CrisisWatch

Tracking Conflict Worldwide

CrisisWatch is our global conflict tracker, a tool designed to help decision-makers prevent deadly violence by keeping them up-to-date with developments in over 70 conflicts and crises, identifying trends and alerting them to risks of escalation and opportunities to advance peace.

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January 2023

Africa

Uganda

Tensions over President Museveni’s succession continued to run high within ruling party; authorities reinforced security along border with DR Congo.

Museveni’s son and ruling party’s old guard remained at loggerheads. Museveni’s son Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba 3 Jan lashed out at ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party’s old guard, saying he would “teach” them that “their time is absolutely over”; deleted tweet after Internal Affairs Minister Maj-Gen. Otafiire 5 Jan responded that Kainerugaba should not “disrespect” them. VP Jessica Alupo 8 and 12 Jan said President Museveni will stand for re-election in 2026; Kainerugaba’s allies next day denounced her assertion as “lies”. Meanwhile, main opposition party National Unity Platform 15 Jan welcomed 40 new members defecting from other prominent opposition party Forum for Democratic Change in move that could undermine parties’ recent efforts at building united front against NRM.

Security situation remained volatile along border with DR Congo. Army 4 Jan announced capture of leader of Islamist militia Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) unit that had entered Uganda from DR Congo and attacked civilians in Dec. Security forces around 12 Jan arrested individual in capital Kampala and seized bomb-making material, said suspect was involved in plot to attack govt officials and linked to ADF. Meanwhile, local media outlet Daily Monitor 8 Jan reported army was deploying troops in Kanungu district, near Congolese border, to prevent spillover of conflict between M23 insurgent group and Congolese army.

Several cattle-related incidents reported in Northern and Eastern regions. In Northern region’s Karamoja sub-region, suspected cattle rustlers 9 Jan killed three Kenyan pastoralists and stole over 100 cattle in Napak district. In Eastern region, residents 11 Jan drove Balaalo pastoralists out of Ongongoja sub-county to Katakwi district headquarters, accusing them of encroaching their grazing land; authorities ordered them to leave district by 15 Jan.

December 2022

Africa

Uganda

President Museveni’s son lashed out at ruling party amid growing internal rift over Museveni’s succession; army repelled ADF incursion from DR Congo; and authorities rejected UN allegations that Uganda served as rear base for M23 rebels.

Museveni’s son criticised ruling party, repression of opposition continued. In series of tweets, Museveni’s son Lt-Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba 2-3 Dec attacked his father’s National Resistance Movement (NRM) party, saying it “does not represent the people of Uganda”; 5 Dec condemned “those signing declaration against [us] in NRM”, possibly referring to recent calls for Museveni to run in 2026 election. In response, NRM Sec Gen Richard Todwong 14 Dec urged Kainerugaba to “respect” and stop “insulting” party. Parliament’s Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa same day criticised party’s old guard, saying NRM elders should not underestimate younger counterparts’ capacity to run state affairs. Security forces 30 Dec reportedly fired tear gas and arrested at least 30 people at rally of opposition leader Bobi Wine in capital Kampala.

ADF rebels raided villages close to DR Congo, attacks on security targets continued. Militants of Uganda-born, Islamic State-affiliated Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) 13 Dec crossed border from DR Congo into western Ntoroko district and opened fire at civilians, killing two; army engaged assailants, reportedly leaving 17 killed and capturing 13 others. Meanwhile, attacks on security installations continued. Notably, unidentified gunmen 9 Dec raided Kyabadaza police station in central Butambala district, killing two civilians.

Kampala rejected UN allegations about M23 using Ugandan territory as rear base. In report to UN Security Council, UN experts 16 Dec alleged M23 rebel group wreaking havoc in eastern DRC since March 2022 has been able to recruit in Uganda and move through Ugandan territory unhindered; also noted that Kampala denied knowledge of M23 presence on its soil, said it would “not condone any of Uganda’s territory [being] used to destabilise any country”.

In other important developments. UK 9 Dec sanctioned former Police Chief Gen. Edward Kale Kayihura over alleged police abuses under his leadership between 2005 and 2018, adding to U.S. sanctions imposed on Kayihura in 2019.

November 2022

Africa

Uganda

Govt deployed troops to DR Congo as part of East African regional force amid mounting allegations that Kampala supports M23 rebels; series of attacks targeted security infrastructure.

Spate of attacks targeted security installations. After gunmen 31 Oct shot two police officers dead in raid on Busiika police station in central Luwero district, unidentified assailants 14 Nov raided Kyanja police post in suburb of capital Kampala, reportedly leaving no casualties. Attackers 17 Nov also raided Gaddafi barracks in eastern Jinja district, killing one soldier, while police 23 Nov reportedly foiled attack on Nakulabye police station in Kampala. Deputy inspector general of police accused rebel group Uganda Coalition Front for Change of responsibility for 31 Oct attack.

Army moved against President Museveni’s former allies. Military 8 Nov arrested ten people, including relatives of former minister Maj. Abdul Nadduli, in Nakaseke district, reportedly over gun that went missing at burial of Nadduli’s son in late Oct; Maj. Nadduli late Sept had voiced criticism of Museveni’s alleged plan to have his own son, Lt-Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, succeed him. Security forces 8-9 Nov also deployed at farm of senior presidential adviser, retired Maj. Roland Kakooza Mutale, in Luwero district, accusing him of giving illegal military training to group of over 100 youths.

Govt faced growing accusations of supporting M23 rebels in DR Congo’s east. Congolese parliamentarians 1 Nov and civil society activists next day accused Uganda of supporting M23 and urged Congolese President Tshisekedi to severe ties with Kampala. Adding to concerns, Museveni’s son Kainerugaba 6 Nov publicly endorsed M23 rebels “fighting for the rights of Tutsi” in eastern DR Congo and issued veiled threat against anyone combating “those brothers of ours”. UN Security Council delegation 18 Nov met with Museveni in Kampala and reportedly asked him to clarify Uganda’s ties with M23. Kampala 21 Nov announced imminent deployment of 1,000 troops to eastern DR Congo as part of East African Community force battling armed groups there.

October 2022

Africa

Uganda

Tensions ran high as President Museveni’s son threatened to invade neighbouring Kenya and reaffirmed presidential ambitions.

President removed Kainerugaba from army role after threat to invade Kenya. In series of tweets 3 Oct, Museveni’s son, land forces commander Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, threatened to capture Kenya’s capital Nairobi. Govt next day distanced itself from Kainerugaba, committing to “good neighbourliness, peaceful co-existence” with Kenya, and Museveni 5 Oct apologised to Kenyans. Museveni 4 Oct removed Kainerugaba as armed forces commander, albeit promoting him to full general and keeping him as presidential adviser for special operations. After Museveni around 17 Oct said his son will “leave Twitter”, Kainerugaba 19 Oct said that “no one will ban [him] from anything”.

