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A Turning Point in Uganda

UNLocK Update Report 12 January-April 2011

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Copyright Š 2011 The Fund for Peace All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written consent from The Fund for Peace. The Fund for Peace 1720 I Street NW 7th Floor Washington, D.C. 20006 T: +1 202 223 7940 F: +1 202 223 7947 www.fundforpeace.org The Fund for Peace Publication CR-11-19-UL (11-06B) Circulation: PUBLIC


Contents

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his report was compiled by Kendall Lawrence under the supervision of Nate Haken, Senior Associate at The Fund for Peace. It is the twelfth in a series that is part of a pilot project to integrate data and perspectives

from civil society networks in conflict-affected zones into CAST, The Fund for Peace’s conflict assessment and early warning methodology. The project, the Early Warning and State Building Initiative, is made possible

with funding from Carnegie Corporation of New York, Humanity United, and National Endowment for Democracy. The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of The Fund for Peace.

Comparative Analysis

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Election Security and Stability

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Analysis by Select Indicators

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Sub-regional Analysis

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Looking Ahead

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About The Fund for Peace

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Comparative Analysis

Comparative Periodic Analysis: Percentage of Reports by Indicator

External Intervention

Factionalized Elites

Security Apparatus

Human Rights and Rule of Law

Public Services

State Legitimacy

Economic Pressures

Uneven Economic Development

Human Flight and Brain Drain

January—April, 2011

Numbers represent a percentage of documents by period.

August—December, 2010

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Group Grievance

Refugees and IDPs

Demographic Pressures

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24

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Political and Economic Stability

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espite a relatively smooth election in February—not violent by historical standards—stability in Uganda appeared a little shaky during the period of January-April 2011. Although there were reports

of some irregularities and the use of state funds to shore up the incumbency, overall the election itself was considered reasonably free, if less than fair. Opposition candidates refused to concede defeat. Then, after a failed attempt to inspire popular protest against the election results, the opposition successfully mobilized a massive campaign of protests in multiple cities against rising food and fuel prices. This was seen as a demonstration of popular discontent with the effectiveness of government. These protests went on for days and frequently became violent. Several people were shot dead and hundreds were reportedly arrested during these protests.

The Indicators The 12 CAST indicators for which data is sought include social, economic, and political/military pressures on the state:

Social

Demographic Pressures

Group Grievance

Economic

Human Flight/Brain Drain

Although the protests have since subsided, there is a real concern that the global food crisis of 2008, which had eased in part due to the global recession in 2009, could revisit Uganda, adding to an already volatile political dynamic.

Uneven Development Economy Legitimacy of the State

Political

Public Services

This report provides an overview of incidents and issues across the country, as reported by the UNLocK participants, a network of civil society organizations in Uganda, during the four months of January to April 2011. This report does not presume to be comprehensive or evenly distributed from one district to the other. Rather, it provides a glimpse into the concerns and perspectives of a particular network of civil society organizations, trained in conflict assessment, most of whom come from the Northern part of the country.

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Refugees or Displaced Persons

Human Rights Security Apparatus Factionalized Elites External Intervention

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Political and Economic Stability

Findings

Methodology

This is a summary of the civil society field reports from the four month period of January to April, 2011. It is organized by indicator, with maps showing affected regions and districts. Districts with field reports associated with them are colored red. A red color does not necessarily mean the district is worse off than the districts lacking in data, though it does highlight problems that need to be addressed in that particular district or sub-county, as reported by local civil society UNLocK Uganda participants.

As part of the Universal Network of Local Knowledge (UNLocK) project, The Fund for Peace (FfP) has conducted four training workshops in conflict early warning since 2008, based on our conflict assessment methodology (CAST) in Uganda. Participants included a broad range of civil society representatives from the country. The goals are to enable them to recognize potential danger signs, document events, gather data from across the country and communicate it to each other and the FfP for processing and analysis. This information is to be used both for the identification of immediate concerns as well as to inform conflictsensitive approaches to development and policy for the long term.

