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

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.

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