Uganda: Current Conditions and the Crisis in North Uganda

Publication Date: July 2010

Publisher: Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service


Research Area: Politics

Type: Report


In February 2006, Ugandans voted in the first multi-party elections in almost 26 years. President Yoweri Museveni and his ruling National Revolutionary Movement (NRM) parliamentary candidates won a decisive victory over opposition candidate Kizza Besigye and the Forum for Democracy Coalition. Nevertheless, poll results showed a notable decline in support for President Museveni from previous elections. International election observers did not condemn the election results, nor did they fully endorse the electoral process. Critics charged the government with intimidating the opposition during the pre-election period, and Besigye spent much of the campaign period in jail. The election followed a controversial move by the Ugandan parliament in July 2005 to remove the constitutional two-term limit on the presidency.

In the north, the government of Uganda fought the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), an armed rebel group backed by the government of Sudan. Through over 20 years of civil war, the brutal insurgency has created a humanitarian crisis that has displaced over 1.5 million and resulted in the abduction of over 20,000 children. In recent months, the government and the LRA have entered into peace negotiations mediated by the government of Southern Sudan. The negotiations have had some limited success in halting the fighting through a negotiated ceasefire, but observers suggest criminal indictments by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against the LRA's leadership may limit the rebels' willingness to reach a final settlement.

This report will be updated as significant changes occur in Uganda.