Broken out by indicator and district, 135 reports were logged during the four month period in question. Of the 12 CAST indicators, issues relating to State Legitimacy (27 reports) were of greatest concern to the participants, followed by Human Rights (23 reports), Security Apparatus (20 reports), Demographic Pressures (19 reports), Public Services (13 reports), Factionalized Elites (9 reports), Economic Decline (7 reports), Group Grievances (5 reports), Uneven Development (5 reports) and Human Flight (3 report), Refugees/IDPs (2 reports), External Intervention (1 report).

Since the UNLocK Uganda early warning system was established in 2008, over 1000 reports (broken out by indicator and district) have been entered into the database. The data generated by the participants has been saved on a password-protected website, which is accessible by the participants for their own analysis and for the corroboration of details to ensure accuracy.

Geographically, 37% of the reports came from the Acholi sub-region in the North (51 reports). It was followed by Karamoja (26 reports), Buganda (23 reports), and West Nile (23 reports). In total, 57% of the reports came from the northern region of the country.

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Analysis by Select Indicators

Reported State Legitimacy Issues This indicator measures the extent to which the population, or segments of the population, perceives the government to be effectively representing their interests. During this four month period, reports relating to pressures on state legitimacy mostly dealt with election irregularities and the Walk to Work protests. After the elections, the opposition refused to concede, claiming that the election had been stolen, then they started street protests against high fuel and food prices. Police responded with excessive force.

During the campaign, In Arua (District 6) there was a clash between the supporters of two candidates, Akbar Godi and Engineer Aridru.

After the election in Gulu (District 17), opposition presidential candidate Norbert Mao accused the electoral commission of incompetence, as evidenced by late or missing materials, missing names in voter registry, and bribery at many polling stations. He refused to concede defeat along with the other opposition candidates.

6

17

68

57

29

Uganda

The losing candidate for a parliamentary seat in Lamwo (District 97) refused to concede, alleging large-scale vote rigging.

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For several weeks in Kampala (District 29) Walk to Work protests occurred every Monday and Thursday and Walk to Pray protests occurred every Friday and Sunday. Several opposition politicians were reportedly arrested during these protests. Several people were killed in clashes with police.

Three people were reportedly killed in Gulu (District 17) during a Walk to Work protest in clashes with security forces.

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Analysis by Select Indicators

Reported Human Rights Violations to the Walk to Work protests. Freedom of the press was reportedly undermined on multiple occasions.

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22

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In Kampala (District 29), a man posing as a WBS journalist reportedly tried to block coverage of opposition leader, Kizza Besigye’s arrest. He was later reported to have been a security operative.

In Gulu (District 17), during the Walk to Work protest, several were reportedly injured and some reportedly died in the violence.

In Mukono (District 61), a LGBT human rights activist, was murdered in his home. He died on his way to Kawolo hospital. This took place in the context of a debate over anti-gay legislation in parliament.

In Moroto (District 57), a woman was reportedly raped on New Year’s Eve by about 12 UPDF soldiers who were on patrol.

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17 65

61 21

102

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Uganda There was a large increase in the number of reports on human rights violations during this 4-month period. Many of the violations came in the form of violent crackdowns by the security forces in response

Reported Pressures on Security Apparatus

42 39 17 68

44

78 1

Several people were killed in Kampala (District 29) during Walk to Work protests.

Several were killed in Gulu (District 17) during Walk to Work protests.

The perception was reported that the military and police are becoming less representative of Uganda’s ethnic diversity.

In Abim (District 1), a pastoralist was reportedly shot by the security forces.

A pattern of arbitrary arrest of Karamojong villagers under section 266 of the Ugandan penal code, which deals with cattle rustling, was reported, particularly in Amudat (District 80). The law calls for life imprisonment if convicted of cattle rustling with a deadly weapon.

A woman in Kotido (District 44) was reportedly killed by cattle-raiders from Moroto (District 57).

An escort for a Local Council 5 candidate in Moroto (District 57) was reportedly shot dead.

