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

Political manoeuvring intensified ahead of 2026 general elections, with appointment of President Museveni’s son as army chief. 

Inter-govt tensions over succession continued. President Museveni 21 March appointed son, Lt-Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, as head of military, in move widely seen as grooming him for succession but also stalling Muhoozi’s informal campaign for presidency in 2026, when Museveni is expected to seek re-election. In lead up to appointment, Muhoozi continued campaigning efforts for newly formed Patriotic League of Uganda (PLU) as part of his presidential ambitions, including in Masaka district 15 March. 

Authorities warned that Allied Democratic Force remained threat. Military 18 March heightened alertness after receiving intelligence that suspected Islamic-State-affiliated Allied Democratic Force fighters had entered country from DR Congo, warning against large gatherings in churches, bars and other public places.

In other important developments. Viral social media campaign exposed corruption within parliament; under banner #UgandaParliamentExhibition, leaks from govt’s financial system made public on social media sparked outrage from late Feb through March; disclosures revealed mass corruption among parliamentarians across political spectrum including misuse of public funds on personal projects, wastage on foreign travel and excessive spending on partisan political activities. Meanwhile, court 12 March dismissed LGBTQ+ rights advocacy group Sexual Minorities Uganda’s petition seeking govt registration amid ongoing tensions around anti-LGBTQ+ laws. 

Continue reading

Latest Updates

Subscribe to Crisis Group’s Email Updates

Receive the best source of conflict analysis right in your inbox.