Country Report Uganda March 2011

Outlook for 2011-12: International relations

The Ugandan government has sought to respond actively to the bomb attacks launched against the capital, Kampala, in July 2010 by al-Shabab, an Islamist insurgent group that opposes the UN-backed transitional government in Somalia. It has offered to supply troops to increase the African Union Mission in Somalia from current levels of around 8,000 to 20,000 personnel, but only if funding can be found. The most likely source is the US, but any increase is likely to bring troop levels only to around 12,000, far short of the numbers that Mr Museveni would like to send. Uganda's porous borders and weak law enforcement are a cause for further concern, meaning that more bomb attacks are possible.

Relations with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Sudan could worsen owing to the valuable natural resources in disputed border areas. Relations with the DRC have warmed but could deteriorate quickly, as they are vulnerable to changes in the Congolese political mood and disputes over oil resources in Lake Albert. Links with Sudan could come under strain given the recent volatile political environment, but the overwhelming vote in January in favour of secession in Southern Sudan could lead to a period of greater political stability.

Growing interdependence with the other four members of the East African Community (EAC)-Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda-will reduce the likelihood of animosity leading to outright diplomatic disputes. A common market came into operation in July 2010, but trade issues could cause occasional flare-ups. Meanwhile, relations with donors and the IMF will be uneasy owing to concerns over corruption and the management of future oil revenue. However, donors will remain key contributors to the national budget, despite reducing by 15% the amount that they had planned to give through budget support in the current financial year.

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