Kainerugaba’s presidential ambitions revived tensions over Museveni’s succession. Kainerugaba in same series of tweets 3 Oct said it was time for new generation to replace old guard; and 10 Oct pledged to devote time to the youth, Uganda’s largest voting bloc. Museveni 16 Oct declined to say whether he would support his son for presidency; also denied opposition Democratic Party leader and Justice Minister Norbert Mao’s claim that he joined govt in July after agreeing with Museveni to work together toward transition of power. Against backdrop of tensions, ruling party youth sections in Oct called on Museveni to stand for re-election in 2026.

Concern persisted over lack of free speech guarantees of new Computer Act. Museveni 13 Oct ratified controversial Computer Misuse Act, which criminalises using computer to send any information that might ridicule or degrade someone. Group of 13 activists, lawyers and journalists 17 Oct filed petition at Constitutional Court challenging law, citing free speech concerns; local NGO Legal Brains Trust hours later filed similar challenge at regional East African Court of Justice.

September 2022

Africa

Uganda

Cattle-related violence persisted in north, parliament passed controversial cyber law, and authorities continued operations in DR Congo’s east.

Several cattle-related incidents reported in Northern region. Despite recent lull in fighting between military and armed pastoralists amid food crisis in Karamoja sub-region, army 4 Sept reportedly killed seven cattle rustlers in Kaabong district. In neighbouring Acholi sub-region, suspected Karimojong cattle rustlers around 7 Sept reportedly killed two soldiers in Paimol sub-county and two civilians in Lapono sub-county (both Agago district).

Parliament passed cyber law in likely bid to curb dissent. Parliament 8 Sept passed cyber law criminalising use of social media to “ridicule, degrade or demean another person”, with penalties of up to five-year imprisonment; civil society group ICT Policy Centre for Eastern and Southern Africa (CIPESA) 12 Sept decried law as “draconian” bid to curtail free speech online and urged President Museveni to deny assent and return bill to parliament.

Uganda improved ties with neighbours, renewed operations in DR Congo’s east. Amid continued rapprochement with Rwanda, FM Odongo Jeje Abubakhar 1 Sept held diplomatic talks with counterpart Vincent Biruta in Rwandan capital Kigali; leaders agreed to convene Joint Permanent Commission by March 2023 for first time in over ten years. Kampala 1 Sept also paid first instalment of $325mn reparations to DR Congo – as ordered in Feb by International Court of Justice – for damages caused by Uganda’s military during occupation of parts of DR Congo in 1990s. Uganda and DR Congo 22 Sept reportedly extended joint military operations against Allied Democratic Forces rebels in eastern DR Congo for two months (see DR Congo).

August 2022

Africa

Uganda

Opposition parties joined forces against President Museveni, and latter conducted several security sector changes. Cooperation agreement signed in July between ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) and opposition Democratic Party (DP), and subsequent appointment of DP leader Norbert Mao as justice minister, prompted backlash. Four opposition parties – National Unity Party, Forum for Democratic Change, Justice Forum and People’s Progressive Party – and pressure group People’s Front for Transition of four-time presidential candidate Kizza Besigye 1 Aug signed their own alliance, vowing to join forces in general elections set for 2026. Amid opposition to Mao-Museveni alliance from within DP, police 16 Aug arrested eight party members, including one MP, for allegedly storming party headquarters in capital Kampala. Meanwhile, in rare move, Museveni 4 Aug promoted over 770 senior police officers in possible acknowledgment of police forces’ key role in holding out against anti-govt protests; same day replaced commander of presidential guard after only seven months in office, along with other changes; and 18 Aug undertook major military reshuffle, including appointing senior officers into army’s reserve forces and foreign service. In Northern region, Adilang sub-county authorities 23 Aug said attacks by suspected Karimojong cattle rustlers in Agago district over past week killed three people and forced 200 families to flee. Following deadly shooting by UN peacekeeping troops at Uganda-DR Congo border post in late July, police early Aug announced deployment of standby force to border with DR Congo to monitor tensions. Ugandan and South Sudanese militaries 6-7 Aug signed agreement to share intelligence on South Sudan rebels alleged to be hiding in Uganda and Uganda rebels alleged to be operating in South Sudan.

July 2022

Africa

Uganda

Police detained dozens for protesting skyrocketing food and fuel prices, while hundreds reportedly died of starvation in Karamoja sub-region. Residents of Jinja district, Eastern region, 11 July protested soaring prices of consumer goods, reportedly burning tyres and closing off Jinja-Kamuli highway; police fired tear gas and live bullets to disperse crowds, and 11-12 July arrested at least 25 people. Renewed protests 25 July erupted in Jinja: demonstrators blocked Jinja-Kamuli and Jinja-Iganga highways, burnt tires and pelted motorists with stones, while security forces used tear gas and arrested over 40. Meanwhile, authorities 1 July released opposition leader Kizza Besigye on bail after two-week detention on charges of inciting violence. Rising fuel and commodity prices, combined with drought, caused food shortages notably in Karamoja sub-region (Northern region), where officials around 19 July said over 200 people had died of starvation since beginning of month; govt 14 July said four of ten people in Karamoja have no food, with shortages particularly dire in Kotido, Napak, Kaabong and Moroto districts. Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) 4 July distanced itself from Twitter comments by commander of land forces and President Museveni’s son, Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, supporting Ethiopia’s Tigray rebels; statement came after Museveni late June ordered UPDF officers to stop sharing sensitive military information on social media platforms. UPDF 12 July confirmed pay rise for senior officers in move seen as effort to quell dissent in UPDF leadership. Meanwhile, armed forces continued operations against Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels in eastern DR Congo, notably capturing major ADF base in North Kivu province 3 July, and reportedly killing ADF commander in Ituri province 17 July (see DR Congo).

June 2022

Africa

Uganda

Govt extended joint military operation in DR Congo; authorities arrested opposition leader protesting govt’s approach to high commodity prices. Kampala and Kinshasa 1 June extended joint military operation against Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebel group in eastern DR Congo by two months. After M23 armed group 13 June captured Congolese town of Bunagana on Ugandan border, several Congolese MPs next day accused Kampala (and Kigali) of supporting M23, which both Uganda and Rwanda deny. Govt 14 June announced raising defence budget by nearly 15% to $1.02bn to strengthen operations in DR Congo. Authorities 16 and 20 June announced discovery of alleged ADF bomb-making material in Luweero town, west of capital Kampala, and arrest of 16 alleged ADF members in Mityana district, both Central Region. Army leadership 23 June reportedly placed military on highest level of combat readiness without providing reason. During trip to north eastern Karamoja region, President Museveni 8-9 June discussed growing opposition to govt’s attempts to disarm cattle keeping groups with local leaders and security forces, proposed series of measures to curb escalatory violence, which has left nearly 400 people dead since July 2021. In state of nation address, Museveni 7 June reiterated govt’s refusal to offer tax breaks or subsidies to address high commodity prices. Authorities 6 June released, and 14 June rearrested opposition leader Kizza Besigye, who was charged in May with allegedly inciting violence during protests criticising govt’s failure to cushion Ugandans from effects of price hikes. Army 4 June reportedly made incursion into South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria state and killed South Sudanese soldier. Amid improving relations with Rwanda, Museveni 23 June arrived in Kigali to attend Commonwealth heads of govt meeting.

