The report analyses the trends occurring in the country's current and future defence procurement, and the order of battle across its armed forces. The report's general conclusion is that the controversy surrounding Uganda's alleged backing of rebel forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) threatens the country's international standing, as well as regional stability. Uganda, a key contributor to regional peacekeeping efforts, has threatened to quit these missions in response to a UN report accusing it of complicity in the insurgency engulfing the eastern DRC. Meanwhile, the M23 rebel group that Kampala is accused of supporting has made substantial gains.
Ultimately, Uganda's long-serving president, Yoweri Museveni,will be reluctant to withdraw from the prominent regional role into which he has steered the country. Nonetheless, the extent of the political fallout regarding the involvement of Uganda and others in the DRC has yet to be revealed. Impressive progress by the AMISOM mission in Somalia, for example, could be reversed if Uganda pulls out its 6,300 troops, as threatened.
Museveni has also rejected calls by parliamentarians for the government to divert funds from defence and other areas into the country's ailing healthcare system. Social unrest is a growing problem in Uganda, and one contributing factor is the government's failure to deliver on promises to invest in healthcare. Parliamentarians objected to the fact that the government had spent heavily on Sukhoi fighter jets and regional peacekeeping operations, while breaking its pledges on healthcare provision. Despite these concerns, Museveni in September 2012 effectively overruled parliament by issuing an executive order that ring-fenced the defence budget, which is now likely to increase in 2013. Increases will be necessary if, as signalled, the president plans to acquire more advanced military systems, including fighter aircraft.
Over the last quarter BMI has revised the following forecasts/views:
- An updated order of battle for Uganda's army and air force.