The world's enduring dictators: Yoweri Museveni, Uganda

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is sworn in for another term at Kololo Airstrip in the capital city Kampala Thursday, May 12, 2011. Uganda's top opposition leader flew back home Thursday and was welcomed by large crowds on the same day that the country's 25-year leader was sworn in to a fourth term. AP Photo/Stephen Wandera

Yoweri Museveni of Uganda
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is sworn in for his fourth term at Kololo Airstrip in the capital city of Kampala on Thursday, May 12, 2011.
AP Photo
This is an installment in the WorldWatch series, "The world's enduring dictators," inspired by events in Tunisia and Egypt, in which CBSNews.com takes a look at the men who continue to rule their lands unimpeded by law. See a complete explanation of the series and a list of others profiled here.

Yoweri Museveni, Uganda

Length of rule: 25 years. Having been involved in the overthrow of two homicidal despots - Idi Amin and Milton Obote - Museveni took control of Uganda in 1986. Museveni was sworn in for a fourth term as president in early May in an election the opposition has widely decried as rigged, and at the inauguration partially overshadowed by protests, he delivered "a mixed message of conciliation, threats, and unclear strategy."

Feature page: The world's enduring dictators

Most despotic acts: In 2005, D.R. Congo brought a case to the International Criminal Court accusing Uganda of committing human rights violations and massacring Congolese civilians while invading it. There has been a steady chorus of increasing complaints that Museveni is a hard-line ruler, all as he declares himself the only man who can keep the peace in Uganda. Human Rights Watch writes that "the Ugandan police Rapid Response Unit frequently operates outside the law, carrying out torture, extortion, and in some cases, extrajudicial killings." More recently, The New York Times writes that "Mr. Museveni has...been bedeviled by accusations of corruption involving campaign financing, the purchase of Russian fighter jets and secretive oil contracts."

Outlook for change: While international observers did not say there was widespread state-sponsored violence, disenfranchisement and voter fraud this year like in previous presidential elections, there was still a good bit of it nonetheless. The country has managed to avoid large Egypt-style protests, despite predictions to the contrary. The country's main opposition leader, Kizza Besigye, has been arrested several times in the past few months, but he still has managed to find success in organizing some smaller anti-government protests, which police have attempted to aggressively break up. Museveni was obviously shaken by the North African uprisings, as local television was banned from airing footage of them. Additionally, Ugandan stability has been shaken repeatedly by its years-long battle with Joseph Kony and his infamous rebel group, the Lord's Resistance Army, well-known for recruiting child soldiers in its regional terror campaign.

Uganda stats:

Population: 34,612,250; Baganda 16.9 percent, Banyakole 9.5 percent, Basoga 8.4 percent, Bakiga 6.9 percent, Iteso 6.4 percent, Langi 6.1 percent, Acholi 4.7 percent, Bagisu 4.6 percent, Lugbara 4.2 percent, Bunyoro 2.7 percent, other 29.6 percent; Median age is 15.

Constitution and the Rule of Law: Republic; Everyday law based on English common law and customary law.

Economic Indicators: Overall GDP is $41.7 billion (world rank is 96); Per capita GDP is $1,200 (world rank is 207); unemployment rate not available.

Press freedom index world rank: 96

World Rulers
  • Joshua Norman

    Joshua Norman is a Senior Editor at CBSNews.com.

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.