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How the Army Is Swallowing the Ugandan State

Added 08-15-22 12:34:03pm EST - “When civilian institutions are undermined, soldiers step in.” - Foreignpolicy.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Foreignpolicy.com: “How the Army Is Swallowing the Ugandan State”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

Analysis: How the Army Is Swallowing the Ugandan State How the Army Is Swallowing the Ugandan Sta... | View Comments ()

On May 26, at a polling station in northern Uganda’s Omoro District, a crowd gathered around ballot boxes set beneath a mango tree on the side of a small dirt road. Elders in faded blazers, young men in second-hand soccer jerseys, and women with babies swaddled on their backs emerged from homesteads hidden in the tall grass to watch election officials count votes for a parliamentary by-election.

Beside them stood a number of security agents: two ordinary police officers in khaki uniforms; a counterterrorism police officer in a beret and shades; a soldier in camouflage pants; a riot police officer in a dappled blue uniform, who was not a soldier but certainly looked like one; and four men in balaclavas slouching in the back of a pickup truck. Most of them were carrying guns.

This scene at an obscure polling station illustrates some simple truths about the way the Ugandan state operates under President Yoweri Museveni, a former rebel who seized power in 1986. Soldiers seem to be everywhere—even civilian institutions now resemble military ones. Museveni buttresses his political power with security forces of all kinds, including intelligence agencies and police units, but it is military logic that reigns supreme. Under Museveni’s direction, the army is reaching ever deeper into Ugandan politics and society.

On May 26, at a polling station in northern Uganda’s Omoro District, a crowd gathered around ballot boxes set beneath a mango tree on the side of a small dirt road. Elders in faded blazers, young men in second-hand soccer jerseys, and women with babies swaddled on their backs emerged from homesteads hidden in the tall grass to watch election officials count votes for a parliamentary by-election.

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