Weak Ugandan democracy, strong regional influence

This report explores how Uganda’s domestic politics and foreign policy aim to maintain Museveni’s hold on power.

In power since 1986, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and his political party — the National Resistance Movement — have had a strong role in the East African political landscape. Self-styled as a Pan-African leader, Museveni has relied on his reputation and on the nation’s armed forces to exert influence in neighboring countries. Now, as he begins his fifth term of office after the highly contentious 2016 presidential election, questions remain about whether his domestic and international legitimacy have been damaged by the many acts of repression in the lead-up to that election. Analysis of Uganda’s recent international interventions and the drivers behind them offers insight about the country’s future foreign policy, whether under Museveni or a successor.

bout the Authors

Elizabeth Murray is a senior program officer in USIP’s sub-Saharan Africa program

Berouk Mesfin is a senior researcher in charge of the Horn of Africa region within the Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis Division of the ISS

Stephanie Wolters is the division head of the Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis Division of the ISS

Development partners
This report is a joint publication of the United States Institute of Peace and the Institute for Security Studies. The ISS is grateful for support from the following members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the Hanns Seidel Foundation and the governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the USA.
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