According to Localcollegeexplorer, the population (16,583,000 at the 1991 census) belongs for the most part (70%) to the Bantu stock (Baganda, Banyoro, Banyankole, Bagisu, Iteso, Basoga and Bachiga are the major ethnic groups), 16% to the Nilotic stock (Lango and Acholi) and for the rest of the Nilo-Hamitic lineage (Turkana and Karamojong). After the tragic events of the civil war (officially ended in 1985) and following the persistence of the insecurity of agricultural areas, many villagers took refuge in the cities; the capital Kampala (pop. 773.463) hosts hundreds of thousands of refugees in miserable shanty towns.
The long periods of guerilla warfare have reduced the country’s economy to conditions of grave difficulty. Agriculture and livestock employ 80% of the entire workforce, but the continuous climatic variations, the exodus of the rural population, the lack of connections and general insecurity have made it difficult to recover this important economic sector. In commercial agriculture, the largest export product is coffee (1,770,000 q in 1993), followed by tea and cotton. The main food crops are cassava, sweet potato, millet, sorghum, maize and various vegetables, grown in many small family farms: to cover the internal food needs today the focus is mainly on corn which seems to offer good growth prospects. L’ Extensive breeding is practiced by the Nilo-Hamitic populations and enters only a small part in the commercial circuit. The once important mining activity has ceased almost completely after the Kilembe (copper) mine has ceased to be exploited, also resulting in the closure of the Jinja refining plant. The country also has deposits of cobalt, apatite, tungsten and other minerals, but always in small quantities. The hydroelectric production of the Owen Falls plant is now largely exported to Kenya due to the reduced internal needs, as the industrial activity is limited to some factories for the processing of agricultural and livestock products, to four textile plants and to some metalworking factories. Tourism has practically ceased and the communication routes have greatly deteriorated; the countries of the European Union have undertaken to rebuild at least the connecting arteries with neighboring countries. The Uganda it uses the port of Mombasa and to a lesser extent that of Dār es-Salāām. Foreign trade today is very limited and sees Kenya and the United Kingdom at the top for imports, while for exports the Netherlands, the United States and France.
History. – The collapse of the bloody and grotesque dictatorship of Idi Amin Dada, who remained in power from 1971 to 1979, was the joint action of the armed forces of Tanzania and militarized groups of Ugandan exiles who had found refuge in Tanzania itself. On 11 April 1979 Amin fled the capital for Libya and subsequently took refuge in final exile in Saudi Arabia, leaving behind a country in ruins, traversed by armed gangs, prey to looting and terror. The “ liberation ” movement (the Uganda National Liberation Army and its political arm, the Uganda National Liberation Front) enjoyed the protection of Tanzania and was heterogeneous, divided into several parties, made up of personalities unwilling to share power with others; the ideal point of reference of the opposition to Amin in Tanzania had been for years the former Ugandan president M. Obote – and probably also the president of Tanzania JK Nyerere aimed at him – but his candidacy was far from undisputed.
To manage the transition towards what was thought to be a normalization at the political and institutional level, a second-rate character was chosen, Y. Lule, with little political experience and very little personal following, who sought to strengthen himself by promising the restoration of ” centrality. ” of the Baganda, the most important population of the Uganda, whose integration into the state structure had represented the essential problem after independence. Lule remained in office for only a few months, from April to June 1979, and another compromise man was installed in his place, G. Binaisa, who included two of the rising politicians in the government: Fr. Muwanga, a member of the UPC. (Uganda People’s Congress) and close to Obote, as interior minister, and Y. Museveni, an ambitious intellectual who turned to guerrilla warfare, who took on the key portfolio of Defense. The replacement at the top of the country did not change the political framework that remained at the limits of ungovernable, with the proliferation of armies on a tribal basis, each with its own settlement in a part of the country. At the same time the agreement between UNLA and Tanzania went into crisis and Nyerere showed that he wanted to dissociate by gradually withdrawing the troops. Before the elections were called, in May 1980, there was direct intervention by the army and a collective commission was established that included all the protagonists of the subsequent events: Muwanga, generals D. Oyite-Ojok and T. Okello, Museveni.
Obote’s triumphal return to his homeland seemed to be an anticipation of the electoral outcome. In fact, the UPC prevailed in the elections of 10 December 1980, but in conditions of suspicion and irregularity that left behind frustration and feelings of revenge in the defeated parties, including the Democratic Party of P. Ssemogerere and the party by Museveni himself, who was now lined up against Obote after having played in the UPC and especially in his radical youth association. Obote remained in power for five years in a crescendo of instability and accusations of embezzlement, violence and corruption, while Museveni had opted for armed struggle, founding the National Resistance Army (NRA). Other outbreaks of military revolt arose in various parts of the country, re-proposing among other things the usual tribal disagreements. In July 1985 a wing of the army under the orders of gen. B. Okello dismissed Obote, suspended the Constitution and installed as the new president the gen. T. Okello, who formed a military council mainly composed of Acholi (a population of the North) and with some political exponents, including Ssemogerere; but the dissidence of the NRA, strong in the South-West of the country, showed no sign of abating. Museveni conquered the capital on January 26, 1986, sworn in as president on the 29th of the same month. He pretended not to be one of the many ‘warlords’ who had devastated the Uganda in those years, not only because he presented himself as a leader national rather than tribal, but because he was convinced that he was leading a disciplined army, respectful of human rights and ” politicized ”. In the north and east of the country, armed groups of no clear identification continued to operate, but the Uganda he began to gradually emerge from the state of endemic war in which he had lived for so long. Museveni proved to have charisma, authority and consent; under his leadership the Uganda it acquired prestige at the regional level, and this recognition also helped it to overcome the problems of stability because interference around its borders ceased; it was the same Uganda if ever who influenced the events of neighboring countries, such as when support for the Rwandan Patriotic Front, composed of Tutsi exiles housed in its territory and trained in part among Museveni’s forces, it contributed to the offensive that led to a change of government in Rwanda and the massacres of 1994. Museveni assumed the post of head of state and, pending that a new constitution was formulated, governed assisted by a National Resistance Council (NRC) with 216 elected members and 68 presidential nominated members. The government was based on a coalition dominated by the National Resistance Movement (NRM), political arm of the NRA; organized political activity was officially banned, but traditional parties continued to exist and were also represented in the government. The partial demobilization of the army and a policy of administrative decentralization had reduced the power of the center while respecting in some way the pluralism that in the past had been the main obstacle to the country’s peace. An economic adjustment program financed by the International Monetary Fund initiated reforms and stabilization: good economic administration was rewarded with the cancellation of two-thirds of the external debt on a bilateral basis. In 1994 the Constituent Assembly was elected (114 of the 214 seats were won by followers of the president), but a very serious dispute arose between the various parties following the decision to extend the government of the NRM for 5 years after the promulgation of the Constitution. Apart from the critical situation on the border with Rwanda, a ” front ” of insecurity was reopening with Sudan, which the Ugandan government accused of fomenting outbreaks of rebellion, and on 23 April 1995 the Uganda he decided to break off diplomatic relations with Khartoum.