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The Beginning of Political Unrest

BACKGROUND 1962-1985

Uganda is a small country located in eastern Africa, sandwiched between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya. Slightly smaller than Oregon state, Uganda has been plagued with political unrest for several decades. After gaining independence from Great Britain in 1962, Milton Obote became prime minister of the newly freed country.

Ugandan homes in the countryside, image copyright CIA World Factbook

However, Obote soon transformed his newly freed country into a dictatorship. He made himself the executive president, and slowly his administration slipped into violent tendencies. Obote fled in 1971 after a military coup staged by an army officer by the name of Idi Amin Dada, who simply went by Amin. At first, the majority of Ugandans were thrilled with Amin's overthrowing of Obote. Things took a turn for the worse, however, when Amin showed his true identity; in reality, he was an even more cruel and calculated dictator than Obote.

Amin ruled for eight long and horrific years. During his reign of terror, he completely disposed of the Ugandan parliament and made several changes to the constitution as well. Amin went to great lengths to eliminate anyone who opposed him or his dictator regime. Amin demanded that all of the Asian population who are not native Ugandan citizens to leave the country. This greatly affected the trading in Ugandan marketplaces and severely affected their economy. Amin exterminated thousands of the native Acholi people due to in part to their support for the ousted Obote as well as their sheer numbers in the Ugandan Army. Amin was paranoid that the Acholi people would turn on him, and therefore decided to eliminate the possibility. Eventually Amin was removed from power in 1979 and Obote returned. Many felt that the elections were rigged, thus causing the rebellion of Museveni's National Resistance Army. Once again, Obote was ousted from power in 1986.

Museveni was a very popular man in office and created a lot of stability to the weakened Ugandan government (minus the Northern part of Uganda where civil war constantly  raged on between the government and the LRA). Museveni's administration was very well known for bringing awareness to HIV/AIDS in Africa. Museveni gained the trust of Ugandans by creating a government with more ethnic diversity, to appeal to all citizens in the country. After staging the coup to take down Idi Amin Dada, Museveni has since then won the majority vote fairly in the general election.