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Uganda

Yearbook 2013

Uganda. In February, Uganda, along with ten other countries, signed an agreement not to interfere in the conflict in Congo (Kinshasa), which borders on Uganda in the west. However, several Ugandan rebel groups still remain in the country and the Ugandan regime has been accused of supporting them.

In July, the border town of Kamango in Congo (Kinshasa) was attacked by the Ugandan guerrilla Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), which left Uganda as early as the 1990s. According to Countryaah, the attack put thousands of people on the run and the guerrillas also kidnapped some people, including a local leader from the neighborhood.

2013 Uganda

In the spring, Uganda interrupted the search for rebel leader Joseph Kony, who is now believed to have his base in the neighboring Central African Republic because of the troubled situation prevailing there. In November, unexpected news emerged that the President of the Central African Republic had made peace talks with Kony and his rebel group and urged them to put down their weapons. Several assessors expressed suspicion of the talks being the first since 2008, when the Ugandan government tried to negotiate with Kony but failed. According to a spokesman for the African Union, there was much to indicate that the talks were a way for Kony to "buy time" to move his rebels to other parts of the country.

Newspapers Daily Monitor and Red Pepper, as well as two radio stations, were forced to close in May, after publishing a letter containing sensitive information about President Yoweri Museveni. The letter contained information suggesting that Museveni had plans for his own son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, to take power from him in 2016 when the current term expires. This is not the first time newspapers or radio channels have been shut down in Uganda, where a large number of journalists have been arrested and imprisoned since Museveni came to power in 1986.

Further restrictions on freedom of expression were made in August when Parliament passed a law criminalizing political gatherings involving at least three people. The law was introduced despite harsh criticism from, among others, the opposition and religious leaders in the country. In practice, the new law is expected to require police permission if a small group of people wants to gather in public to talk about politics, but even meetings that take place in the home can be canceled by police.

Both domestic and outside critics warned that the law was an attempt by Museveni to silence all conceivable opponents. Representatives of the human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the law is "devastating" for freedom of speech in Uganda.

In December, the country's parliament passed a law providing life imprisonment for so-called homosexual acts. The new law also prohibits "gay propaganda", which means that both members and founders of LGBT organizations in Uganda risk being arrested and sentenced to long prison sentences.

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