Tracking Conflict Worldwide

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Political tensions grew amid threats of further strikes, while govt engaged with DR Congo (DRC) on anti-militant cooperation.

Threats of strikes continued amid persistent fiscal policy discontent. Fear of further industrial action persisted, as business groups 8 May threatened two-month long strike from 20 June after failed talks with President Museveni, spurred by discontent over fiscal and tax policies and govt’s promotion of electronic tax payments. Parliament 16 May approved new taxes on fuel and construction materials despite protests, potentially leading to price increases. Meanwhile, Museveni same day signed deal with Kenya to import refined petroleum directly, aiming to offset impact of fuel tax hikes.

Army chief scrutinised operations against Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). Newly appointed head of army and Museveni’s son Lt-Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba 6 May engaged in talks with Congolese military leadership to assess progress in joint operations against Islamic State-affiliated ADF rebels in DRC; joint force 18 May captured prominent ADF commander skilled in explosives in Ituri province in eastern DRC. Security forces 4 May said they had discovered four suspected ADF bombs in capital Kampala.

Disputes within opposition political parties escalated. Former opposition leader Mathias Mpuuga faced continued censure from National Unity Platform (NUP) party for accepting financial parliamentary awards, sparking tensions with party leader Robert Kyagulanyi, alias ‘Bobi Wine’. Similarly, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) appeared set for split, with former presidential candidate Kizza Besigye poised to lead breakaway faction over alleged ties between current leadership and Museveni. 

In other important developments. Opposition parties 2 May welcomed UK late April announcement of corruption-related sanctions on three politicians, including Parliament Speaker Anita Among, as potential deterrent against mismanagement of public resources, while govt expressed surprise and promised both investigation and examination of legality of sanctions. Meanwhile, U.S. 30 May also announced corruption-related sanctions on trio and one other politician, alongside sanctioning former deputy army chief for alleged “gross violations of human rights” including extrajudicial killings by military.



Tax proposals and implementation of electronic tax system prompted nationwide strike amid opposition support; military operations against Islamic State-affiliated group continued. 

Suggested tax increases and regulations led to industrial action. Traders 16-25 April held nationwide strike in protest at potential new taxation measures and increases on items including fuel and building materials, which business associations also criticised. Opposition leaders Robert Kyagulanyi, alias ‘Bobi Wine’, and Kizza Besigye 15 April came out in support of strike which shuttered many businesses, while taxation may become key campaign issue ahead of 2026 general elections. In response, President Museveni 19 April met traders to hear complaints, and temporarily suspended penalties for non-compliance with electronic tax system.

Army continued anti-Allied Democratic Force (ADF) campaign. Military said army 4 and 8 April killed two top commanders from Islamic State-affiliated ADF in eastern DR Congo (DRC) during joint operation with Congolese forces; army 14 April released statement detailing continued pursuit of scattered ADF fighters, urging vigilance against potential attacks by those returning to Uganda. Meanwhile, newly appointed head of army and Museveni’s son Lt-Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba 17 April met delegation of Rwandan military chiefs, raising concerns over whether Muhoozi’s close ties to Rwanda would impact joint DRC-Uganda operations against ADF amid Congolese-Rwandan tensions. 

In other important developments. Parliamentary spending controversies continued as Parliamentary Speaker Anita Among 11 April blocked debate on March revelations of extravagant expenditures, while parliament 15 April proposed increase in budget to cover travel costs and salaries; UK 30 April announced sanctions on three politicians including Among over allegations of corruption related to housing aid project in Karamoja region. Constitutional Court 3 April upheld 2023 Anti-Homosexuality Act, straining govt’s relations with international donors and raising concerns over potential reduction in foreign aid.



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. 



President Museveni’s son attempted to consolidate support and broaden appeal ahead of 2026 presidential election.

Succession battle continued. MK Movement, created in 2022 to support political ambitions of President Museveni’s son, Lt-Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, 7 Feb rebranded to Patriotic League of Uganda (PLU) in lead-up to Muhoozi’s expected candidacy for 2026 presidential election. While newly appointed PLU chairman, Michael Mawanda, described it as civic non-partisan entity, ruling party National Resistance Movement (NRM) Secretary General, Richard Todwong, said PLU was part of teams mobilising for ruling party. But opposition to Museveni’s son among elite remained present; Internal Affairs Minister Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire 20 Feb reiterated he did not support Muhoozi becoming president.

Army continued anti-ADF operations. Army continued counter-insurgency operations around Rwenzori mountains. Notably, security forces 19 Feb arrested suspected Islamic-State-affiliated Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebel Abdul Razak Bahati in Kasese district near Congolese border.

Uganda faced allegations of collusion with M23. Military 15 Feb said only Ugandan troops left in DR Congo are those deployed under Operation Shujaa to hunt down ADF; comments came after allegations by Congolese civil society in Rutshuru territory and Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) armed group that Ugandan forces are deployed in Rutshuru alongside Rwandan troops to support M23 armed group.



