Tanzania and Uganda: Contrasting similarities
Zirker, D. (2015). Tanzania and Uganda: Contrasting similarities. In D. Zirker (Ed.), Forging Military Identity in Culturally Pluralistic Societies: Quasi-Ethnicity (pp. 53–68). Lanham, Maryland, United States: Lexington Books (an imprint of The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc.).
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Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya provide striking institutional comparisons and contrasts in both ethno-political dynamics and civil-military relations, although both Tanzania and Uganda, in what were arguably their most formative periods at least, displayed what Ali Mazrui described as "the most acute manifestation[s] of the crisis of identity," while employing ethno-politics to resist the remnants of their colonial dependency. ¹ Both manifested forms of invented military ethnic identities, or quasi-ethnicities, at one or another junctures, although under very different circumstances, and for very different purposes. After the infamous 1971 Idi Amin coup, Uganda reverted to government by an ethnic, or quasi-ethnic, "Muslim club,"² the Nubian "martial race," or "warrior class," that had originally assisted in the establishment of the British colony of Uganda, prompting Mazrui to comment in 1975 that "tribalism in Africa is unlikely to disappear within a single lifetime. " ³ And yet tribalism seems largely to have done precisely this in neighboring Tanzania except, perhaps, for the emergence of religious differences in the 1990s as potentially divisive and even catastrophic factors.
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