This thesis is concerned with exploring the foreign policy decision of the Ugandan Government to participate in what became the Congo War. The initial decision concerned crossing the border area, but the regime ended up staying in Congo for a lengthy six years (officially). This thesis aims to explore the dynamic process of why . Uganda s image had been that of a successful development state but suddenly this image became tainted with tales of a
resource-hungry belligerent on quest in the Congolese war. Uganda emerged as a country with two heads, a Janus-faced state. In this thesis I seek to understand this Ugandan paradox. This thesis explores the relationship between Ugandan participation in the Congo War, and the regime s struggle for political survival domestically. Why did Uganda participate in the Congo War? Moreover: Why did the
forces end up staying on Congolese soil? My hypothesis was that Uganda
participated in the Congo War in order for the NRM to secure their regime.
The theory approach of Mohammed Ayoob is taken as a point of departure, due to his analytical priority of domestic political variables, namely state-making, when explaining conflicts in the Third World. He traces threats, conflicts and state behaviour of Third World states to the domestic political venture of state-building
(Ayoob 1995, 2004). Ayoob avers that threats to states in the Third World are first and foremost internal, namely threats to domestic order without isolating them from external variables from the regional environment. On the other hand, Ayoob seems too state-centric as well evolutionist in his approach, and this necessitates expansion of the theorety framework in order to make it better suited to the African political setting. Therefore, this thesis draws on various works of Africanists in a more eclectic manner. Among these are theoreticians who put regimes at the forefront, like Clark with his concept of regime security (Clark 2001a and b) and Clapham s
politics of state survival (Clapham 1996), in addition to scholars who underline the more informal elements of African politics.
To answer my research questions I introduced a multi-layered context for understanding the NRM regime s behaviour domestic, regional, international as well as the importance of historic events in Uganda from pre-colonial through colonial to post-colonial times. At the forefront is the NRM s perception of themselves as not just the Leviathan of Uganda but the one and only possible Leviathan of Uganda. Museveni sees himself as the political doctor of Uganda: any
cure he prescribes is legitimate and rightful. The regime s legitimacy has rested on its ability to keep the core NRM areas safe and stable. However, Museveni has not managed to build a polity that includes the whole of the country; he has not managed to overcome the Luwero legacy, and the Congo invasion has to be seen from this
angle. As part of Museveni s state-building project, he must above all secure his regime. This is the reason why the ADF s substantial presence and their raids carried out on what was perceived as safe NRM ground in 1996 (mainly from bases in the Congo) represented a major menace to the stability and security image of the NRM. In short, this is also my main argument as to why the NRM regime crossed the borders into Congo in 1996 and participated in what I termed Congo I . Domestic security is the basic key for understanding their participation. However, as the war progressed the means to secure the regime changed, as we see in Congo II and Congo III, where the question of what kept the UPDF there is
addressed. I argued that the trouble for all parts, including Uganda, materialised in the second Congo mission. The analysis in of Congo II was twofold. I analysed why Uganda goes back into the
Congo in August 1998. Why does the Museveni regime want to depose the man they helped into power a year ago? I see the Congo II basically as a continuation of the first mission, with the same objectives; thus, the analysis holds above all this concerns Ugandan domestic security concerns spelt out in a regional context. Accordingly, the analysis draws on the aspects of regime security in understanding
the reasons behind Uganda s renewed involvement. Furthermore, I explored the question of what kept the UPDF there. In my view, the greed approach can shed light on the economic opportunities that materialised during the course of the Congo war. However, I claimed that these economic opportunities are more than mere
greed-ridden exploitation of Congolese resources. Subsequently, I argue that in addition to the obvious pure economic elements, these opportunities carry principal political and military considerations as well. In this aspect it is essential to note that what kept the UPDF forces in Congo are different from why they intervened thus the importance of underlying that these whys keep changing. Therefore, the war needs to be put into a dynamic perspective, as the means and attitudes change and differ in the various periods. Nevertheless, these economic agendas do not need to oppose the goal of securing the regime, but may be an alternate means to obtain
the overall objective of political survival by increasingly resorting to more informal measures. Nonetheless, it can be argued that the underlying objective of the Museveni regime remained unchanged throughout the whole mission: the objective of securing the NRM
regime and their political project. In this case, it implies that the alleged Ugandan looting of Congolese resources might be part of the quest for political survival. The economic predation could be seen as just another means for building a state protection of the political project, a Machiavellian necessity . One such necessity noted in the analysis has been to keep the UPDF busy and happy , in
order to obtain regime security through support from the army. And one way of doing this is to placate the army by letting them loose on Congolese ground, letting soldiers get away with economic exploitation. The analysis of Congo III also shows us the end of the economisation process, where the war has reoriented more and
more from its original goals towards profit. During this period, the original security objectives to a certain extent succumbed to other economic interests thus undermining their initial strategies.
Even though the analysis of Congo III indicates that war economies can protract wars, these war economies are nonetheless by-products of the war. The war economy is but one of many reasons of why the UPDF ended up staying on in the Congo not why they went there in the first place.
Congo III also demonstrates how much more difficult it is to an end a war than to start one. The UPDF is somewhat stuck in the quagmire in the Congo, and fight erupts even with their brothers in arms, Rwanda. This is partly due to the process of localisation where we see the Ugandan army increasingly intertwined with local events on the ground. Both the Rwandan and the Ugandan army lacked essential
in-depth knowledge of the local scene and above all understanding of the local context and political landscape in which they both were operating and transforming. They were also caught in the dynamics of break-up as well as deteriorating relations between the two former close colleagues, Kagame and Museveni. Additionally, the NRM-regime might have feared the effects of an end to the Congo War, namely the possible negative consequences for their own ability to stay in
power. Thus, the uncertain effects associated with ending the war might also have contributed to the regime s wish to sustain the Congo war.
On the other hand, the analysis has also highlighted the importance of not taking an apparent war economy at face value, but also viewing it as a critical mode of survival for many Congolese at the grassroots (Jackson 2004). This has essential consequences for how to assess legal an illegal trade in conflict and war the question then becomes the classic cui bono: who benefits from the trade? . These
ways of viewing war economy and Jackson s concept of economisation and my concept of localisation , then, can with ease be transferred to any conflict, not just Uganda s participation in the Congo War. That is highly relevant insight for a deeper understanding of what is going on in any conflict particularly due to today s globalisation and the somewhat distorted debate on the role of natural resources in war. These concepts also indicate the great importance of a making thorough assessment and being knowledgeable about local conditions and how these local conditions are transformed during conflict.||nor