Human rights violations and repression of dissent continued, while govt kept up operations against Islamic State-affiliated rebels.

Civil society activists and opposition politicians remained under threat. Unidentified assailants 3 Jan stabbed prominent gay rights activist Steven Kabuye on outskirts of capital Kampala, leaving him in serious condition; fellow LGBTQ+ activists said homophobia and harassment have soared since draconian anti-LGBTQ law was enacted in May 2023. Police 18 Jan placed three opposition leaders under house arrest, including former presidential candidates Robert Kyagulanyi, alias ‘Bobi Wine’, and Kizza Besigye, ahead of planned protest demanding govt action to address deteriorating road conditions. In interview with French TV channel France 24 published 30 Jan, Wine called for “civil disobedience, a moral uprising, a revolution” against President Museveni.

Govt’s campaign against Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) continued. Museveni 9 Jan called on Islamic State-affiliated ADF rebels based in DR Congo (DRC) to surrender, and military 20 Jan reported killing three ADF combatants and rescuing eight hostages in Irumu territory, Ituri province in eastern DRC

In another important development. Museveni 5 Jan appointed three former govt-aligned legislators to leadership roles at electoral commission. Amid outcry from opposition, Museveni 17 Jan backtracked on two of these appointments prior to parliamentary confirmation hearings. 



Islamic State-affiliated rebels intensified violence and govt remained under pressure over human rights abuses.

Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) stepped up attacks on Ugandan soil. Two bombs 2 Dec exploded in suburbs of capital Kampala, injuring one. President Museveni next day blamed Islamic State-affiliated ADF and vowed to “intensify” army operations against group in neighbouring DR Congo. ADF 19 Dec launched attack in Kitehurizi village in Kamwenge district, killing ten civilians and forcing hundreds to flee; Museveni 20 Dec announced retaliatory airstrikes against group in DR Congo. ADF 25 Dec killed three civilians in another village of Kamwenge.

Controversy over human rights persisted, inflamed by army scandal. As political opposition 30 Nov ended month-long parliamentary boycott over human rights abuses, U.S. 4 Dec expanded visa restrictions on senior govt officials over human rights and democracy concerns. Govt 13 Dec ordered investigation into viral video purportedly showing soldiers torturing suspected thief in Lagot village, Kitgum district, and military court 15 Dec sentenced soldiers identified in video to one year in prison.

In other important developments. Military court 5 Dec remanded into custody 31 people, including seven soldiers, on charges related to alleged plot to overthrow Museveni between Feb 2022 and Oct 2023. Leader of Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo “Hemedti”, 27 Dec said he travelled to Uganda to discuss developments in Sudan with Museveni; trip is Hemedti’s first confirmed appearance outside of Sudan since war between RSF and Sudanese army broke out in April.



Opposition MPs continued to boycott parliament over rights violations, and military captured suspected ADF commander.

Opposition boycott continued to paralyse parliament. Opposition leader in parliament, Mathias Mpuuga, 15 Nov said boycott of parliamentary plenary sessions launched in Oct would continue until govt addresses series of issues, including shrinking civic space and trial of civilians in military courts, also requested information on whereabouts of 18 supporters of opposition party National Unity Platform (NUP) who went missing two years ago. Parliament Speaker Anita Among 22 Nov barred boycotting MPs from other parliamentary activities including attending committee meetings; Mpuuga urged boycotting MPs to defy order, which came into force 28 Nov. State minister for internal affairs, Gen David Muhoozi, 29 Nov presented statement on human rights violations before parliament, said many of alleged missing persons have never been reported to police and some are fictitious.

Authorities continued to claim gains against Islamic State-affiliated militants. Military 2 Nov announced capture of Abdul Rashid Kyoto, also known as Njovu, said he was commander of Islamic State-affiliated Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) unit responsible for 17 Oct attack that left three dead, including two foreigners, in country’s west; Nakawa court 13 Nov charged Njovu with terrorism and murder. Congolese civilians continued to seek refuge in Uganda amid ADF attacks, with over 1,000 arriving mid-Nov in Bundibugyo district.

President Museveni lashed out at U.S., UK and UN. After U.S. 30 Oct excluded Uganda from African trade initiative over human rights violations, Museveni 5 Nov accused Washington of “underestimating the freedom fighters of Africa”. Museveni 15 Nov also condemned “interference in our internal affairs” after U.S. and UK early Nov issued security warning over situation in Uganda; same day accused UN of “conserving” terrorism in DR Congo.



ADF militants launched new attacks in Uganda as military continued operations against armed group in DR Congo; tensions ran high with South Sudan over border dispute.

