Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 02/27/2013 -- BMI's Uganda Defence & Security Report for Q1 2013 examines the country's strategic position in the African region and the wider world. It provides an overview of the contemporary geopolitical challenges facing the country, and the challenges it may face in the future.
The report analyses the trends occurring in the country's current and future defence procurement, and the order of battle across its armed forces. The report's general conclusion is that the controversy surrounding Uganda's alleged backing of rebel forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) threatens the country's international standing, as well as regional stability. Uganda, a key contributor to regional peacekeeping efforts, has threatened to quit these missions in response to a UN report accusing it of complicity in the insurgency engulfing the eastern DRC. Meanwhile, the M23 rebel group that Kampala is accused of supporting has made substantial gains.
Ultimately, Uganda's long-serving President Yoweri Museveni will be reluctant to withdraw from the prominent regional role into which he has steered the country. Nonetheless, the extent of the political fallout regarding the involvement of Uganda and others in the DRC has yet to be revealed. Impressive progress by the AMISOM mission in Somalia, for example, could be reversed if Uganda pulls out its 6,300 troops, as threatened.
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Museveni has also rejected calls by parliamentarians for the government to divert funds from defence and other areas into the country's ailing healthcare system. Social unrest is a growing problem in Uganda, and one contributing factor is the government's failure to deliver on promises to invest in healthcare.
Parliamentarians objected to the fact that the government had spent heavily on Sukhoi fighter jets and regional peacekeeping operations, while breaking its pledges on healthcare provision. Despite these concerns, Museveni in September effectively overruled parliament by issuing an executive order that ring-fenced the defence budget, which is now likely to increase in 2013. Increases will be necessary if, as signalled, the president plans to acquire more advanced military systems, including fighter aircraft.
Over the last quarter BMI has revised the following forecasts/views:
- The M23 campaign in the eastern DRC is discussed in detail, as are allegations that Rwanda and Uganda have backed the rebel forces. The implications of Uganda's reaction to the allegations - namely that it will quit regional peacekeeping missions - are also analysed.
- The progress of the AMISOM mission to support the interim Somali government against al- Shabaab militants is updated. The mission - which is under Ugandan command - has shown important signs of success as a newly elected Somali president turns his attention to drafting a new national constitution. However, these gains could be reversed if, as threatened, Uganda withdraws from AMISOM.
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