Uganda Country Report
President Yoweri Museveni's February 2016 re-election signifies that he is unlikely to be successfully challenged from within the ruling party or by the opposition. Sustained or disruptive protests are unlikely, including in Kampala. Where protests do occur, the security forces will swiftly respond with force, posing fatality risks to protesters. Domestic terrorist groups are largely contained, and a lack of local affiliates mitigates the risk of attack by Somali Islamist group Al-Shabaab. Inter-state war risks are lowered by improved regional co-operation, but cross-border skirmishes remain likely, particularly along the western border with DRC. Concessions by the government in 2013 and 2014 have allowed for the resumption of activity in the oil sector; commercial production is stillunlikely before 2023. GDP growth of 5.4% is expected in 2018.
Corruption and crippling bureaucracy remain endemic problems in Uganda, with the embezzlement of public funds and solicitation of bribes widespread, including at top government levels. Poor infrastructure constrains the development of business in the country, and complex land laws increase risks of title deed cancellation. Some of the obstacles, such as power generation and transport, are also priority areas for development and could offer investors opportunities through which the situation could improve greatly over the next decade.
Uganda faces only a low-level threat from Somali Islamist group Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen. The group, allegedly with support from local affiliates, carried out a deadly terrorist attack in the capital, Kampala, in July 2010 in retaliation to Uganda's deployment of peacekeepers in Somalia. Since then Al-Shabaab and its proxies have focused their attacks on neighbouring Kenya, although warnings have been issued by security forces over potential attacks in Uganda. There is an increased risk of attacks on security forces by militants linked to traditional kingdoms in the southwest. Northern Uganda faces only a minimal residual threat from the Lord's Resistance Army.
Uganda continues to have difficulties with its neighbours, particularly the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), although these have improved from 2012−13 when Uganda was accused of backing the M23 rebel group, a charge Kampala denied vehemently. Domestically, security agencies continue to face accusations of violence when dealing with protesters and followers of traditional kingdoms hostile to the government. There is only a minimal remaining threat of attack in northern and western Uganda from the exiled ADF and LRA militant groups; however, army desertions and growing 'traditional kingdom' militancy in the southwest indicate growing political dissatisfaction.
Protest marches in Kampala and other cities against the removal of the constitutional age limit for presidents are likely to be quickly suppressed by police, causing only minor disruption. Violent police crackdowns, as well as the general despondency among the opposition following the 2016 elections, have reduced the opposition's mobilising potential. Opposition leader Kizza Besigye is significantly more likely to seek dialogue and negotiations with President Museveni than to mount a successful 2011-style protest campaign, decreasing the risk of protracted or disruptive protests throughout the country. Mass anti-government protests are unlikely in non-urban centres.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required if traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission and over one year of age.
Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Yellow Fever: A vaccine is available for children over the age of one year.
Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).
Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).
Meningococcal Meningitis: For prolonged stays, or in case your travels will put you in close contact with a local population affected by an epidemic of the disease (for children over the age of two years).
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
Much of the country is vulnerable to flooding during the two rainy seasons (normally from March to May and October to November). The northeast of the country is particularly susceptible to flooding and there is a high risk of landslides in Bulecheke sub-county of Bududa district.
Road infrastructure in the country is often in a state of disrepair and the country reports high rates of traffic fatalities. Never travel by car at night, except on the Kampala-Entebbe road (e.g. to the airport), and exercise caution when doing so during the day. There is a risk of being violently attacked by surrounding crowds following a road accident; after a collision, remain in your vehicle and drive to a police station to report the incident.
Police checkpoints are common and may be used to extort bribes.
Public transportation should be avoided, including Matatu minibus taxis and Boda Boda motorcycle taxis, which are frequently involved in serious, and often fatal, road collisions. Foreigners have frequently been mugged while using Boda Bodas.
In the past several years, there have been several fatal ferry accidents on Lake Albert and Lake Victoria. Travelers are advised to ensure that they are using a reputable ferry company and to not board a ferry that seems overloaded or unseaworthy.
Uganda is located in a tropical zone but its climate is relatively temperate due to its high elevation. The hot season lasts from December until January, with temperatures higher in the north than in the south. There are two rainy seasons, from March until May and again from October until December.
|Police:||999, 0414 342 222 or 0414 342 223|
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|Ambulance:||999, 0414 342 222 or 0414 342 223|
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