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Culture Key to Military Success, says Government Chief Whip

culture key to military success says government chief whip
culture key to military success says government chief whip

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The government Chief Whip, Hamson Obua, has underscored the importance of military personnel understanding the cultures of the communities in which they are deployed. Obua believes that a thorough understanding of local cultures and values enables men and women in uniform to better serve the communities.

Obua presided over the opening of a cultural gala at the Senior Command and Staff College, Kimaka, on Sunday. During the event, he expressed the view that a society without a culture is like a water vessel without a compass.

The gala brought together officers from nine countries: Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Malawi, and South Africa. The officers collaborated on presentations about underrated cultural aspects that are crucial for promoting peace and unity across Africa and the world.

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Military officers from these countries conducted research studies on different ancient cultural practices that were once active enablers of peace and security across Africa.

The understanding of cultural nuances in military operations has gained prominence globally, especially since the September 11th, 2001 terror attacks in the US. Recognizing and respecting local cultures where the military is deployed is considered essential in countering insurgency.

Obua emphasized that when military personnel comprehensively grasp the role of culture in governing society, their conflict resolution approaches become people-centered, deriving local solutions to local problems.

He highlighted that cross-cultural interactions among forces from different African countries could enhance peace efforts, guiding military officers on effective collaboration with civil communities in developing workable conflict resolution mechanisms.

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Enriching military training curricula with cultural aspects, according to Obua, can foster cosmopolitan joint operations among forces of different countries, contributing to the common good and ensuring security within civil populations.

Prioritizing cultural aspects in the training of senior military officers, he argued, is fundamental and universally redefines their international ratings, as the success of military operations depends significantly on the support of the civilian population.

Notably, some participating military officers come from countries involved in UN peace operations, and the course takes place amid military coups and accusations of highhandedness and human rights abuses by some African military forces.

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The commandant of Senior Command College, Major General George Igumba, stated that this year’s cultural gala aimed to remind officers of the significance of culture in peace initiatives across Africa and globally. The theme was “Harnessing African unity and security through the promotion of our rich cultural diversity for a common destiny.”

Military students emphasized that many global security concerns arise from resource scramble, supremacy, and border disputes. Consequently, their research focused on integrating ancient cultural practices into modern security standards to foster harmonious dispute resolution, socio-economic security, and ensure food and water safety, among other aspects.