Uganda - Foreign policy

Uganda is a member of the UN, the Commonwealth of States, and several related agencies, and is a founding member of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). It also belongs to the Non-aligned Movement, the Group of 77, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Uganda welcomes diplomatic relations with all nations, regardless of ideology.

Once strong relations with African neighbors have become mostly strained. With Kenya there are unresolved issues over trade and dissident political activity by Ugandan exiles. In light of the still unresolved insurgency movements on both sides of the Uganda-Sudanese border, diplomatic relations with Sudan continued to be strained. Though Museveni signed a cease-fire with President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and withdrew most of his troops from Congolese territory in early 2003, fighting on the Democratic Republic of the Congo side of the border continued into May 2003, and indeed intensified between the Hema and Lendu in the Bunia area as a result of Ugandan interference. Museveni's relations with his once stalwart ally, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, have been strained since hostilities broke out between the troops of the two countries in Kisangani, Democratic Republic of the Congo, in 2001. Finally, some African countries have voiced concern over Libya's provision of fuel and military supplies to Uganda.

Though fairly steady since Museveni came to power, relations with the United States have reached a sensitive stage. Relations hit a high point in the late 1990s capped by President Bill Clinton's visit to the country in April 1998. However, given the recent lackluster performance of the economy, the destabilizing effect of unresolved wars, and high levels of corruption, the United States is increasingly concerned that the wheels of Museveni's government and its social-economic policies may have left the tracks. The United States was disappointed with logistical delays, irregularities in distribution of electoral material and voting, confusion over electoral laws, and electoral violence during the 2002 local elections. Of particular concern is the lack of political space and freedom of speech that Museveni's 'Movement' has allowed other political forces. It is anticipated that the United States will express its concern on these matters as well as voice its disapproval of any attempt by Museveni or his Movement to tamper with the constitution to legalize a run for a third term. Important discussions between US representatives and representatives of the Ugandan government are planned during the donors' Consultative Group meetings scheduled for May 2003 in Kampala.

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