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Uganda: Way to independence

Since only a few Europeans found their way to British East Africa the colonies were to a large extent independent in terms of administration. This explains why aspirations for independence started relatively late. It was not until 1952, when the first Political Party to strive for Independence (Uganda National Congress) was started. The Buganda King Mutesa II acted rather hapless during the negotiations for independence. Not least was it necessary to sign another contract with the British in 1955, which didn’t bring independence, but merely acknowledged the Baganda more rights – which provoked envy of other tribes.

Other partys were started e.g. in 1956 the Democratic Party and 1958 the Uganda People's Union (UPU). The UPU was the first party without Baganda as its leaders. With the first elections in the same year several Ugandans made their first leap into the Parliament. The UPU and a spin-off of the Uganda National Congress finally established the socialist oriented party Uganda People's Congress, whose chairman was Milton Obote.

Because of the preference of Baganda by the British and the related inequalities in the country, the people in Uganda were divided. The supremacy in a future independent Uganda was highly competitive. Even the religion played a role, as both Protestants and Catholics sought for more influence.

Emblem of UgandaIn defiance of all disputes and Party skirmish, the independence of Uganda in form of a federation of the former kingdoms was obtained. The colonization of Uganda officially ended with a coalition of UPC and the Buganda-Party with Milton Obote as its first prime minister on October 9th, 1962.

However Uganda remained very unstable politically. The former Buganda Kingdom had with King Mutesa II sovereignty to a large extent (a state in a state) and insisted on the need of a separate, completely independent Kingdom. Conflicts were therefore inevitable.



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