Yahya Sseremba is a post-doctoral research fellow at Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISER), Makerere University in Uganda. He received his PhD from Makerere University in interdisciplinary social studies in 2019. He was awarded numerous awards from the Social Science Researdch Council’s Next Genderation Social Sciences in Africa Program: 2016 Proposal Development Award, 2017 Disserattion Research Fellowhsip, and the 2018 Complettion Fellowship. He also was a 2017 fellow of the Young African Scholars Program of the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation.
I seek to investigate the drivers of the ongoing so-called tribal violence that started in 2012 in the Rwenzori, western Uganda. This fighting, which involves the societies of the Bakonzo, Bamba, Basongora and Banyabindi in Kasese, Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts, has been explained as a consequence of ethnic and cultural differences, an explanation that I problematize. This explanation naturalizes these 'tribes' (ethnic groups) and ignores the history that created tribe as a political identity and the current political realities that reproduce this political identity and worsen the polarization of society. My project examines how the Ugandan state is responding to the historical legacy of the politicization of tribe and how this response is escalating the conflict. I will know my findings are valid if they are free from the faults identified the existing thematic and place-specific debates on the drivers of political violence in Africa, Uganda and the Rwenzori.