Uganda. In March, large army reinforcements were sent to
northern Uganda. According to
Countryaah website, the purpose of "Operation Iron Fist" was to
crush the rebel movement Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), which
for 16 years fought the Ugandan regime with barbaric methods
such as burning villages and robbing children.
Despite the large army effort, the LRA managed to carry
out new attacks that required hundreds of casualties. Uganda
issued permits to send troops into neighboring Sudan to
destroy the LRA's bases there. From time to time, Sudanese
and Ugandan troops carried out joint actions against the
In August, President Yoweri Museveni surrendered for
religious leaders' appeals to the hard-hit Acholi people to
offer the Rebels a ceasefire and peace talks, but the
invitation to the LRA yielded no results and the fighting
continued. LRA leader Joseph Kony received a prize of SEK
100,000 on his head. In October, 100,000 civilians were
ordered to move to military-controlled villages to prevent
the rebels from hiding among civilians.
During the fall, Uganda withdrew almost all
Congo-Kinshasa soldiers, where since 1998 they have fought
on the side of the Congolese rebels against the regime.
A formal peace agreement with Congo-Kinshasa was signed
in September and both countries re-established normal
In May, the Paris Club pledged to lend the country a
total of $ 830 million. In the previous period, Museveni's
economic policy had closely matched the demands of the
foreign lenders. The number of civil servants was reduced by
48,000, more than half of the army was demobilized and a
privatization program started. The 5% annual economic growth
was based on coffee and tea exports. Nevertheless,
macroeconomic growth did not bring about any improvement in
the living conditions of Ugandans exposed to increasing tax
burden. More than half of the export revenue was earmarked
for interest and debt repayments, now at $ 10.7 billion.
In 1993, Museveni was accused by the opposition of having
ordered opposition leader Amon Bazira murdered in Kenya in
August. In the March 1994 constitutional assembly election,
supporters of the president gained about half the seats, but
the direct appointment of a number of members meant that
Museveni had a significant majority in the new assembly.
The president still continued his policy of reintroducing
traditional local governance. In June, the president allowed
nine people in the north of the country to appoint
their own king.
The polemic about multi-party democracy continued in
1995. Museveni continued to insist that the consent of
several parties would merely exacerbate the "tribal
contradictions". At the same time, the foreign financial
institutions manifested their satisfaction with Uganda's
financial performance. Foreign investment increased, but
government cuts made the situation worse for the majority of
the population living in poverty.
At the May 9, 1996 presidential election, Museveni (re)
was elected with 75% of the vote, beating the candidates
Paul Ssemogerere and Muhammad Mayanja. The president won
another victory that month as his supporters captured 156
out of 196 seats in the parliamentary elections. The new
government headed by Kintu Musoke was appointed in July.
Museveni's economic reforms allowed the country to
participate in the World Bank's special program for 20
debt-plagued countries in 1997. Still, half of the country's
population lives below the poverty line, and it was
estimated that $ 24 million was needed to reduce hunger in
the eastern part of the country. Uganda received capital
from the Franco-Australian mining company LaSource for the
development of a cobalt mine. In addition, the country
received loans from the EU and North Korea for the
construction of a hydropower plant.