Accueil > Actualités > Rencontres

Decolonial Insurgents : The Rwenzururu Secessionist Movement astride a Congo-Uganda border, 1962-64

Le 13 novembre 2023 à 14h
Campus Condorcet, salle 3.122, 3e étage, bâtiment recherche Sud, 5 cours des humanités, 93300 Aubervilliers

Participer à la réunion Zoom
ID de réunion : 202 755 5153
Code secret : 592114

 David Ngendo Tshimba, directeur du Centre of African Studies de la Uganda Martyrs’ University

Abstract :
Drawing from a panoply of primary sources—ethnographic, archival and oral—this paper study brings to the fore an epochal insurgency that peasants from the highlands of the Rwenzori ranges sustained in the first half of the 1960s. The Rwenzururu Secessionist Movement (RSM) under the aegis of Isaya Mukirane is here placed on the historical continuum of highland peasant resistance against European colonial modernity. The ppaper’s geo-historical focus is two-fold : the political violence that unfolded in the just independent Congo following the assassination of Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba and the expediently negotiated political settlement in would-be independent Uganda following the Kabaka Yekka-Uganda People’s Congress alliance that propelled Milton Obote to premiership in would-be independent Uganda. At the conflation of these fast-paced political developments was the fanning of the RSM, which now found a political expression in a trans-border fight for autonomy from both independent Congo and independent Uganda. Though short-lived, the asylum of Mukirane and his comrades-in-arms in the post-Lumumba assassination Congo would prove far more consequential for the Rwenzururu struggle for political sovereignty. How RSM insurgents would soon view the colonial-cum-independent state, on both sides of the international border, as political decrepitude is the overarching argument derived from the study’s fieldwork. RSM insurgents, this paper substantiates, looked to reclaim a deeper history and a wider geography—akin to the precolonial Yira confederacy—in asserting a Rwenzururian polity out of steps with post-independence times.