Uganda Now: Between Decay & Development

Uganda Now: Between Decay & Development

Uganda Now: Between Decay & Development

Uganda Now: Between Decay & Development

Excerpt

It is now 25 years since Uganda ceased to be a British colonial dependency. In these years Uganda has come to symbolize Third World disaster in its direst form. Famine; tyranny; widespread infringements of human rights, amounting at times to genocide; AIDS; malaria; cholera, typhoid, and a massive breakdown of government medical services; corruption, black marketeering, economic collapse; tribalism, civil war, state collapse -- think of any one current Third World affliction, and most probably Uganda will have suffered it with as much harshness as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, or any one of a score of other Third World countries.

Socially, this is appalling for Ugandans. Analytically, it is also confusing for outside analysts of the country's development -- or rather arrested development -- since independence 25 years ago. There seem to be just too many causes of the country's troubles. Which of them are of fundamental importance, which of only secondary significance?

At one time the answer to this question seemed pellucid: Idi Amin. It was because of him that there had been genocide, rampant inflation and widespread economic inefficiency, not to mention political decay, throughout the country. Milton Obote's years of power immediately after independence from Britain admittedly had had their drawbacks -- the break-up of the initial alliance between his Uganda Peoples' Congress (UPC) and the Buganda- based Kabaka Yekka ('Kabaka only') movement; the declaration of a state of emergency in Buganda; abolition of the Buganda monarchy along with the smaller kingships in the western areas of the country; and the declaration of a one-party state that made Obote its president, and seemingly constitutionally irremovable. Or so it seemed, until Obote's military commander, Idi Amin, seized power on 25 January 1971 while Obote was attending a Commonwealth conference in Singapore.

Idi Amin's regime in Uganda soon revealed itself to be much . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.