Uganda’s ranking among the world’s failed states has dropped with the country now graduating from the “in danger” to the “critical” status, the 2012 Failed States Index, says.
The country slid from the 21st position it occupied in the previous two years to the 20th this year, according to the index prepared by the US-based Fund for Peace.
Uganda, however, fared better than Kenya, which is in position 16 and Burundi (18).
The Fund for Peace looked at 12 indicators such as human rights, security apparatus, public services, factionalised elite, external intervention and delegitimisation of the State.
Failed states are characterised by loss of physical control of their territories and in Uganda’s present context, the perceived loss on the legitimate use of force and the inability to provide reasonable public services, among many other attributes, informed the country’s categorisation.
Mr Crispy Kaheru, project coordinator at the Citizens Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda, attributed the slide to a trend in mostly developing countries that discover oil within their borders which usually leads to instability.
“Wherever oil is discovered, it attracts the interest of some foreign governments which might want to control the resource. At the same time the locals want to be in control of the resource…” Mr Kaheru told the Daily Monitor yesterday.
The Minister for Information, Ms Mary Karooro Okurut, described the index as “redundant verdict” since Uganda has a “working democracy, with a robust Parliamentwhich even forced three ministers to step aside when faced with allegations of graft.
“If Uganda were a failed State, it could not have marshalled an army to restore sanity to a volatile country Somalia, where world powers had failed. We pity those cynics…,” Ms Karooro said by telephone yesterday.
Somalia topped the index for the fifth year running.
Mr Kaheru said Uganda’s new ranking could scare away investors from the country since they would be unsure of the security of their investments.
“The investors who would come to invest would be those with strong links with some people in government,” Mr Kaheru said.
This latest index comes hot on the heels of the recent Uganda Human Rights Commission annual report which said registration of cases of human rights violations had increased by 28 per cent.
The UHRC attributed the increase to the establishment of more offices, a mobile complaints handling system and public awareness drives.
Public Services 8.6
Security apparatus 8.3
Human rights 7.8