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Uganda Index



Downtown Kampala
Courtesy Carl Fleischhauer


Clock tower in Mbale
Courtesy Carl Fleischhauer

When the NRM took power in 1986, it added a new element to the unsolved political issues that had bedeviled Uganda since independence. It promised new and fundamental changes, but it also brought old fears to the surface. If this government demonstrated magnanimity toward its opponents and innovative solutions to Uganda's political difficulties, it also contributed significantly to the country's political tensions. This paradox appeared in one political issue after another through the first four years of the interim period. The most serious political question was the deepening division between the north and the south, even though these units were neither administrative regions nor socially or even geographically coherent entities. The relationship of Buganda to the rest of Uganda, an issue forcibly kept off the public agenda for twenty years, re-emerged in public debate. Tension between the NRM and the political parties that had competed for power since independence became a new anxiety. In addition, the government's resort to political maneuvers and surprise tactics in two of its most important initiatives in 1989, national elections and the extension of the interim period of government, illustrated the NRM's difficulties in holding the nation to its political agenda.

Data as of December 1990

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