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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 cracked down on opposition and media and tensions rose between Uganda and Rwanda. In capital Kampala, police 4 Nov blocked supporters of opposition party Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) from reaching rally venue, prompting FDC supporters to march to their party headquarters. Police used tear gas, water cannon and live ammunition to disperse crowds and arrested some 50 FDC members including former FDC head Kizza Besigye. Police same day used tear gas and rubber bullets to break up demonstration of some 50 journalists protesting police brutality against journalists. Govt 14 Nov shut down more than 12,000 mostly local NGOs that had failed to register and obtain permits to operate. In Rwanda, Rwandan security forces 4 Nov shot and wounded Rwandan national returning from Uganda and 10 Nov shot dead two Ugandan citizens accused of smuggling tobacco into Rwanda. Ugandan govt 12 Nov sent protest note to Rwandan govt condemning killing of its nationals. Security forces 25 Nov arrested 35 Rwandan and four Congolese nationals in Kisoro in south west for illegally entering Uganda. President Museveni 7 Nov hosted peace talks in Entebbe between South Sudan’s warring parties who agreed to push back by 100 days deadline for formation of transitional govt.

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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