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

Military denied supporting Congolese rebel group; govt cracked down on alleged internal financial misconduct. 

Allegations of support to Congolese rebels strained ties with DR Congo. Military 13 June reiterated denials that it was clandestinely supporting Congolese rebel group M23 after leaked UN report early June contained such allegations; concerns grew that, amid reports, Congolese govt could look to end military cooperation with Uganda and joint operations against Islamic State-affiliated Allied Democratic Forces rebels in eastern DRC. Meanwhile, govt continued rapprochement with Rwanda after late May meeting of military officials in Rwanda’s Nyagatare town to discuss cross-border security issues.

Authorities launched high-profile arrests on corruption charges. Following UK April and U.S. May sanctions on various politicians over corruption, govt in June launched own anti-corruption campaign. Police 11 June arrested three MPs for allegedly soliciting bribes to manipulate 2024-2025 national budget and 19 June arrested another two over mismanagement of $36mn earmarked for compensating cooperative societies. President Museveni 18 June announced expanded anti-corruption campaign targeting local administration-level theft of public funds. 

Govt temporarily averted potential strike amid persistent fiscal policy discontent. Local traders threatening two-month strike agreed to re-schedule meeting with govt called to resolve grievances on new tax policies and additional taxes from 20 June to 31 July. Meanwhile, govt 13 June presented 2024-2025 budget with security forces bolstered through 25% salary increase – in part to address discontent among lower-ranking military personnel and amid extensive recruitment drive – while oil and gas sector’s budget allocation more than doubled.  

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