May 2022

Africa

Uganda

Controversies over President Museveni’s son’s alleged political ambitions continued and protests over rising commodity prices erupted. Commander of Land Forces and President Museveni’s son Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba 2 May signalled presidential ambition in tweet saying he would “announce our political programme soon”. Member of Ugandan Law Society, Gawaya Tegulle, 6 May sued Kainerugaba – along with Chief of Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) Gen Wilson Mbadi and Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka – for violating constitutional ban on serving members of army engaging in political activities; Constitutional Court 9 May summoned defendants. Police 12 May placed opposition figure Kizza Besigye under house arrest in Kasangati town, Central Region, to prevent planned protest over skyrocketing commodity prices. In rare criticism of security forces by ruling party leader, Parliament Speaker Anita Among 17 May condemned brutal manner of arrest. Police 18 May withdrew from Besigye’s home, but 24 May arrested him as he addressed protest against soaring prices in capital Kampala; authorities next day charged Besigye with inciting violence. Security forces 3o May also detained six women protesting Besigye’s detention in Kampala. Museveni 22 May affirmed govt would not intervene to address commodity prices, including introducing food and fuel subsidies, despite fuel prices having risen nearly 20% in 2022. Kainerugaba 17 May said joint operation in eastern DR Congo would end as planned on 31 May before walking back statement to say future of operation depends on countries’ leaders; Congolese govt said withdrawal was “premature” and called for talks, which reportedly started in late May (see DR Congo). Uganda and Tanzania 6 May signed defence and security agreement paving way for intelligence sharing to ease protection of East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline traversing two countries.

April 2022

Africa

Uganda

Allegations that late parliament speaker was poisoned caused tensions, commodity prices rose markedly, and security operation against cattle-rustling in Karamoja continued. Following death of Parliament Speaker and Omoro county MP Jacob Oulanyah in March, Electoral Commission 9 April set timetable for by-election to fill vacant seat, with planned vote on 26 May. Oulanyah’s family 8 April announced son Andrew Ojok would run; during meeting convened by President Museveni, National Resistance Movement (NRM) party chairman, four NRM hopefuls 19 April agreed to step down in favour of Ojok. Following allegations from Oulanyah’s father Nathan Okori and NRM Vice Chairman for Buganda region Godfrey Kiwanda that Oulanyah was poisoned, police late March opened investigation and 11 April announced it was preparing summons including for Okori, Kiwanda and opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) leader Robert Kyagulanyi, known as Bobi Wine; govt maintained Oulanyah died from cancer. Museveni 15 April announced meeting of NRM caucus to discuss rising commodity prices; 26 April convened meeting, during which they agreed not to intervene with incentives or other measures, said that it could otherwise destabilise country. Meanwhile, in restive Karamoja region, army 14 April reportedly killed local council leader who was suspected of leading cattle raids in Napak district; army late March said it had killed 309 people in operation against cattle rustlers since July, prompting opposition Forum for Democratic Change 4 April to request that govt investigate alleged civilian deaths during military operation. Rwandan President Kagame 24 April arrived in Uganda on “private visit” in first trip to country in four years to attend Museveni’s son Muhoozi Kainerugaba’s birthday party, and met president to discuss regional security.

March 2022

Africa

Uganda

Crackdown on critics of President Museveni continued and rumours circulated about Army Commander Muhoozi Kainerugaba’s potential presidential ambitions. Police 10 March arrested nine journalists for “offensive communication”; authorities later released seven of them and 16 March charged two journalists, including author and activist Norman Tumuhimbise, with cyberstalking Museveni. Court 23 March issued arrest warrant for exiled novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, who had previously been charged with “offensive communication”. Commander of army’s land forces, Museveni’s son Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, 8 March announced his retirement from army on Twitter sparking speculation he was preparing to succeed Museveni as president; Kainerugaba later that day denied resigning, while army 10 March confirmed he had not applied for retirement. Kainerugaba 14 March travelled to Rwandan capital Kigali for second round of talks with Rwandan President Kagame over restoration of bilateral ties following full reopening 7 March of Uganda-Rwanda border. Kainerugaba 17 March travelled to Egypt to meet Egyptian President al-Sisi for talks on strengthening military relations. Brig Gen Joseph Balikudembe 3 March gave update on disarmament operation in Karamoja sub-district launched in July 2021, said security forces had killed 251 suspected cattle rustlers, arrested over 1,600 people and recovered 160 guns; Balikudembe also alleged 500 illegally owned guns remain in hands of ethnic Karimojong herders. Military officials 23 March announced alleged Turkana cattle rustlers from Kenya had killed three govt employees and two military personnel 21 March in Moroto district in Karamoja region. Ugandan operations in DR Congo (DRC) continued, reportedly scattering armed group Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) into smaller groups as rebels continued to attack civilians on Congolese soil (see DR Congo). Ugandan forces reportedly deployed additional units along DRC border after M23 rebels 27 March reportedly attacked military positions in DRC; according to military, clashes prompted at least 10,000 Congolese to flee to Uganda as of 29 March. Lawmakers 10 March demanded govt take action against spike in commodity prices attributed to relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions and Russian invasion of Ukraine. Following death of Parliament Speaker Jacob Oulanyah 20 March, parliament 25 March elected Deputy Speaker Annet Anita Among as new speaker.

February 2022

Africa

Uganda

Rapprochement with Rwanda continued, torture allegations sparked condemnation, and military pursued operations in DR Congo. Following late Jan border reopening between Rwanda and Uganda after three-year closure, cautious rapprochement between neighbouring countries held. Case of novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, who reported he was tortured during detention, including in presence of President Museveni’s son, Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, continued to spark outcry. Notably, over 100 opposition lawmakers 3 Feb began two-week parliamentary boycott; U.S. embassy 4 Feb demanded accountability for those responsible for abuse, and EU delegation 7 Feb expressed concern over “increase of reports of torture”. Govt 8 Feb denied using torture, and in defiance of international criticism, Museveni 9 Feb appointed Maj Gen Abel Kandiho, who is blacklisted by U.S. for human rights violations, as head of police force; move reverted previous gesture toward Rwanda when Museveni 25 Jan relieved Kandiho (long accused by Kigali of kidnapping and torturing Rwandans in Uganda) from his duties and ordered his transfer to South Sudan. Rukirabashaija 9 Feb fled Uganda for Germany to get medical treatment. Meanwhile, Ugandan and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)’s militaries 1, 9 Feb opened second and third offensive route against Allied Democratic Forces in eastern DRC. Police 14 Feb announced arrest of seven terror suspects in Butambala and Kalungu districts for alleged role in late 2021 Kampala attacks. International Court of Justice 9 Feb ordered Uganda to pay $325mn in reparations to DRC for occupation of DRC’s eastern Ituri province during 1998-2003 war; govt rejected ruling. Arrest of boda boda driver 23 Feb sparked riot in Koboko district, which prompted clashes that left one dead and three injured.

