Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/14/2013 -- BMI's Uganda Defence & Security Report for Q4 2012 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 Uganda's long-serving President Yoweri Museveni is determined that his country should play a leading role in regional security affairs. The effects of this policy will be twofold: a high-profile Ugandan presence in regional peacekeeping and the procurement of increasingly advanced military equipment.
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In Q2 2012, Uganda continued to play a pivotal role in two important regional missions. The first is the AMISOM mission in Somalia, where Uganda is the largest troop contributor. The second is the African Union task force to destroy Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army. There is also a very real possibility of Uganda becoming embroiled in conflict in South Sudan, with Museveni positioning Uganda as the guarantor of South Sudanese security. However, the possibility of Ugandan intervention could act as a brake on Sudanese military action, thus deterring conflict.
Uganda's domestic security is also an area of concern, with the government cracking down on political opponents since the re-election of Museveni in 2011. If Museveni's heavy-handed approach to protests continues, and if he chooses to ban more opposition movements, then what remains a relatively stable country could abruptly deteriorate.
Over the last quarter BMI has revised the following forecasts/views:
- The progress of the AMISOM mission to support the interim Somali government against al- Shaabab militants is updated. The mission - which is under Ugandan command - has shown important signs of success, having pushed the Islamist insurgents back from Mogadishu and out of other key towns. These gains led to AMISOM's mandated size being increased in early 2012: Uganda now contributes 5,500 troops to the effort.
- The African Union has also drawn on Ugandan support in assembling a task force to eliminate Joseph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army, which have been terrorising parts of Central Africa for many years. The US is also lending support to the mission. While one senior LRA commander was captured in Q2, Kony himself still eludes the task force.
- The threat of war in South Sudan is a potential game-changer in Uganda's security environment. Talks mediated by former South African president Thabo Mbeki were underway in June, but their failure could lead to Uganda intervening militarily on South Sudan's behalf.
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