Uganda, officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is the world’s second most populous landlocked country after Ethiopia. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, shared with Kenya and Tanzania. Uganda is in the African Great Lakes region.
Since its independence from Britain in 1962, the east African nation has endured a military coup, followed by a brutal military dictatorship which ended in 1979, disputed elections in 1980 and a five-year war that brought current President Yoweri Museveni to power in 1986. The country has also had to contend with a brutal 20-year insurgency in the north, led by the Lord’s Resistance Army.
Concerns about violations of freedom of association, assembly, and expression continued during and after Uganda’s February 2016 elections. President Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power since 1986, was declared the winner, giving him another five year term. Opposition presidential candidates faced arrest, detention, and obstructions. Police blocked some candidates’ access to media and public meetings. Police arrested and beat journalists attempting to report on the house arrest for over a month of opposition leader Dr. Kizza Besigye. A new nongovernmental organizations law includes vague “special obligations” of independent groups – provisions that could make organizations vulnerable to politically motivated charges. Although the Anti-Homosexuality Act was overturned by a constitutional challenge in 2014, government officials continue to voice their support for it.