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Vol 45 No 5

Published 5th March 2004


Uganda

Double war

Rebel massacres and party activists are shaking the National Resistance Movement's political dominance

As pressure mounts on President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to leave power by 2006 at the end of his second elected term, both the military war in the north and the political war in the south are going badly for the government (AC Vol 44 No 24). Museveni's political standing is based on the National Resistance Movement's restoration of order in much of Uganda after the horrendous conflicts of the 1980s and its willingness to reform the economy and establish an accountable form of government. All three are threatened by the current turn of events. With just two years to go, there seems little prospect of an orderly succession within the ruling NRM, let alone the possibility of free elections, which an opposition party or coalition might win. The volume is literally being turned up in the war of words between opposition parties and the NRM. To counter the popular, independent FM stations which regularly excoriate the government, two NRM loyalists, Local Government Minister Tasisi Kabwegere and member of parliament William Sienda Sebalu are setting up City FM to cover most of Uganda, including key rural areas, with a pro-government message. Ominously, the station will be run by Major Roland Kakooza Mutale, former head of the Kalangala Action Plan, a roughneck paramilitary group which tried to intimidate voters in the 2001 elections.

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