Biography of Yoweri Kaguta Museveni

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Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, (born 1944,
Mbarra district, Uganda), politician who
became president of Uganda in 1986.
Museveni was born to cattle farmers
and attended missionary schools.
While studying political science and
economics at the University of Dar es
Salaam (B.A., 1970) in Tanzania , he
became chairman of a leftist student
group allied with African liberation
movements. When Idi Amin came to
power in Uganda in 1971, Museveni
returned to Tanzania in exile. There he
founded the Front for National
Salvation, which helped overthrow
Amin in 1979.
Museveni held posts in transitional
governments and in 1980 ran for
president of Uganda. When the
elections, widely believed to have been
rigged, were won by Milton Obote ,
Museveni formed the National
Resistance Movement. The resistance
eventually prevailed, and on Jan. 26,
1986, Museveni declared himself
president of Uganda. He was elected to
the post on May 9, 1996, and his
backers won control of the National
Assembly in legislative elections held
the following month. Museveni was
reelected in 2001 and again in 2006
after a constitutional amendment
passed the previous year had
eliminated established term limits for
the presidency. He was reelected
again in 2011, although the opposition
and international observers noted
problems with the polling process.
As president, Museveni helped
revitalize the country, providing
political stability, a growing economy,
and an improved infrastructure. He
instituted a number of capitalist
reforms and supported a free press.
Although Museveni initially rejected
multiparty democracy, arguing that it
would degenerate into tribal politics in
a poor African country, he accepted
the results of a 2005 referendum that
overwhelmingly supported a return to
multiparty politics; the next year the
country held its first multiparty
elections since 1980. Museveni also
implemented measures to combat
AIDS . Uganda, in fact, was one of the
first African countries to have success
battling the illness.
In his foreign policy, Museveni often
generated controversy by supporting
rebels in other African countries. He
backed Laurent Kabila , who deposed
Mobutu Sese Seko in neighbouring
Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of
the Congo) in 1997, the Tutsi exiles
who were fighting against the
government of Rwanda, and a group,
headed by one of his former
schoolmates, battling the Islamic
fundamentalist rulers of Sudan.
Museveni justified his support of rebels
by stating that his goal was to achieve
regional integration in both politics and
economics and that the downfall of
corrupt regimes was necessary to
bring about such a union.
Ironically, corruption was also an issue
in Uganda under Museveni. Over the
years, foreign and domestic support
for Museveni waned in some quarters,
with corruption being cited as one of
the problems; Museveni’s growing
intolerance with dissenting views was
another commonly cited criticism. He
also came under fire for his lack of
success with eliminating the Lord’s
Resistance Army (LRA), a militia led by
Joseph Kony that terrorized northern
Uganda for decades. Although the LRA
was largely forced out of the country,
the group continued to commit
atrocities in neighbouring countries.
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