Uganda. Following discussions between church leaders and the rebel movement The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the northern parts of Uganda, the LRA announced unilateral ceasefire in some districts in March. According to Countryaah.com, Uganda Independence Day is October 9. The government responded by canceling all efforts on the part of the army to enable mediator contacts with the LRA. After a few weeks, however, the army was ordered to go on a new offensive against the rebels, with the motivation that the LRA only used the ceasefire to continue the violence in other areas.
In May, the last Ugandan soldiers, a thousand men, were taken home from Congo (Kinshasa), where they were sent in 1998 to protect the country’s western border against rebels but also to fight the Congolese government.
The soldiers did not become idle on returning home. During the summer and autumn, the LRA stepped up its violence in the north and carried out a long line of massacres on civilians. The Christian fundamentalist LRA says it wants to create a society based on the Ten Commandments of the Bible, but in practice the rebels devote themselves entirely to looting, murder, and the abduction of children, used as soldiers and sex slaves.
During the autumn, a UN envoy described the situation in northern Uganda as the worst humanitarian point in the world. About 1.3 million people were reported to be displaced from their homes due to the LRA’s ravages. In November, 34 parliamentarians from the north announced that they would boycott parliamentary work until the government put a stop to the rebels’ progress.
At the request of several opposition politicians, the Constitutional Court in March declared that the 2002 law that made Uganda a one-party state violates the constitution. Shortly thereafter, on the proposal of President Yoweri Museveni, the ruling “Movement” executive committee recommended a return to multi-party systems. However, it must be approved in a referendum, which is scheduled to take place in 2004.
In August, Idi Amin, notorious dictator 1971–79 died. He died at the age of 78 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where he lived in exile for many years. About 400,000 people are estimated to have been murdered under his terror.
In November, Parliament passed a new NGO law that could result in fines or penalties for NGOs engaged in activities “which are contrary to the interests of Uganda or the dignity of the Ugandan people”. The law violated international human rights standards by restricting both freedom of association and freedom of expression. Throughout 2015, the intelligence or security forces broke into the offices of a number of human rights organizations. In June, the Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda involved several computers and documents stolen. In July, it was the Uganda Land Alliance. A security guard was killed during this attack.
The presidential and parliamentary elections in February 2016 were won by Museveni. After 30 years in the presidential post, Museveni secured a new 5-year term with 60.6% of the vote against 35.6% for Kizza Bisigye. Museveni was selected already in the 1st round. His NRM party also got 296 out of Parliament’s 426 seats. An increase of 30. The election was marked by widespread violence, harassment by opposition candidates and scams. Alone in the election month, Museveni’s main counterpart Bisigye was arrested 4 times for eventually being placed under house arrest. While election observers from the Commonwealth and Kenya reported widespread electoral fraud, the EU and the US were generally positive in their characteristics of the election. Both unions provide vital economic and military assistance to the dictatorship.
New NGO legislation came into force in March. It was vaguely worded and gave the authorities broad frameworks to close NGOs they did not care about.
Also in March, an ICC preliminary investigation confirmed that LRA commander Dominic Ongwen would be put on trial for over 70 indictments, including war crimes and crimes against humanity. In August, another case against LRA Colonel Thomas Kwoyelo was opened at Kampala High Court.
In late November 2016, the King of Rwenzururu, Charles Wesley Mumere’s guards, attacked several police stations in the region, killing at least 14 policemen. Two days later, at least 100 were killed and 139 arrested in clashes between the security services and the king’s guard in the western city of Kasese. The king was subsequently arrested and taken to Kampala, where he is charged with murder.
In addition to providing Uganda with hundreds of fundamentalist Christian missionaries, in 2016 the United States provided $ 70 million. US $ in support of the country’s military and $ 440 million US $ for health care.