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.
Fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is intensifying, with Ugandan and Burundian soldiers in pursuit of rebels and Congolese insurgents on the rebound. With help from its allies, Kinshasa should step up diplomacy lest the country become a regional battleground once more.
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.
This week on Hold Your Fire! Richard Atwood talks to Great Lakes expert Nelleke van de Walle about the escalation of violence in the eastern DR Congo, as Uganda and Burundi deploy troops to fight rebels in the area and Rwanda threatens to do the same.
The Islamic State has claimed two suicide bombings in the Ugandan capital Kampala. In this Q&A, Crisis Group expert Dino Mahtani unpacks what happened and assesses the threat of further such attacks in East Africa.
This week on The Horn, Africa editor at Nation Media Group Daniel Kalinaki joins Alan Boswell for a deep dive into what Uganda’s latest elections revealed about President Museveni’s hold on power and the likelihood of future instability.
Official results indicate that President Yoweri Museveni will extend his 35-year rule in Uganda. But the contested election, marred by fraud claims, illustrated many citizens’ frustration with his administration. In this Q&A, Crisis Group expert Murithi Mutiga explains why the path ahead will be rocky.
President Tshisekedi’s plans for joint operations with DR Congo’s belligerent eastern neighbours against its rebels risks regional proxy warfare. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2020 for European policymakers, Crisis Group urges the EU to encourage diplomatic efforts in the region and Tshisekedi to shelve his plan for the joint operations.
Three Great Lakes states – Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda – are trading charges of subversion, each accusing another of sponsoring rebels based in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo. Outside powers should help the Congolese president resolve these tensions, lest a lethal multi-sided melee ensue.
Economically and politically, Uganda's government’s actions are leading to growing frustrations and lawlessness.
Growing discontent threatens the dysfunctional and corrupt political system built by President Museveni, who is now manoeuvering to extend his three decades in power by raising a 75-year age limit on presidential candidates. As security, governance and economic performance deteriorates, Uganda needs urgent reforms to avoid greater instability.
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