January 2022

Africa

Uganda

Authorities held in custody prominent novelist, considered restoring ties with Rwanda, and claimed military successes in DR Congo. Court 4 Jan ordered unconditional release of novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, who was arrested late Dec for having reportedly insulted President Museveni and his son, Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, on Twitter; 11 Jan charged Rukirabashaija with offensive communication, and 25 Jan ordered release on bail on medical grounds following allegations of torture in detention. Ruling National Resistance Movement-affiliated group early month proposed constitutional change to voting system, suggesting parliament could elect president in replacement of direct voting; govt declined to comment while critics including Norbert Mao, leader of opposition Democratic Party (DP), argued move would benefit President Museveni; president 23 Jan rejected proposal, stating parliament does not represent views of the entire population. Amid ongoing disarmament exercise in north east, security forces mid-month clashed with Karamajong pastoralists in Kotido and Napak districts, leaving 12-year-old herder dead in Abim district. Army throughout month continued joint military operation against Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militants in eastern DR Congo, claiming several successes including arrest of ADF leader Benjamin Kisokeranio 12 Jan (see DR Congo). While formal talks with Rwanda have yet to resume, news mid-month surfaced about possible rapprochement with Kigali after Gen Muhoozi 16 Jan called in tweet Rwandan President Kagame “family” and warned “those who fight him” to “be careful”. Rwandan foreign ministry next day announced Ugandan Ambassador Adonia Ayebare met Kagame; Muhoozi 22 Jan visited Rwandan capital Kigali and met Kagame to discuss restoring bilateral ties. Rwandan foreign ministry 28 Jan announced reopening of Gatuna border between Rwanda and Uganda from 31 Jan.

December 2021

Africa

Uganda

In aftermath of Islamic State-claimed bomb blasts, authorities launched operation against jihadist group in DR Congo, and continued search for alleged operatives in Uganda. Ugandan army early Dec entered DRC to conduct joint operations with Congolese army against jihadist Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), who President Yoweri Museveni held responsible for recent bomb blasts on capital Kampala; subsequently said to have broken up ADF camps, and killed and arrested rebel fighters (see DRC entry). Military head of UN mission in DRC 2 Dec visited Kampala to discuss UN support to joint operation in eastern DRC, as UN mission expressed concern over protection of civilians; police operations to find those responsible for bomb blasts also continued throughout month: police 6 Dec announced arrest of alleged key ADF courier Twaha Ssegujja and recovery of bomb-making equipment at store he owned in Kampala outskirts. Political tensions rose in lead-up to local council by-election in Kayunga district; police 14 Dec blocked opposition leader Bobi Wine in his home, preventing him from campaigning, claiming he had not followed proper procedure. Poll 16 Dec went ahead despite arrest of over 80 opposition members; electoral commission 18 Dec declared ruling party candidate winner. Disarmament operations continued in restive Karamoja region, army claimed to have recovered further weapons and arrested owners throughout month. U.S. 7 Dec announced sanctions against head of military intelligence Major General Abel Kandiho for alleged abuses against prisoners under his charge; military decried unilateral sanctions.

November 2021

Africa

Uganda

Islamic State (ISIS) local affiliate ADF stepped up attacks on capital Kampala with sophisticated bomb blasts, which killed seven, prompting authorities to conduct mass arrests. Three separate blasts 16 Nov in Kampala – two near parliament, another outside police headquarters – killed seven, including three suicide bombers, and injured 40. Police same day captured further suspect who died of injuries. Islamic State (ISIS) immediately claimed its affiliate Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), based in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Uganda, responsible for attacks. Police 18 Nov attributed 16 Nov blasts to ADF and in following days arrested over 100 suspects, killed seven, and reported recovery of bomb-making equipment, suicide vest and light weapons. Prior to 16 Nov blasts, police early Nov arrested around 50 suspects for involvement in Oct bombings, 8 Nov released at least 14 of them; 4 Nov killed one suspect during arrest and recovered bomb-making equipment. Meanwhile, President Museveni 5 Nov promised to continue cooperation with DRC in fight against ADF, reiterating plans to deploy Ugandan army into neighbouring country. Military 30 Nov launched air and artillery raids against ADF on Congolese soil in operation reportedly agreed with Congolese forces. Tensions ran high in Karamoja sub-region amid disarmament operations. Army 17 Nov promised more forceful approach as 90-day grace period – during which locals were encouraged to voluntarily surrender their guns to security forces – expired; locals reportedly preparing to resist forced disarmament.

October 2021

Africa

Uganda

Bomb blasts killed two in or near capital Kampala; army further deployed to Karamoja sub-region as deadline for voluntary surrender of weapons expired. Bomb 23 Oct exploded in crowded restaurant in Kampala suburb; one reportedly dead and several injured. Islamic State (ISIS) 24 Oct claimed responsibility, while police said attack launched by ISIS local affiliate Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). Unidentified individual 25 Oct also detonated bomb in probable suicide attack on bus near Kampala, leaving one dead and several injured; President Museveni later claimed sole casualty was suspected attacker. Police 26 Oct announced arrest previous day of three individuals suspected of involvement in 23 Oct bombing, and alleged “high connectivity” between two bombing attacks. Meanwhile, army stepped up deployment in Karamoja sub-region, where cattle theft has sparked violence in recent months, as 17 Oct deadline for voluntary disarmament expired. Karamoja community leaders 19 Oct agreed on ways to fight cattle theft and improve recovery of stolen stock. Anonymous leaflets threatening violence against local residents distributed throughout Oct in central Masaka region raising concerns about security situation in area in coming weeks and months; latest event follows period of brutal violence in late July-early Aug when unidentified assailants killed over 20 people with machetes in Masaka and Lwengo districts.

September 2021

Africa

Uganda

Govt stepped up efforts to combat insecurity in parts of Central and Northern regions. Minister for Presidency Milly Babirye Babalanda 3 Sept warned wave of machete killings, which has left around 30 dead since July, could spread beyond Central region’s Greater Masaka area; police 13 Sept however said “peace and security has been restored in the Greater Masaka districts of Lwengo and Masaka” with no attack recorded since 2 Sept. Authorities 7 Sept detained two opposition National Unity Platform MPs on charges of murder and attempted murder in relation to recent killings; 15 Sept amended charges to include terrorism; defendants’ lawyer accused govt of “political persecution”. Authorities 20 Sept granted bail to MPs but rearrested them soon after on murder charges; in response, some opposition lawmakers 28 Sept started boycotting parliament’s plenaries. In North region, cattle raiders in Karamoja sub-region displayed unprecedented coordination and daring despite disarmament operation launched mid-July; notably, group of 60 rustlers 12 Sept stole 158 cows in director of public prosecution’s home village in Nabilatuk district. President Museveni mid-month visited area, pledged to increase security forces’ capacity and number of state attorneys; transfer of troops from other regions reported as of 8 Sept. Meanwhile in Western region, unidentified individuals 2 Sept reportedly killed acting chairman of ruling National Resistance Movement in Ntoroko district, after kidnapping him in Fort Portal city.

