Who is Yoweri Museveni, Uganda’s tolerated dictator?

He is one of those we tolerate. Admittedly, the endemic corruption of Ugandan regime, recurring violations of human rights and an anti-homosexual law adopted in 2014 have cooled its Western allies, Washington in the lead. But Yoweri Museveni, the ex-guerrilla who became irremovable president, provides many services …

A key regional player

This 76-year-old man, with the appearance of an affable grandfather, willingly theatrical, has risen to the rank of essential regional actor. Its army, accused of war crimes in the Democratic Republic of Congo, also knows how to occupy key roles, as in Somalia where Ugandan troops have been fighting since 2007 against the Shebab insurgents, affiliated with Al-Qaida. Hasn’t it, moreover, welcomed on its territory the European forces who formed the Somali government army or the American commandos who tracked down the bloodthirsty Joseph Kony, the leader of the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army)?

However, Museveni is one of those despots with which some are hardly displayed anymore. The one who never mentions his succession, had the constitution amended twice to remove the age limit and that of the number of presidential terms. He also, for a time, prohibited the multiparty system and methodically stifled the ambitions of Kizza Besigye, his former doctor in the Mozambican maquis, during the last four elections.

“Guarantee your future”

The autocrat now reserves the same fate for his new competitor, the former ragga singer Bobi Wine, popular with young people (80% of the 43 million inhabitants are under 30). Many times arrested since 2018, the 38-year-old MP has seen his campaign violently repressed, in the name of the fight against the coronavirus.

Craftsman of the fall of the bloodthirsty dictator Idi Amin Dada in 1979, Museveni has made his campaign slogan “guarantee your future”, his personal motto, revised and corrected. It is his future that he wants to guarantee, this Thursday, January 14, 2021, to make lie the slogan of his opponent: “We bring down a dictator” (#WeAreRemovingADictator).

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