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keskiviikko 22. kesäkuuta 2016

Uganda, Cool Facts #120

<= 119. Tanzania                                                                                                           121. Zambia =>



1. Ugandan Colonial Time

The Arabs and Europeans arrived at present-day Uganda in the 1800s. First the Arabs arrived at Lake Victoria in 1830 and initiated trade with Buganda Kingdom, one of the most powerful kingdoms in the region. The Europeans arrived in the 1860s when British explorers where searching for the source of Nile.

In 1894 the British created the Uganda Protectorate, which took its final shape in 1914 when several other territories and chiefdoms were integrated into it. The Bugandan troops even helped the British to annex the kingdoms of Bunyoro, Toro and Ankole to their protectorate. The Buganda Kingdom was favored by the British during the colonial time.

One of the major events during the colonial time was the construction of the Uganda Railway, which started in the 1890s. The British recruited a lot of people from British India and after the construction many of the Indians stayed, which formed one of the Asian minorities in the country.

In 1962 Uganda became independent from Great Britain as a part of the Commonwealth.

Uganda Protectorate
Uganda Railway

2. Dictator Idi Amin Dada

Uganda's third president was one of the world history's most notorious dictators, Idi Amin Dada, a former Ugandan boxing champion and a military sergeant. He was a Muslim and belonged to the Kakwa people from the northern parts of Uganda. 

Idi Amin overthrew president Milton Obote in 1971 in a military coup and started his presidency. In 1976 Amin declared himself the president for life but in 1979 he was deposed as Tanzanian forces entered Uganda during the Uganda-Tanzania War. One of the reasons of the war was that Idi Amin wanted to annex the Tanzanian area of Kagera to Uganda and also the fact that the Tanzanian president Nyerere offered Milton Obote a sanctuary in Tanzania.

Idi Amin's presidency led Uganda to international isolation and to a major chaos in the society. Idi Amin fled to Libya and later to Saudi Arabia, when the Tanzanian forces invaded Uganda. Idi Amin spent the rest of his life in Saudi Arabia, where he died in 2003.

Idi Amin's actions during his presidency 1971-1979: 

- Between 100,000-500,000 people killed during his rule
- Ordered the expulsion of Uganda's all 80,000 Asian people except some professionals like doctors, lawyers and teachers
- Severe political repression in the country 
- Ethnic persecution 
- Extrajudicial killings
- Gave himself a lot of titles like: 
"His Excellency" 
"Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada"
"Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of the British in Africa in General and Uganda in particular" 

Idi Amin Dada

3. Ugandan Bush War 

In 1980 Milton Obote won the elections after Idi Amin had fleed the country. Obote was accused of election fraud and because of this Yoweri Museveni's National Resistance Army started a guerrilla war in 1981 against Milton Obote's Uganda National Liberation Army. 

Obote's forces carried out large population transfers and massacred NRA supporters in a large scale. Finally in 1986 NRA conquered Kampala and Museveni became the head of state. Milton Obote's UNLA was defeated. Museveni has been the president since then. 


Ugandan Bush War


In 1987 the Lord's Resistance Army started the insurgency which is a still ongoing guerrilla campaign between the LRA and Museveni's government. The leader is Joseph Kony, who belongs to the Acholi ethnic group, like president Tito Okello, who was overthrown by Museveni in 1986. Museveni's army  carried out mass looting of livestock, rapes, genocide, murder and burning of houses, which caused a lot of resistance against the government. 

The aim of this one of Africa's longest running conflict is to overthrown Museveni's government and to establish a theocratic state on the Ten Commandments and Acholi tradition. 

Causes of the insurgency:
- 1.5 million people have been displaced
- An estimated 100,000 civilians have been killed 
- LRA has abducted over 20,000 children
- Human rights violations like mutilation, torture, rape and massacres
- Use of child soldiers 

Joseph Kony facts: 
- Proclaims to be the spokesperson of God and a spirit medium
- Location unknown
- Claimed to have 88 wives (2007) 
- Claimed to have 42 children (2006) 


Joseph Kony
5. Anti-Homosexuality in Uganda

In 2009 David Bahati, a Ugandan MP introduced an Act substituting life in prison for the death penalty for homosexual actions. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill was signed into law by the president in 2014 however later that year the Constitutional Court of Uganda ruled the Act invalid on procedural grounds.

The Act said also that Ugandan people outside of the country should be extradited to Uganda for punishment there. The Act included also penalties for individuals, companies and organizations helping somehow same-sex acts.

The homosexuality laws are remnants from the British colonial era when the British tried to prohibit same-sex acts. Currently homosexuality is illegal carrying a minimum sentence of two years in prison and maximum of life. Vigilante executions are tolerated.

Protest against Ugandan anti-gay laws
Where homosexuality is illegal map

Timeline

1700-2300 Years ago Bantu-speaking hunter-gatherers arrived from central Africa to the present-day Uganda
1300s The nomadic tribes had established small Kingdoms and the most organized one was the Kingdom of Buganda, with Kampala as the capital
1830 The Arab traders arrived at Lake Victoria initiating trade with the Buganda Kingdom
1860s British explorers arrived at Uganda while searching for the source of Nile
1877 British Anglican missionaries arrived in the Kingdom of Buganda
1886 Religious wars between Muslims and Christians and later from 1890 between Protestants and Catholics
1890s 32,000 laborers from British India were recruited construct the Uganda Railway
1894 The British created the Uganda Protectorate. With the help of Bugandan troops the British annexed the kingdoms of Bunyoro, Toro and Ankole to their protectorate
1900-1920 Sleeping sickness epidemic killed more than 250,000 people
1914 Uganda Protectorate took its final shape after integrating several other territories
1962 Uganda gained independence as a part of the British Commonwealth
1963 Uganda became a republic, Buganda's king Mutesa II was elected as the president
1966 Obote overthrew Mutesa II and abolished the traditional kingdoms next year
1971 General Idi Amin overthrew Milton Obote
1976 Idi Amin declared himself the president for life and expelled the Asians from the country causing a financial chaos. Amin also eliminated his opponents violently
1979 Amin's rule ended when Tanzanian forces aided by Ugandan exiles invaded Uganda
1980 Amin exiled Uganda and Obote was elected as president 
1985 Obote deposed again, this time by Tito Okello, who ruled six months before being deposed
1986 Museveni's NRM occupied Kampala and he has been the president since then
1993 Buganda's king's re-coronation as Mutesa II's son Ronald Mutebi became the king "Kabaka", also other traditional kingdoms have allowed to organize ceremonially without political power
2005 Museveni presidential term limits
2006 Museveni won the elections, which weren't completely regarded as fair
2009 Anti-Homosexuality Bill caused worldwide attention as death penalty was suggested for homosexuality
2011 Museveni won the elections again
2014 As of January homosexuality was illegal carrying a minimum sentence of two years in prison and maximum of life 

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