August 2021

Africa

Uganda

Clampdown on civil society intensified, security forces foiled suicide bomb attack, and unidentified assailants killed dozens in south. Govt 20 Aug suspended 54 NGOs for alleged non-compliance with laws and regulations; 15 face indefinite suspension, including prominent rights group Chapter Four, which immediately denied any “unlawful conduct”. Security forces 26 Aug reportedly arrested individual in northern Pader town on suspicions of planning suicide bombing at funeral of top police and army commander Paul Lokech next day; President Museveni 27 Aug blamed rebel group Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). In south, local authorities 27 Aug said unidentified assailants had killed 21 people with machetes since 22 July in Masaka and Lwengo districts; same day announced 38 suspects arrested. Museveni 3 Aug met king of powerful Baganda tribe Ronald Muwenda Mutebi in capital Kampala after govt announced plan to amend Buganda tribal kingdom’s land tenure system; reform plan allegedly part of Museveni’s attempt to weaken kingdom and bring Baganda people under his control after they failed to vote for him in last presidential election. Tensions ran high in Karamoja region (north east) over illegal guns, as forceful disarmament of ethnic Karimojong herders launched mid-July continued; defence forces 16 Aug said operation had led to 322 arrests so far.

July 2021

Africa

Uganda

Armed forces repelled attack by suspected Congolese rebels in north west, and President Museveni replaced top civil servants by close allies. After assassination attempt against Transport Minister and former chief of defence forces Gen. Katumba Wamala in June, police 1 July claimed attackers had been trained in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)’s North Kivu province by armed group Allied Democratic Forces with alleged links to Islamic State (ISIS); eight suspects 15 July filed complaint against govt and deputy inspector general of police, claiming they were tortured while in police custody. In Zombo district (north west) at border with DRC, armed forces 16 July repelled attack by suspected Cooperation for the Development of Congo rebels; six assailants and one soldier killed. Following army and cabinet reshuffles in June, Museveni 15 July retired seven top civil servants and appointed several close allies to new positions, including his son-in-law Odrek Rwabwogo as presidential adviser for special duties. Meanwhile, govt 23 July signed deal with Russian company to install tracking devices on all public and private vehicles as part of anti-crime measures; opposition and rights activists immediately denounced plan as violation of individual rights and attempt by govt to watch over critics, while lawyer Hassan Male Mabirizi 26 July filed lawsuit against govt at High Court.

June 2021

Africa

Uganda

Former army chief survived assassination attempt and President Museveni reshuffled military and cabinet. Unidentified assailants 1 June opened fire on vehicle of transport minister and former chief of defence forces, Gen Katumba Wamala, in capital Kampala, wounding him and killing his daughter and driver; assassination attempt believed to be related to behind-the-scenes battles among different political factions to succeed Museveni. Following re-election earlier this year, Museveni 8 June appointed 82-member cabinet including 12 former and serving military officers in alleged attempt to pave way for his son, Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, to take up senior govt position; Museveni also swapped long-time allies for junior ministers and appointed women as VP and PM. Museveni 24 June reshuffled military, appointing loyalists to top leadership positions and naming his son commander of land forces. Govt 8 June blacklisted or suspended six NGOs for alleged fraud. Relations with Rwanda remained tense: Rwandan army 12 June arrested Ugandan soldier for allegedly straying into Rwandan territory, before releasing him next day; Ugandan authorities 14 June sent protest note, claimed incident occurred on Ugandan soil. Amid record COVID-19 cases, Museveni 18 June imposed 42-day lockdown; in following days, police reportedly arrested in Kampala over 200 people who were carrying on their business activities despite lockdown measures.

May 2021

Africa

Uganda

President Museveni sworn in for sixth term amid massive military deployment in and around capital Kampala. In run-up to Museveni’s inauguration 12 May, security forces early May arrested at least 41 people for allegedly planning to disrupt ceremony and 10 May surrounded homes of opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) leader Bobi Wine and Forum for Democratic Change leader Kizza Besigye in Kampala. In inaugural address, Museveni accused western govts of interfering in domestic affairs of African nations to serve their own interests. In contentious parliament speaker election setting two of Museveni’s National Resistance Movement MPs against each other, Jacob Oulanyah 24 May defeated incumbent Rebecca Kadaga. Meanwhile, DR Congo’s govt 12 May announced joint operation with Ugandan army against armed group Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in eastern DR Congo, days after Congolese President Tshisekedi introduced martial law in North Kivu and Ituri provinces to stem rising violence; Ugandan military 17 May said both countries had agreed to share intelligence and coordinate anti-ADF operations (see DR Congo). International Criminal Court 6 Maysentenced former commander of rebel group Lord’s Resistance Army Dominic Ongwen to 25 years in prison for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in northern Uganda in early 2000s.

April 2021

Africa

Uganda

Govt faced mounting international pressure to end crackdown on dissent and improve democratic credentials. UN human rights expert panel 13 April urged govt to “immediately stop the brutal crackdown on its political opponents”, called for investigation into “allegations of extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrest and detention, enforced disappearance, torture and ill treatment” in lead-up to and after general elections held in Jan. FM Sam Kutesa same day denied security forces’ involvement in abductions, said authorities would launch investigations and prosecute anyone suspected of wrongdoings. Meanwhile, U.S. Sec State Antony Blinken 16 April announced visa restrictions on Ugandans “believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic process” during recent electoral process. Govt immediately decried move as “unfortunate”, while opposition leader Bobi Wine 19 April welcomed sanctions and called on other countries to follow suit. In north, ethnic Karimojong cattle raiders 2 April attacked Nalemupal village, Moroto district, killing seven-year-old and injuring two other persons.

March 2021

Africa

Uganda

Opposition continued to challenge results of Jan presidential election as crackdown on dissent persisted. Opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) leader Bobi Wine 9 March called for peaceful protest against President Museveni’s re-election, claimed NUP’s own tally showed Wine had won 54.19% of votes in Jan election. In capital Kampala, security forces 15 March briefly arrested Wine during protest against continued detention of NUP supporters and later heavily surrounded Wine’s home. Wine next day petitioned Chief of Defence Forces Gen David Muhoozi to release NUP members under military detention and end military trials of civilians. High Court in Kampala 16 March dismissed torture claims by 49 jailed NUP supporters, citing lack of evidence. NGO Human Rights Watch 11 March called on govt “to end the ongoing abductions by suspected state agents and cease the unlawful detention without trial of opposition supporters”. Museveni 18 March filed defamation case against local media Daily Monitor, which had alleged that Museveni and inner circle had received COVID-19 vaccines in Feb, prior to vaccination of health-care workers and vulnerable groups. Police 21 March detained U.S. citizen in Kitebutura village in west for suspected involvement in “anti-govt subversive activities”. In north, armed forces 7 March killed at least ten semi-nomadic Karamojong cattle raiders in Moroto district.