ADF launched new attacks against civilians in Uganda. Islamic State-affiliated Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) 13 Oct ambushed civilian vehicle at Katojo junction near DR Congo border, killing two, and 17 Oct killed two foreign tourists and their local guide in Queen Elizabeth National Park. President Museveni 15 Oct reported army had foiled ADF bomb plot targeting churches in Butambala district, and warned against ADF rebels engaging in retaliatory attacks on Ugandan territory amid Ugandan army operations in DR Congo. Kampala 25 Oct also announced amnesty for ADF members willing to surrender.

Authorities arrested opposition leader, thwarted “one million march”. Police 5 Oct arrested opposition party National Unity Platform (NUP) leader Robert Kyagulanyi, known as Bobi Wine, at Entebbe airport on return from trip abroad; Wine said he was subsequently placed under house arrest. Police same day detained at least 40 NUP supporters in capital Kampala and elsewhere in effort to thwart what party had described as “one million march” to welcome leader home. Opposition 26 Oct walked out of parliament for third time in two weeks, demanding debate on human rights and end to repression of opposition parties.

Border dispute with South Sudan flared up. After South Sudanese authorities claimed ownership of over 20 villages in Kerwa and Kochi areas in Uganda’s Yumbe district, Ugandan troops late Sept reportedly set up bases in South Sudan’s Kajo-Keji county. South Sudan parliamentary spokesperson 1 Oct vowed not to “allow even one metre of our land to be taken by Uganda”, and Museveni 2 Oct sent ministerial delegation to Yumbe and Moyo districts. Governor of South Sudan’s Central Equatoria State and Ugandan local authorities 27 Oct met in Yumbe to resolve disputes.



Govt claimed significant gains against Islamic State-affiliated ADF rebels; Kampala faced further backlash to anti-homosexuality law, and crackdown on opposition persisted.

Military reported successes in battle against ADF. Authorities said police 3-5 Sept foiled bombing plots by Islamic State-affiliated Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), notably on church in capital Kampala. Ugandan and DR Congo govts 15 Sept publicised agreement on expansion of joint anti-ADF offensive further into Ituri province, eastern DR Congo, and joint operation same day reportedly freed 115 hostages from ADF captivity in Ituri’s Irumu territory. President Museveni 23 Sept said Ugandan army airstrike on ADF base in DR Congo 16 Sept killed “a lot” of militants, including group’s second-in-command Meddie Nkalubo.

International backlash to Anti-Homosexuality Act persisted. European Union 6 Sept announced it would not cut funding to Kampala over anti-gay law enacted in May; local NGO Convening for Equality coalition 8 Sept criticised decision. Museveni 10 Sept denounced several U.S. companies’ decision to stop importing textiles from Uganda because of discriminatory law, vowed not to back down. Deputy Treasury Secretary Patrick Ocailap 26 Sept confirmed govt is negotiating with World Bank for vital funding resumption, said Kampala expects financial institution to rescind funding freeze before Uganda in Feb concludes budgeting for next fiscal year.

Police restricted opposition gatherings. After opposition National Unity Party (NUP) 2 Sept launched nationwide campaign tour, NUP leader Robert Kyagulanyi, known as Bobi Wine, 8 Sept called on Baganda ethnic group to oppose govt. Police in following days opened sectarianism criminal inquiry, and 13 Sept announced banning NUP’s mobilisation activities, claiming they breached safety guidelines. NUP same day vowed to defy ban.



World Bank suspended new lending to Uganda in response to anti-homosexuality law, while opposition party encountered internal divisions.

World Bank halted funding to Uganda. World Bank 8 Aug announced freezing fresh loans to Uganda over recently passed anti-homosexuality law, setting aside funding worth nearly $2bn. In almost instantaneous reaction, Uganda’s currency went downward to its lowest level against U.S. dollar in nearly eight years. President Museveni in following days released two defiant statements chastising institution for its “insufferable” decision, while finance ministry 10 Aug told parliament that World Bank move would likely affect payment of some public servants’ salaries.

Prominent opposition party faced internal rift. Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Sec Gen Nathan Nandala Mafabi 7 Aug petitioned parliament to replace Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda as FDC Chief Whip in parliament after latter alleged Mafabi and other FDC leaders received “dirty money” from state agents ahead of 2021 general elections. Speaker of Parliament Anita Among 16 Aug declined to dismiss Ssemujju, citing opposition party members themselves sharing dissatisfaction with Mafabi, prompting latter to accuse Among of taking sides in internal party matter to drive wedge between FDC factions.

Violence involving Kenyan Pokot herdsmen persisted in Karamoja sub-region. Armed individuals from West Pokot county of Kenya 21 Aug launched cattle raid and later ambushed Ugandan soldiers in Nakapiripirit district (Karamoja sub-region), killing two.

In other important developments. Authorities looked to domestically promote military successes against Islamist militia Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in DR Congo following militia’s deadly attack on Ugandan school in June. Notably, armed forces 6-21 Aug reported capturing two ADF operatives, seizing 150 firearms and rescuing 26 hostages, and 23 Aug claimed killing several ADF elements including one commander.

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