Uganda Revives Its Favorite Distraction: Anti-Gay Legislation
December 05, 2012
One of international diplomacy’s most infuriating political footballs is back in play. Uganda’s infamous Anti-Homosexuality Bill, versions of which have threatened the death penalty for gays and imprisonment for anyone who fails to inform on them, has passed a committee and is once again awaiting discussion in parliament, which could come any day. The issue has been in and out of the spotlight since 2009, and isn’t quite getting the media attention it has in previous years.
Why Obama’s War in Uganda Isn’t Just About Humanitarianism
November 07, 2011
Despite lingering concerns about the cost and scope of the mission, President Obama’s recent decision to send 100 combat-equipped Special Forces to quell the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA—a group of insurgents marauding around Central Africa—was met with a decent display of bipartisanship on Capitol Hill this past month. Senator Jim Inhofe is on board. So is Obama’s old nemesis, John McCain, albeit with reservations.
Kampala, Uganda—Pink is political in Uganda. But not in the way most outsiders think. This past May, opposition leaders in the capital of Kampala were targeted with firehoses that drenched them in bubblegum-colored liquid, dying their clothes and skin. Their crime? Attempting to hold an “unauthorized” rally in the city’s Constitutional Square. Since April, opposition groups have been leading an intermittent campaign called “Walk to Work” to highlight the country’s soaring commodity prices (food inflation recently topped 44 percent).
February 25, 2011
The month of February gave observers of African politics a curious case study in political geography. At one end of the Nile, protesters in Egypt were breaking the chains of autocracy through the revolution in Tahrir Square. At the other end of the Nile, voters in Uganda were preparing for an election that ultimately gave the country’s quasi-autocratic ruler, Yoweri Museveni, another five years in power.
Cowering in Fear
August 03, 2010
On a hot afternoon this past May, I accompanied a small caravan of international diplomats to the tiny Ugandan village of Abia, set in the heart of the country’s rural north about an hour’s drive from the nearest town. For the better part of the past two decades, much of this area was in the throes of a now-defunct insurgency that pitted the country’s government against a group called the Lord’s Resistance Army.
August 04, 2004
KAMPALA, UGANDA--On a steamy Sunday morning, several hundred students are dancing in the aisles of a dilapidated college lecture hall. Dressed in shabby, secondhand sport coats, the men pivot their hips, flinging their elbows back and forth to a lively gospel tune. The women's cornrows bounce up and down. With a showman's sense of timing, Pastor Martin Ssempa sidles slowly onto the stage, grooving to the beat. "Thank you, God!" shouts the bespectacled, 36-year-old evangelist. He has unbuttoned the top button of his natty, cream-colored shirt, and his blue tie hangs loose. "Can you feel it?