Uganda Energy and Security
Economy and energy
Until the discovery of oil fields in Lake Albert, Uganda was an agricultural economy, heavily penalized by the lack of an outlet to the sea. Exports were mainly represented by coffee. The large influx of international aid in the eighties and nineties, also attracted by the government’s commitment to the prudent management of public finance, in the fight against poverty and in improving the living conditions of citizens, it allowed to rebuild the economic and social fabric of the country, strongly tested by the years of post-independence instability. The discovery of oil – whose extraction activity will take full swing no earlier than 2018 – will allow the country to make investments in the infrastructure sector, including in terms of oil refining. This could turn Uganda into an oil exporter to neighboring states as well. According to indexdotcom, during 2015, the country issued licenses to Western oil companies such as France’s Total and Britain’s Tullow Oil.
Finally, it is worth noting the significant rapprochement with China, which has carved out a leading position in the infrastructure investment sector, and with Japan, with which Uganda has taken out a loan of 167 million dollars to finance road development projects. in the capital, Kampala.
Defense and security
The Ugandan army has played a fundamental role in the main political changes that have affected the country from independence to today: all presidents have been able to govern thanks to the support of the armed forces. The Uganda People’s Defense Force is made up of 45,000 units and 1,800 paramilitaries. Most of the soldiers come from the ranks of the National Resistance Army – the armed opposition movement with which Museveni came to power – and other paramilitary formations. The army maintains an ethnic composition that favors Museveni’s political reference groups (people who come from the southern and western parts of the country). The Ugandan army is engaged with 6223 soldiers in the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia (Amisom). The country’s armed forces are heavily funded by the United States, both to support the campaign against the Lord’s Resistance Army and as a contribution to Amisom. Since the mid-nineties, Uganda has been considered by Washington an important ally from a strategic-military point of view in an area of great instability and penetration of Islamic terrorism. Investments in the military sector (about 1.2% of GDP) are presented by Museveni to public opinion as necessary to combat Islamist terrorism and Joseph Kony’s Christian fundamentalist movement.
Over the years, Kampala has acquired an important stabilizing role in the main crisis areas of East Africa. One proof of this was the military engagement in South Sudan – officially to help the repatriation of his compatriots to the country – alongside President Salva Kiir’s regular troops.
The Lord’s Resistance Army
Since the mid-1980s, northern U; ganda has been the scene of bloody raids by a religious-military movement called Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Born between 1986 and 1987 following the experience of the Alice Lakwena movement and in the context of the Acholi revolts (who fled north after Museveni’s takeover), the LRA has objectives; there are not well-defined politicians, including which the establishment of a system of government based on the biblical ten commandments. The range of action of the LRA has also extended to neighboring South Sudan (the Sudanese government has financed the LRA in an anti-SPLM function, Sudan People’s Libera; tion Movement), the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo. His le; adher, Joseph Kony, was shot, along with four other lieutenants, by an international arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court in 2005, for criminal acts committed against the civilian population. Despite attempts by the Ugandan army, the armies of neighboring countries, the USA and the United Nations, he has not been captured so far. Diplomatic efforts to contain the killings and indiscriminate violence have also failed. The conflict is estimated to have resulted in nearly two million refugees in the country and has caused a great deal in terms of human lives (the LRA also employs child soldiers). so far it has not been catch; to. Diplomatic efforts to contain the killings and indiscriminate violence have also failed. The conflict is estimated to have resulted in nearly two million refugees in the country and has caused a great deal in terms of human lives (the LRA also employs child soldiers). so far it has not been catch; to. Diplomatic efforts to contain the killings and indiscriminate violence have also failed. The conflict is estimated to have resulted in nearly two million refugees in the country and has caused a great deal in terms of human lives (the LRA also employs child soldiers).
The terrorist threat remains alive
In March 2015, the United States launched an alarm on attacks in Uganda, after previous warnings were issued in October 2013 and, again, in February 2014. According to information gathered by US intelligence, agents of al-Shabaab – the organization Islamist terrorist active in Somalia – could organize an attack in Kampala similar to the one conducted in September 2013 in Nairobi (Kenya) at the Westgate shopping center. The country is therefore in a state of maximum alert and is implementing an increase in police forces and security measures. Kampala would be targeted by al-Shabaab, linked to al-Qaida, due to the important contribution made to the African Union mission in Somalia (Amisom). Already in 2010 the country had suffered two terrorist acts by suicide bombers who blew themselves up in a rugby club and in a restaurant. The Ugandan experience therefore makes it increasingly clear that Africa is emerging as one of the new theaters of Qaidist terrorism.