A recently recruited Local Defense Unit reportedly shot dead a suspected turkey thief in Moroto (District 57).

57

65 62

80

29 99

Uganda Reports on issues relating to the security apparatus were mostly focused on excessive force used by military and police during the Walk to Work protests. Other reports dealt with incidents in Karamoja relating to the theft of livestock and associated armed groups.

Residents of Manja were reportedly attacked by thugs in Lwengo (District 99) for supporting a Muslim in the parliamentary election.

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Analysis by Select Indicators

Reported Demographic Pressures Land competition, fires, and disease were reported during this period. Some of these issues were complicated by the political environment during the election.

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43

2 39 107

A fire in Pabbo, Amuru (District 39) destroyed the homes of over 1000 people. Victims were mostly elderly and child-headed families.

A fire reportedly destroyed a village in Kaabong (District 22).

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A fire destroyed homes in Gulu (Distrct 17).

A land dispute was reported in Aduku subcounty, Apac (District 5).

Yellow fever broke out in Acholi sub-region, killing several. It was reported that some people in Kitgum (District 42) refused vaccination

22 57

17 68

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In Nwoya (District 107) a land dispute involving 100 hectares and 1000 people was reported in which those who claimed to have left years before due to insecurity returned to claim their property.

42

62

80

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Uganda because the yellow color of the card issued after vaccination, is coincidentally the party color of the ruling NRM political party.

A hail storm reportedly destroyed property and a health clinic in Ibanda (District 19).

Reported Pressures on Public Services 58

Education and water supply were the main issues reported during this period. There were also some reports relating to policing challenges, especially with regards to arson and the burning down of huts in Agago (District 78) and Pader (District 68).

Gulu University (District 17) reportedly faced a financial crisis.

Students of Gulu School of Clinical Officers boycotted their end of semester examinations, citing irregularities in the new examinations system overseen by the Uganda Allied Health Examinations Board (UAHEB).

43

97 17

68 78

29

In the West Nile subregion, notably in Moyo (District 58) and Yumbe (District 77), there were poor Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) results as compared to the relatively good results in the Central region.

Uganda Yumbe (District 77) reportedly forced women to line up with jerry cans for many hours to get water.

Water scarcity in Koboko (District 43) and

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Analysis by Select Indicators

Reported Pressures from Factionalized Elites and shot in the hand during the Walk to Work protests.

97 6

42

2

In Adjumani (District 2), during the NRM primary elections, the incumbent MP and his opponent, the former lieutenant governor Moses Ali each alleged rigging on the part of the other. The two insulted and scuffled with one another. Ethnic politics was invoked, as Moses Ali is not a Madi like the majority in the district.

In Arua (District 6), political tension was high over a controversy surrounding proposed redistricting. During the election this became a very divisive issue.

During the campaign in Lamwo (District 97), the interim District Chairman, who was a member of the NRM, reportedly threatened to use force against neighboring district Gulu politicians, especially members of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), who would try to influence Lamwo’s election.

68

29

Uganda During the election and its aftermath, there was a high degree of brinksmanship between political elites.

In and around Kampala (District 29), opposition leader Kizza Besigye was arrested several times

Reported Pressures on Economic Decline While there were a few reports of poverty and economic decline specific to particular districts, the primary issue under this indicator was national level inflation, especially with respect to fuel and food prices. According to one West Nile participant, a high demand for fuel, beer, and beef in South Sudan during the referendum period impacted prices in Northern Uganda. More broadly speaking, inflation was exacerbated by a drought in late 2010, which

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reduced food supply. And as the global economy began picking up after the recession, commodity prices have been further impacted. In April, food prices were rising at an annual rate of 39.3% according to the Dow Jones Newswires. This issue was widely cited as the driving force behind the Walk to Work protests.

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Sub-Regional Analysis: Karamoja

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aramoja, the most remote and underdeveloped region of the country, continued to have challenges dealing with poverty, cattle rustling, and violence between pastoralist groups and the security forces. The reports

listed below are not comprehensive, but they illustrate the types of issues that need to be addressed in the region.

