Uganda. At least 74 people were killed and about as many
were injured when explosive charges were detonated in two
premises in the capital, Kampala, July 11. According to
Uganda has a population of 42.72 million (2018). The attacks,
probably carried out by suicide bombers, were aimed at a
restaurant and a rugby club where many people had gathered
to watch the World Cup finals in football on TV. The
militant Somali Islamist movement al-Shabab, which is
believed to be linked to the terror network al-Qaeda, said
it had carried out the attacks as revenge for Ugandan
soldiers protecting the Somali government.
In August, charges were brought against 32 people for
participation in the attacks. Among them were Ugandans,
Kenyans and Somalis as well as a Rwandan and a Pakistani.
Four Ugandans, identified as the brains behind the death,
were shown to the media, saying they performed the death for
religious reasons and for "anger at Americans" who also
support Somalia's government.
A bill that was tabled in Uganda's parliament in late
2009 caused great upset during the year. According to the
proposal, homosexuality, which is already in itself
forbidden in the country, could under certain circumstances
be punished with death. This applies to previously convicted
persons, HIV-positive people or those who have homosexual
relations with persons under the age of 18. Western
governments and UN agencies condemned the unison bill and
Uganda was threatened with withdrawn assistance. A
commission, appointed by President Yoweri Museveni to
examine the consequences of such a law, recommended in May
that the proposal be withdrawn.
The ancient kingdom of Buganda's royal mausoleum in the
town of Kasubi burned down in March. The royal tombs were
UNESCO classified as one of Uganda's world heritage sites.
Relations between Buganda and the Ugandan state were already
tense since 2009, when the government banned King Ronald
Muwenda Mutebi from visiting an area that had previously
belonged to the kingdom. When President Museveni was to
visit the fire scene, riots erupted and police killed at
least two people. In a riot during a mourning holiday a week
later, another person was killed and tens were injured.
A UN report in September drew strong criticism of Uganda
for its soldiers' conduct in the Congo (Kinshasa) during the
1996-2003 war. The soldiers were accused of massacres on
civilians, torture and destruction of infrastructure. In
2005, the International Court of Justice (ICC) in The Hague
found Uganda guilty of human rights violations during the
war and sentenced the country to pay damages, which never
happened. Following the renewed criticism, Uganda threatened
to call home its soldiers from international peacekeeping