Since the late 1980s Uganda has rebounded from the abyss of civil war and economic catastrophe to become relatively peaceful, stable and prosperous.
But the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in the north remain blighted by one of Africa's most brutal rebellions.
In the 1970s and 1980s Uganda was notorious for its human rights abuses, first during the military dictatorship of Idi Amin from 1971-
Since becoming president in 1986 Yoweri Museveni has introduced democratic reforms and has been credited with substantially improving human rights, notably by reducing abuses by the army and the police.
In addition, Western-
The president came under fire for Uganda's military involvement, along with five other countries, in neighbouring DR Congo's 1998-
At home, the cult-
The group's leader has said he wants to run the country along the lines of the biblical ten commandments. The violence has displaced more than 1.6 million people and tens of thousands of civilians have been killed or kidnapped. The UN estimates that the group has abducted 20,000 children.
The LRA and government signed a permanent cease-
Uganda has won praise for its vigorous campaign against HIV/Aids. This has helped to reduce the prevalence of the virus -
Full name: Republic of Uganda
Population: 32.7 million (UN, 2009)
Area: 241,038 sq km (93,072 sq miles)
Major languages: English (official), Swahili (official), Luganda, various Bantu and Nilotic languages
Major religions: Christianity, Islam
Life expectancy: 52 years (men), 53 years (women) (UN)
Monetary unit: Ugandan shillings (1 US Dollar = 2100 Ugandan shillings)
Main exports: Coffee, fish and fish products, tea; tobacco, cotton, corn, beans, sesame
GNI per capita: US $420 (World Bank, 2008)
Internet domain: .ug
International dialling code: +256
President: Yoweri Museveni
Yoweri Museveni, Uganda's leader since 1986, was declared the winner of elections in February 2006, the first multi-
Officials said he took 59% of the vote versus the 37% share of his main rival, Kizza Besigye from the opposition Forum for Democratic Change.
Observers said the conduct of the poll was an improvement on the 2001 vote, but critics accused the government of intimidating the opposition in the run-
Parliament abolished a constitutional limit on presidential terms in 2005, paving the way for Mr Museveni to seek a third elected term and alarming some Western donors. Severe restrictions on multi-
Born in western Uganda in 1944, Yoweri Museveni studied political science in Tanzania. There he became involved with the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (Frelimo) and picked up the techniques of guerrilla warfare. After a brief spell in the Ugandan government, Mr Museveni fled to Tanzania in 1971 when Idi Amin toppled Milton Obote, returning in 1980. But when his party was defeated in elections which he said had been rigged, he formed the National Resistance Army which brought him to power in 1986. Ten years later he won Uganda's first direct presidential election and was re-
This article has been reprinted in its entirety from the BBC website