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Uganda in Depth: A Peace Corps Publication

Uganda in Depth: A Peace Corps Publication published on

Authored by Peace Corps

In the 20th century, Uganda went from being perceived internationally as an Eden incarnate-Britain’s “Pearl of Africa”-to being considered the antithesis of Eden, largely because of the extreme actions of post-independence leaders Idi Amin and Milton Obote.

Uganda achieved independence from Great Britain in 1962 without any struggle. The British determined a timetable for withdrawal before local groups had organized an effective nationalist movement. Uganda’s political parties emerged in response to impending independence rather than as a means of winning it.

Idi Amin’s well-publicized excesses at the expense of Uganda and its citizens were not unique, nor were they the earliest assaults on the nation’s rule of law. Amin’s predecessor, Milton Obote, suspended the 1962 Constitution and ruled part of Uganda by martial law for five years until a military coup in 1971 brought Amin to power. Obote regained power during the civil war from 1981 to 1985, a period when government troops carried out genocidal sweeps of the rural populace in a region that became known as the Luweero Triangle. The dramatic collapse of the government under Amin, his plunder of the nation’s economy, and the even greater failure of the second Obote government in the 1980s certainly had not been expected when the country gained independence. On the contrary, Uganda had been considered a model of stability and potential progress, particularly relative to neighbors Kenya, Tanzania, and Congo.

After years of civil war, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and the National Resistance Army (NRA) marched on Kampala, and Museveni formally claimed the presidency on January 29, 1986. Museveni’s government has been credited with introducing democratic reforms and enhancing human rights. President Museveni was re-elected in 2001 and again in 2006 following a constitutional change that allowed him to run for a third term. Presidential Elections in February 2011 again resulted in a victory for Museveni, with disputes on its validity from opposition parties.

Publication Date:
Sep 13 2014
150235957X / 9781502359575
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8.5″ x 11″
Black and White
Related Categories:
Travel / General


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