February 2021

Africa

Uganda

Opposition continued to challenge President Museveni’s re-election, and accused govt of human rights violations. Prominent academic and political activist Stella Nyanzi early Feb said she had fled to neighbouring Kenya late Jan, citing govt’s crackdown on dissent. Opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) leader Bobi Wine 1 Feb lodged complaint with Supreme Court against outcome of 14 Jan presidential election; after Supreme Court 16 Feb rejected additional evidence submitted by Wine on grounds of missed deadline, Wine 22 Feb withdrew petition, citing court’s “unprecedented bias, partiality and double standards”. U.S. State Department 23 Feb called for “credible” investigations into election-related incidents, said U.S. would consider “range of targeted options” to ensure those responsible are held accountable. Meanwhile, Wine 2 Feb claimed around 3,000 NUP supporters had been arrested or abducted by authorities since deadly clashes erupted between NUP protesters and security forces in Nov; 15 Feb released list of 243 people allegedly abducted by security forces under Museveni regime. In response, parliament 4 Feb summoned Internal Affairs Minister General Jeje Odongo, who denied any govt wrongdoing. In national address, Museveni 13 Feb dismissed abduction claims. Military court 15 Feb denied bail to 36 NUP supporters. Wine 17 Feb petitioned UN Human Rights Office in capital Kampala over alleged human rights abuses and abductions of his supporters in run-up to and following elections; security forces same day attacked journalists covering petition delivery, leaving at least four severely injured; U.S. Ambassador to Uganda Natalie E. Brown immediately condemned violence against journalists and called for transparent investigation. Military court next day sentenced seven members of military police to up to three months’ detention for involvement in violence. Meanwhile, govt 10 Feb partially lifted social media ban imposed ahead of last month’s election; Facebook however remained blocked. Earlier in month, International Criminal Court 4 Feb found former commander of armed group Lord’s Resistance Army Dominic Ongwen guilty of 61 war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in early 2000s; Ongwen’s lawyer 8 Feb appealed ruling.

January 2021

Africa

Uganda

General elections 14 Jan held amid violent crackdown and internet shutdown; electoral commission declared victory of President Museveni, which opposition rejected. Police 6 Jan reportedly fired live bullets at convoy of Forum for Democratic Change presidential candidate Patrick Amuriat Oboi in Kitagwenda district; 2 and 10 Jan briefly detained Amuriat for allegedly defying police directives and violating traffic rules in Nakasongola and Mpigi districts, respectively. Police 7 Jan dragged opposition National Unity Platform leader and presidential hopeful Bobi Wine out of his car in Namayingo district, reportedly firing tear gas and live bullets; Wine was giving online press conference to announce he had filed complaint with International Criminal Court against President Museveni and nine security officials over alleged incitement to murder, arrests and beatings. Facebook 11 Jan took down alleged fake pro-govt accounts. Uganda Communications Commission next day directed telecommunications providers to block access to social media, and 13 Jan shut down Internet. Elections 14 Jan proceeded without major security incident; security forces next day put Wine under de facto house arrest in capital Kampala. Electoral commission 16 Jan announced Museveni’s re-election with 59% of vote against Wine’s 35%; said ruling party National Resistance Movement (NRM) won 310 of 529 seats in parliament. Wine immediately rejected results and accused govt of electoral fraud. Protests against election results erupted same day in Luwero and Masaka districts; security forces reportedly killed two and arrested 23. Govt 18 Jan partially restored Internet access. High Court in Kampala 25 Jan ruled Wine’s house arrest illegal, reportedly prompting security forces to withdraw next day. Meanwhile in Wakiso district, supporters of ruling NRM and opposition Democratic Party 26 Jan took to streets in Entebbe town to contest election of independent candidate Fabrice Rulinda as Entebbe mayor previous day; security forces reportedly fired teargas and live bullets, leaving NRM local official Eric Kyeyune dead and several others injured.

December 2020

Africa

Uganda

Political tensions ran high ahead of 14 Jan general elections, and violent crackdown on opposition could further escalate in coming weeks. Police 1 Dec fired tear gas and rubber bullets at opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) leader and presidential hopeful Bobi Wine and his supporters in Kayunga district, leaving several injured; security forces same day blocked Wine and supporters on their way to campaign venue in neighbouring Jinja district, reportedly firing live bullets at Wine’s car. Ruling party National Resistance Movement (NRM) supporters 4 Dec clashed with opposition Democratic Party (DP) supporters in Kyotera district; police reportedly intervened, killing DP supporter and injuring at least two others. Police 4 and 27 Dec arrested Forum for Democratic Change presidential candidate Patrick Amuriat Oboi for allegedly disobeying police orders in Bushenyi district and violating COVID-19-related campaign ban in Jinja district, respectively. Security forces 27 Dec clashed with Wine and his supporters in Masaka district, leaving Wine’s bodyguard dead and at least two journalists injured. Police 30 Dec arrested Wine in Kalangala district on grounds of COVID-19-related campaign ban, sparking protests; police reportedly fired tear gas to disperse crowd. Govt early Dec froze bank accounts of at least four NGOs involved in election-monitoring activities; after 9 Dec asked U.S.-based technology company Google to shut down 14 YouTube channels for allegedly inciting riots, Google representative 16 Dec said removal of channels would require court order. Uganda Media Council 10 Dec directed all journalists to reapply for accreditation in order “to sanitise the industry”, prompting outcry from Uganda Editors’ Guild and African Centre for Media Excellence. President Museveni 16 Dec appointed his son Lieutenant General Muhoozi Kainerugaba to head of Special Forces Command. Police 22 Dec arrested prominent human rights lawyer and activist Nicholas Opiyo in Kampala on suspicions of money laundering along with three other lawyers and NUP official; High Court 30 Dec released Opiyo on bail. UN human rights experts 29 Dec urged govt to curb “election-related violence” and “crackdown” on political opponents and activists.

November 2020

Africa

Uganda

Deadly violence erupted ahead of early 2021 general elections. Clashes between security forces and supporters of opposition National Unity Platform leader and presidential hopeful Bobi Wine 18-20 Nov left over 50 people dead across country, most of them in capital Kampala; crowd was protesting Wine’s 18 Oct arrest, second in two weeks, on grounds of violating COVID-19-related restrictions on in-person campaigning; Wine released on bail 20 Nov. Earlier in month, electoral commission 3 Nov cleared 11 candidates to run for president, including incumbent President Museveni, Wine and Forum for Democratic Change party nominee Patrick Amuriat Oboi. Police same day briefly detained Wine and Amuriat, used teargas and reportedly fired shots to disperse opposition supporters who had gathered around their respective party offices in capital Kampala, leaving seven injured including police officers. Electoral commission 4 Nov said presidential and legislative elections would take place 14 Jan. Police 14 Nov reportedly denied Wine access to Ateker FM radio studios; Wine same day denounced double standards in application of COVID-19 restrictions, saying “our people are brutalized, teargassed and arrested for gathering” while President Museveni “parades [supporters] on streets under police protection.” Police 17-18 Nov briefly detained Amuriat in Kitgum town and Gulu city, Northern region, used teargas to disperse his supporters. Museveni 29 Nov called opposition parties “criminal gangs” to be dealt with.

