use threats to prove that we are resolute. We are willing and able to engage in peaceful competition with any people on earth.
But wherever we are, we must all, in our daily lives, live up to the age-old faith that peace and freedom walk together. In too many of our cities today, the peace is not secure because the freedom is incomplete.
All this is not unrelated to world peace. “When a man’s ways please the Lord,” the Scriptures tell us, “he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.”
And is not peace, in the last analysis, basically a matter of human rights–the right to live out our lives without fear of getting assassinated–the right to speak out openly to power without fear of disappearing and leaving behind young families–the right of future generations to live their lives without fear of fork tongued politicians who sow seeds of division and tribal wars, which are by their nature total wars–the right for future generations to live out their lives without being condemned because of the actions of their parents— the right for all Africans to be identified by their shared culture, rather than visceral, primitive, bigoted & parochial dogma or ideologies?
The world should now know that Uganda will never start a war.
We do not want a war.
We do not now expect a war.
This generation has already had enough–more than enough–of war and hate and oppression.
We shall be prepared if others wish it.
We shall be alert to try to stop it.
But we shall also do our part to build a world of peace where the weak are safe and the strong are just.
We are not helpless before that task or hopeless of its success.
Confident and unafraid, we labor on–not toward a strategy of annihilation but toward a strategy of peace.
THE LAST SECTION OF THE WRITE UP WAS ADOPTED FROM PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY’S SPEECH: THE STRATEGY OF PEACE JUNE, 10TH 1963