Yoweri Kaguta Moseveni becomes president of Uganda

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Uganda Flag

Wednesday, 29 January 1986

Uganda experienced a number of changes of government since it attained its independence from British rule in 1962. In December 1980 Apollo Milton Obote, from the Uganda People's Congress (UPC), who had previously ruled Uganda, returned to power for the second time after multi-party elections. The election outcomes were contested as the opposition, the Uganda Patriotic Movement (UPM), believed the UPC had doctored the election results.

Obote remained in power for a short time. Yoweri Moseveni from the UPM refused to recognise his government and with Yusuf Lule, the former President of the Ugandan Provisional Government, challenged the legitimacy of the new government through guerrilla warfare under the auspices of Uganda Patriotic Movement (UPM). The UPM later altered its name to the National Resistance Movement (NRM) with the National Resistance Army (NRA) as its military wing.

Moseveni's reasons to challenge Obete's regime were afforded impetus by the growing discontent from the Ugandan population regarding political persecution and instability, and deteriorating economic performance.

In 1985 the Ugandan government's strength and legitimacy was put to the test when a faction from Obote's own army seized power and ousted him. Obote was forced to flee to Zambia and his government was replaced by a Military Council headed by General Tito Okello. The new government only remained in place until 26 January 1986, when the NRA entered the capital city of Kampala to disintegrate the Military Council.

On 29 January 1986 Moseveni, after five years in the bush, was sworn in as the new Ugandan Head of State. He ruled the country for a decade without having been elected to power.

References:
• janda,29 January 1986,[Online]available at: www.janda.org,[Accessed on: 19 December 2013]
• africanhistory, Yoweri Kaguta Moseveni,[Online]available at:www.africanhistory.about.com,[Accessed on: 19 December 2013]

Last updated : 29-Jan-2015

This article was produced by South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011

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