Since the late 1980s Uganda has rebounded from the abyss of civil war and economic catastrophe to become relatively peaceful, stable and prosperous.
In the 1970s and 1980s Uganda was notorious for its human rights abuses, first during the military dictatorship of Idi Amin from 1971-79 and then after the return to power of Milton Obote, who had been ousted by Amin. During this time up to half a million people were killed in state-sponsored violence, the BBC reports.
After becoming president in 1986 Yoweri Museveni introduced democratic reforms and was credited with substantially improving human rights, notably by reducing abuses by the army and the police.
The cult-like Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) began its activities more than 20 years ago and its forces became notorious for abducting children to serve as sex slaves and fighters. At the height of the conflict, nearly two million people in northern Uganda were displaced. The LRA was forced out of Uganda in 2005/06 and since then has wreaked havoc in the Central African Republic, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
According to the UN, 80 % of the Ugandan population are peasants. The country is hit hard by the AIDS epidemic, which in turn has negatively affected its economy. Although Uganda is considered very poor, the country is experiencing rapid economic growth. However; corruption, poor infrastructure and a rapid growth in population is slowing this growth down, the UN reports.