Uganda: Issues Ignored

Essay by sardiddle April 2006

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Uganda, a Sub-Saharan country located in Africa, straddles the equator and is made up mostly of fertile highlands (Uganda: Land and People, 2005). Kampala is the capital of Uganda. Once ruled by brutal dictator Idi Amin, what is more formally known as the Republic of Uganda gained its independence on October 9, 1962, now a nationally celebrated holiday. Since 1986, Yoweri Kaguta Musevini has been the president, chief of state and head of government. Prime Minister, Apollo Nsibambi assists the president in supervising the cabinet, who are appointed by the president from a choice of elected legislators (Politics of Uganda, 2005). Uganda has a population of 24,699,073 (Demographics of Uganda, 2005), ninety percent of whom live in rural areas (Uganda: Land and People, 2005). Though English is the country's official language, approximately seventy percent of the people speak a Bantu language (Uganda: Land and People, 2005). Approximately two-thirds of Uganda's population is Christian, while the rest practice animism or follow the teachings of Islam (Culture of Uganda, 2005).

Full of exotic animals and beautiful landscapes, it is no wonder that Uganda is called the "Pearle of Africa." However, Uganda's natural beauty veils a country devastated by the effects of civil war, poverty, AIDS, and the suppression of women.

War & Violence

Since 1987, the people of northern Uganda have been relentlessly plundered, kidnapped, raped, tortured, and murdered by a rebel group looking to overthrow the current Ugandan government, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). The victims of the LRA have been primarily the Acholi people, of what is known as the Acholiland. The Acholiland consists of the districts Kitgum, Gulu, and Pader. Since 2002, these attacks have spread into other districts as well. Since the beginning of this eighteen year conflict, up to 12,000 people have been killed, 1.5...