October 2020

Africa

Uganda

Authorities continued to harass opposition through legal means ahead of early 2021 general elections. Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) 7 Oct criticised electoral commission for lack of prompt reaction to Sept election-related violence, said violence could escalate in run-up to elections. Main opposition party Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) 8 Oct endorsed party president Patrick Amuriat Oboi as presidential flag bearer; other opposition party also chose respective presidential candidates throughout month. Police and military 14 Oct raided headquarters of opposition National Unity Party (NUP) in capital Kampala, seized campaign material and arrested party leader and presidential hopeful Bobi Wine along with more than 130 of his supporters for using red berets, which are akin to military uniforms, as campaign symbol; Wine released later that day. Information Minister Judith Nabakooba 18 Oct urged nominated candidates to abide by electoral commission’s ban on in-person campaigning amid COVID-19 pandemic. Opposition throughout month continued to denounce double standard in implementation of directive, saying security forces do not disperse ruling party National Resistance Movement’s rallies. Police 12 Oct resumed enforcing COVID-19 nightly curfew in Kampala. South Sudanese and Ugandan soldiers 27 Oct clashed along common border, reportedly leaving two dead on each side.

September 2020

Africa

Uganda

Ahead of early 2021 general elections, ruling-party primaries were marred by deadly violence, while authorities continued to use legal means to harass key challengers and restrict free speech. During primaries of ruling party National Resistance Movement (NRM) 4 Sept, rival supporters clashed over alleged voter fraud in Isingiro district in south west, leaving at least three dead; NRM MP and Labour Minister Mwesigwa Rukutana reportedly shot opponent’s supporters after losing primary election in Ntungamo district in south west, injuring three. Police next day detained Rukutana on charges of attempted murder, 7 Sept fired tear gas to disperse Rukutana’s supporters demanding his release in Ntungamo municipality; court in Ntungamo 15 Sept released Rukutana on bail. Harassment of opposition continued. Magistrate court in Wakiso district 1 Sept summoned musician-turned-opposition-leader Bobi Wine, who plans to run for president in early 2021, over allegations he falsified documents when registering as candidate for local by-election in 2017. National communications commission 7 Sept said bloggers and social media users with large followings must apply for license to publish information online; NGO Amnesty International 9 Sept decried move as “final blow to freedom of expression”. Police 8 Sept fired tear gas to disperse rally of opposition party Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) in Hoima town in west and detained ANT regional coordinator Ismail Kasule; 17 Sept arrested some 20 supporters of Wine’s National Unity Platform (NUP) who were demonstrating in capital Kampala against Charles Olim, prominent supporter of President Museveni, after he reportedly fired at NUP offices. In north, South Sudanese refugees 11 Sept clashed with locals in Madi Okollo district over access to water, leaving at least ten refugees and one Ugandan dead, and prompting govt to deploy army and police to area.

August 2020

Africa

Uganda

Ahead of 2021 general elections, President Museveni continued to use legal means to harass key challengers. In Hoima town, police 14 Aug detained Joseph Kabuleta, who previously said he would run for president in 2021, and charged him with flouting COVID-19 restrictions; Kabuleta same day released on police bond. Police 15 Aug arrested 17 officials of presidential hopeful and former Security Minister Henry Tumukunde’s Renew Uganda platform in Wakiso district, 18 Aug briefly detained Tumukunde in Buikwe district for allegedly flouting COVID-19 restrictions, and same day summoned him for questioning over allegations he held political meetings with army veterans. Former president of opposition party Forum for Democratic Change Kizza Besigye 19 Aug said he would not run for president in 2021 elections and instead pursue “plan B” to remove Museveni from office “through fighting”, hinting at possibility of military coup. Army 28 Aug said there is “no chance” for coup or fighting in Uganda.

July 2020

Africa

Uganda

Authorities stepped up harassment of civil society and opposition amid mounting discontent over COVID-19 lockdown and ahead of general elections scheduled for early 2021. Police 8 July arrested several traders and prominent academic Stella Nyanzi who were protesting in capital Kampala against COVID-19 lockdown and closure of shopping arcades; court 10 July released Nyanzi and two traders on bail. Police 14 July arrested hundreds of traders who tried to reopen their shops in Kampala; govt next day said it would allow some arcades to reopen. Opposition MPs mid-July called for health minister Jane Aceng to resign, after she was photographed flouting govt-issued coronavirus preventive measures in Lira city 10 July; parliamentary speaker 14 July summoned Aceng and two other ministers over similar allegations. Police same day detained opposition figure Ssemujju Nganda for allegedly holding consultations in his constituency near Kampala despite coronavirus lockdown. Security forces continued to harass supporters of musician-turned-opposition leader Bobi Wine, who plans to run for president in 2021; police reportedly fired tear gas and live bullets to disperse Wine’s supporters 11 and 18 July in Jinja city in east, and 21 July in Kampala. Ruling party National Resistance Movement 28 July nominated President Museveni as party’s presidential candidate. Following agreement with Rwanda to normalise relations in Aug 2019, govt 7 July released 12 Rwandans from prison. Clashes between South Sudanese tribes in Palorinya refugee camp in north west left three people dead 16-17 July.

June 2020

Africa

Uganda

Amid COVID-19 pandemic, authorities restricted campaigning activities ahead of general elections scheduled for early 2021. Musician-turned-opposition leader Bobi Wine and former president of opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party Kizza Besigye 15 June announced alliance to unseat incumbent President Museveni in 2021 general elections. Electoral commission next day said elections would be held between 10 Jan and 8 Feb and banned campaign rallies amid COVID-19 pandemic, directing candidates to campaign online and through media; opposition denounced measure, which it claimed will favour ruling party. Wine 24 June said he would hold public rallies despite ban; former intelligence chief and Security Minister Henry Tumukunde, who said he would run for president in 2021, 25 June called for elections to be postponed, and opposition Conservative Party led by John Lukyamuz same day threatened to boycott them. Police 1 June detained FDC MPs Gilbert Olanya and Odonga Otto in Gulu town for allegedly mobilising protesters to demand closure of Elegu border post with South Sudan over rise in COVID-19 cases in border region; Olanya and Otto released on police bond next day. Museveni 22 June extended COVID-19 lockdown into July.

May 2020

Africa

Uganda

Small group of activists demonstrated 18 May in capital Kampala over “slow distribution” of govt relief food to vulnerable people amid COVID-19 crisis; police detained several activists, including prominent academic Stella Nyanzi over accusations of “inciting violence”. President Museveni same day said govt would start easing lockdown 2 June. Military 3 May said it had suspended rotation of troops deployed as part of peacekeeping mission in Somalia and training mission in Equatorial Guinea after Ugandan soldier in Somalia tested positive to COVID-19 late April. Following agreement with Rwanda to normalise relations late Aug, govt 15 May said it would release some 170 Rwandans from prison. High Court in Kampala 13 May declared illegal police orders barring musician-turned-opposition-leader Bobi Wine, who plans to run for president in 2021 elections, from holding concerts.

April 2020

Africa

Uganda

President Museveni 14 April extended COVID-19-related lockdown by 21 days until 5 May. Police 20 April arrested prominent journalist Samson Kasumba for allegedly making seditious statements, released him next day on police bond.

