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President Yoweri Museveni’s growing authoritarianism and the country’s weak institutions are multiplying Uganda’s challenges. Conflict risks at the local level are rising due to uncertain political succession, economic stagnation, a youth bulge and an influx of refugees from South Sudan. The state’s repression of political opposition and its increasing reliance on security responses to political problems is fostering discontent in politically and economically marginalised communities. Through field research in Kampala and conflict-affected areas, Crisis Group works to reduce the likelihood of local tensions escalating into violence. We indicate how Ugandan policymakers can embark on a process of democratic transition in order to reduce the risk of discontent turning into political instability, protest and violence.

CrisisWatch Uganda

Unchanged Situation

Authorities re-arrested opposition leader Robert Kyagulanyi and relations between Uganda and Rwanda remained tense. Police 22 April placed under house arrest singer-turned-opposition MP Kyagulanyi, known as Bobi Wine, after banning his concert in capital Kampala. Court 29 April charged Kyagulanyi for his involvement in illegal protest in 2018 and remanded him in prison. Protests in several areas of Kampala against his arrest 30 April led to clashes between police and protesters. Highest court 18 April endorsed constitutional changes removing age limit of 75 years for presidential candidates, enabling President Museveni to contest 2021 elections. In west, following 2 April kidnapping of U.S. citizen and Ugandan tour guide in Queen Elizabeth National Park on border with DR Congo, Ugandan authorities arrested eight people for involvement in kidnapping and 4 April arrested over 40 Rwandans near park for being in country without necessary immigration papers; unidentified kidnappers 7 April released American and Ugandan after safari company paid ransom. After Rwanda late Feb restricted travel across two of three principal border crossings with Uganda (Katuna and Cyanika), Rwanda relaxed restrictions at Gatuna, allowing Rwandans to enter Uganda during daytime, returning before end of day.

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Reports & Briefings

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Op-Ed / Africa

Bit by Bit, Uganda Is Laying the Groundwork for Future Unrest

Economically and politically, Uganda's government’s actions are leading to growing frustrations and lawlessness.

Originally published in African Arguments

Op-Ed / Africa

It’s in Uganda’s Interest to Keep Supporting South Sudan Peace Efforts

President Museveni will naturally defend Uganda’s short-term interests, but he should also work towards longer-term stability by supporting President Salva Kiir’s pledge to bring peace through ARCSS implementation, negotiations and national dialogue.

Originally published in Daily Monitor

Op-Ed / Africa

Uganda: An Opposition is Born

Originally published in The Africa Report