The Ugandan Government has accepted to pay all the costs of flying the body of late Col. John Charles Ogole, the former UNLA Special Brigade Commander who died this week in London.
Col. Ogole, who has been living in exile since 1985 after the overthrow of Obote II regime, died on Wednesday at his residential home, a few days after he was removed from Central Middlesex hospital in London. He was 70.
Col. Ogole spearheaded a fierce military assault on the then National Resistance Army (NRA) rebel fighters in Luweero Triangle between 1983 and 1984 forcing the rebels to change tactics. Major General Pecos Kutesa, the Director of Doctrine in the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (NRA), was one of the top NRA commanders who faced Col Ogole. In his book “Uganda’s Revolution 1979 – 1986: How I saw It”, Kutesa says Ogole launched several offensives using blockade warfare, where thousands of troops flooded the operational area and dug in. Unlike Brigadier Bazilio Olara Okello who was deploying ill-trained forces, according to Kutesa, Ogole deployed well-trained and disciplined fighters.
Col. Ogole who hails from Adyeda parish, Loro Sub County in Oyam district succumbed to prostate cancer after battling with it for several years. He leaves behind 10 children and two wives, Josephine Angom and Grace Ogole. His family has been living with him in exile.
On Thursday, while attending the burial of late Mary Ogwal in Dokolo town council, Dokolo district, President Museveni told mourners the government is willing and ready to help bring back Col Ogole’s body. In his brief statement, Museveni said he shall provide all the financial demands to ensure that Ogole’s body is brought back to Uganda for burial.
The relationship between the late Ogwal, 99, and President Museveni dates back to the late 1970s when they met in Tanzania during the struggle to oust Idi Amin.
Museveni’s statement followed a request from Ogole’s family conveyed to him through the organizing committee for his burial and Lango parliamentary group chairperson Felix Okot Ogong. Robert Olet Egwea, a London based Ugandan journalist welcomed President Museveni’s decision describing the President as a nationalist and not after revenging.
There have been rumours that Museveni would not allow Col.Ogole’s body to be brought to Uganda. On Wednesday Ogole’s sister Margaret Apio confirmed that arrangements were underway to fly the body back home.