Karamoja Sub-region Reports by Indicator: Jan-Apr 2011 10 8

A suspected cattle raider was reportedly killed by the military in Abim (subcounty 15).

In Kaabong (subcounty 5), it was reported that one boy killed another with a spear. The killer was later injured in a revenge attack.

In Payangara (subcounty 12), it was reported that a woman was killed by raiders from the district of Moroto.

Two cattle were reportedly raided in Sidok (subcounty 7).

In Katikekile (subcounty 25), two troublesome incidents were reported. One involved the alleged rape of a woman by members of the military. The other incident that was reported dealt with the killing of an alleged turkey thief by a Local Defense Unit. These types of incidents speak to the need for professionalization of the security forces.

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See page 5 for a key to indicators

Karamoja 1 5 7

15

Fires that destroyed village homes and property were reported in Kalapata (subcounty 3) and Kaabong (subcounty 5).

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Looking Ahead

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he months of January to April uncovered deep tensions and uncertainty in Ugandan society. To their credit, the security forces were very careful not to enflame these tensions during the election. Perhaps they were

conscious of the potential for instability, in light of the 2009 riots by supporters of the Buganda kingdom, and the subsequent riots in 2010 when the Buganda royal tombs were burned down. Perhaps they were concerned about the ethnic tone to some of the campaigns and did not want to give anyone an excuse to incite violence. In any event, after the election passed without any major incident, everyone breathed a sigh of relief, which proved to be premature.

Meanwhile, pressures on the state persist. Land conflict is a perpetual issue in the Acholi subregion. Cattle rustling and underdevelopment continue to plague Karamoja. And nationally, the price of food and fuel is likely to be a long-term problem, as the global economy recovers and Uganda’s population continues to grow the world’s 6th highest rate of 3.3%, adding to the demand. This will be even more severe in years of drought.

Opposition leaders tried to mobilize a protest against what they claimed was a stolen election. The population was not interested in taking up that cause. But when the losing presidential candidates suggested that people protest the rising food and fuel prices, people came out by the thousands in multiple cities both in the South and in the North.

In such an environment, for stability and security to be sustainable, good governance is especially important. If people feel represented by the government, and if they feel that they have ownership in the decision making, that their voice is valued, they will be more likely to pull together and confront the challenges constructively.

The security forces became unrestrained. Several people were killed. Many were arrested. Eventually the protests subsided.

Recent events suggest that, at least in the short term, polarization within Ugandan society is very high. Now is the time for the leadership to begin reaching out to those who feel marginalized, ignored, or repressed. If leadership does not reach out, then the outbreaks of violence which occurred in 2009, 2010, and 2011, will only be more frequent and more severe.

The tensions and uncertainties exposed in these last few months have not gone away. A segment of the population feels disenfranchised by the democratic process. Concerns have been raised about freedoms of speech and of assembly. The clear mandate that President Museveni looked like he won in a landslide election has been badly tainted by the response to the Walk to Work protests.

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About The Fund for Peace

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he Fund for Peace is an independent, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization that works to prevent violent conflict and promote sustainable security.

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We have worked in over 50 countries with a wide range of partners in all sectors: governments, international organizations, the military, nongovernmental organizations, academics, journalists, civil society networks, and the private sector.

A leader in the conflict assessment and early warning field, the Fund for Peace focuses on the problems of weak and failing states. Our objective is to create practical tools and approaches for conflict mitigation that are useful to decision-makers.

The Fund for Peace offers a wide range of initiatives focused on our central objective: to promote sustainable security and the ability of a state to solve its own problems peacefully without an external military or administrative presence. Our programs fall into three primary thematic areas:

The Fund for Peace adopts a holistic approach to the issues stemming from weak and failing states. We work at both the grassroots level with civil society actors and at policy levels with key decision makers.

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• Conflict Early Warning and Assessment; • Transnational Threats; and • Sustainable Development, Sustainable Security.

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A Turning Point in Uganda