March 2020

Africa

Uganda

Ahead of 2021 general elections, President Museveni continued to use legal measures to suppress dissent and ward off key challengers, and Congolese gunmen launched cross-border raid in north west. Security forces 12 March arrested former intelligence chief and security minister Henry Tumukunde, who said 28 Feb he would run for president in 2021, for allegedly seeking Rwanda’s support to unseat Museveni; authorities 18 March charged Tumukunde with treason. Earlier in month, authorities 4 March placed journalist and filmmaker Moses Bwayo in custody pending bail hearing, after security forces arrested him late Feb on charges of unlawful assembly while he filmed documentary on musician-turned-opposition leader Bobi Wine, who plans to run for president in 2021. Police 14 March also detained Pastor Andrew Muwanguzi on charges of unlawful assembly for hosting Wine at his home in March 2019. Following petition filed by civil society groups and opposition in 2013, constitutional court 26 March overturned legislation granting police powers to prohibit public gatherings and protests. Gunmen, including Congolese militiamen, 6 March raided army post in north west at border with DR Congo (DRC), killing at least three soldiers. Defence and security officials 11 March met with counterparts from Burundi, DRC, Tanzania and Rwanda in Goma, DRC, to assess information exchange mechanisms to help stabilise eastern Congo. Amid COVID-19 pandemic, govt in March expelled over 300 Rwandans for allegedly spreading virus, 25 March suspended refugee arrivals for one month; Museveni 21 March closed borders and 30 March ordered fourteen-day lockdown.

February 2020

Africa

Uganda

Following agreement with Rwanda to normalise relations late Aug, govt took additional steps to mend ties with Kigali; harassment of opposition continued. In Angolan capital Luanda President Museveni and Rwandan President Kagame 2 Feb pledged to release each other’s nationals and to cease alleged support to non-state armed groups reportedly operating across their borders. Govt 18 Feb released thirteen Rwandans detained on espionage charges. Senior govt officials 14 Feb held third meeting with Rwandan counterparts in Rwandan capital Kigali to discuss Aug deal’s implementation. At Katuna-Gatuna border crossing 21 Feb, FM and Rwandan counterpart signed extradition treaty providing legal framework to exchange prisoners guilty of “subversive activities” in each other’s territory and same day agreed on 30-day timeframe for Kampala to investigate and act on Kigali’s accusations that armed groups hostile to Rwanda operate from Uganda, paving way for border to reopen if request is fulfilled. Musician-turned-opposition leader Bobi Wine, who plans to run for president in 2021 general elections, 21 Feb appealed to electoral commission to mediate talks with police, after latter prevented him from holding public meeting in Jan; Police 24 Feb fired tear gas and live ammunition to disperse Wine’s supporters in capital Kampala. Police 24 Feb fired tear gas to disperse supporters of opposition party Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) in Njeru town, 70km east of Kampala, same day reportedly prevented FDC president Kizza Besigye from leaving his hotel in nearby Jinja town.

January 2020

Africa

Uganda

Govt continued to repress opposition and took steps to normalise relations with Rwanda, while relations with Kenya soured over trade dispute. Police 6 Jan prevented musician-turned-opposition leader Bobi Wine from holding first public meeting following Dec announcement that he would run for president in 2021 general elections: police fired tear gas to disperse Wine’s supporters, detained him for staging allegedly illegal outdoor assembly instead of indoor gathering. Following agreement to normalise relations with Rwanda late Aug, military court in Kampala 7 Jan dropped espionage charges against nine Rwandans. In northern Rwanda near Ugandan border, security forces 18 Jan shot and killed one Ugandan and two Rwandans suspected of smuggling. Uganda-Kenya tensions rose after latter seized Ugandan milk shipments 27 Dec, 6 and 12 Jan on suspicion that they had been imported illegally. Ugandan govt 16 Jan said seizures contravened East African Community Customs Union Protocol, demanded Kenya immediately release shipments and cover any financial loss incurred.

December 2019

Africa

Uganda

Talks with Rwanda failed to ease tensions, and govt continued to repress opposition. Following agreement to normalise relations with Rwanda late Aug, high-level govt officials 13 Dec reached deadlock in second meeting with Rwandan counterparts in capital Kampala to discuss deal’s implementation. President Museveni 4 Dec led anti-corruption march in Kampala, drawing criticism from opposition who denounced Museveni’s record. Police same day prevented former president of opposition party Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Kizza Besigye from holding his own anti-corruption march. Tensions rose between refugees and local communities in Adjumani district; host community 10 Dec blamed South Sudanese refugees for death of local man, 12 Dec killed one South Sudanese refugee in attack near Nyumanzi settlement. Refugees same day raided nearby villages of Linga, Jurumini, Maiciki, Ege, and Maiaeiciki in retaliation, leaving one local man dead. Musician-turned-opposition leader Bobi Wine 11 Dec said he would run for president in 2021 general elections.

November 2019

Africa

Uganda

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.

October 2019

Africa

Uganda

Authorities continued to repress opposition. In capital Kampala, authorities 2 Oct cancelled concert by musician-turned-opposition leader Bobi Wine to mark 9 Oct Independence Day claiming it was unable to provide security; 3 Oct arrested six Bobi Wine supporters; 8 Oct placed Bobi Wine under house arrest to prevent him from performing and surrounded venue preventing concert. Bobi Wine next day slipped past security forces surrounding his residence and travelled to Kampala, where he evaded arrest. Police dispersed gatherings of opposition party Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), using live ammunition and tear gas in Butaleja and Busia 26 and 27 Oct. In north in Kotido district, raids by ethnic Turkana herders on ethnic Karamajong herders late Oct left unknown numbers dead. Army chiefs of
Uganda, DR Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania 24-25 Oct met in DRC to discuss potential joint military operations against armed groups in eastern DRC. President Museveni 14 Oct attended peace talks between Sudanese govt and Sudanese rebels in South Sudanese capital Juba; 23 Oct met Russian President Putin at Africa-Russia summit in Sochi, Russia and signed deal for Russia to maintain and upgrade Uganda’s military hardware.

September 2019

Africa

Uganda

Govt continued to repress opposition and took steps to thaw relations with Rwanda. Police 7 Sept prevented opposition party Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) from holding rally in Mbale in east, used teargas and live bullets to disperse FDC supporters, and arrested three party supporters and senior FDC member Patrick Amuriat Oboi, who was later released. In Hoima county, ahead of 26 Sept parliamentary by-elections, security forces deployed in large numbers as President Museveni campaigned for candidate of ruling party National Resistance Movement (NRM) and opposition leaders, including musician-turned-opposition leader Bobi Wine and Amuriat, campaigned for FDC candidate Asinansi Nyakato. Police 25 Sept arrested twelve FDC supporters over alleged voter fraud. After NRM candidate was declared winner 27 Sept, Amuriat claimed NRM had rigged poll. Police 26 Sept arrested ten FDC officials in Kasese for holding illegal meeting. After Uganda and Rwanda agreed late Aug to normalise relations, govt 14 Sept released 32 Rwandans. High-level govt officials 16 Sept met Rwandan counterparts in Rwandan capital Kigali to discuss implementation of agre