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Ex-guerilla to ‘Big Man'

Xan Rice

A Marxist during his student days, Yoweri Museveni fought in the war that ousted Idi Amin from power in 1979. He formed a political party to contest the 1981 elections, which were rigged by the former President Milton Obote. Though Museveni's party was not the biggest victim of the fraud, he launched a rebellion, finally seizing power in early 1986.

Early in his leadership Museveni was widely praised. Uganda's shattered economy began to recover, and it took the lead among African countries in addressing the Aids epidemic. But by the late 1990s, his reputation was declining. The war with the Lord's Resistance Army had cost thousands of lives. Troops he sent into the Democratic Republic of the Congo killed and pillaged. His opponents' fears that he was morphing into a “Big Man” were realised when he amended the constitution to remove the two-term presidential limit before the 2006 election.— © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2011

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