n Africa Conflict Monthly Monitor - The persistence of authoritarian rule in Uganda : East-Africa - issue in focus

Volume 2014, Issue 02
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The incursion of Ugandan troops into South Sudan that was both resented by the Sudanese and continued to create Ugandan military casualties in 2014,2 could only have been carried out by a Ugandan government confident that it can do as it pleased in weaker neighbouring countries. From whence comes such self-assurance that one country can send in soldiers to 'solve' a domestic problem of a neighbour (albeit a large one for South Sudan, an infant nation faced with a destabalising rebel movement)? Uganda's current military hubris is founded in post-colonial history. Namely, the ghost of the regime of Africa's bloodiest dictator since the Pharaohs, Uganda's legendary Major General Idi Amin hovers over the current foreign policy of current Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in the East Africa region. Amin's aggressive style and adventurism in neighbouring countries during his rule in the 1970s set the precedent for Ugandan militarism to come. Echoes of Amin resound in Museveni's deployment of troops in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan. Perhaps Amin's lasting legacy has been to instill the hawkish belief amongst subsequent national leaders in his country that an aggressive foreign policy is the best way to secure a personal political hegemony in domestic and regional affairs.

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