Some of the fondest memories of my childhood are associated with growing up in Entebbe, where my late father worked as a low paid civil servant. But for shillings 150 per term, he was able to pay for me to study at the (then) prestigious Lake Victoria School. Not only did the school accord me an invaluable education, it exposed me to the inequities of my station. There was a main hall with a piano; and a library with lots and lots of books about quaint lands. Formerly known as Entebbe European School, my arrival, at this citadel of privilege, was very impressionable because of the way it exposed me to higher aspirations.
In the late afternoons, on my way home, I would be transformed into a sort of Cinderella, as I retreated to our home in the ‘African Quarters’. As I walked home with a few other kids, we by passed the magnificent Lake Victoria Hotel, where the ‘Mzungu’ tourists sun bathed by the pool, sipping on colas, served by African waiters and waitresses from the Kitoro slum. On past Nsamizi hill, and the grandiose state house, where Obote and later Amin would hold court. Past the Grade ‘A’ hospital and Uganda Commercial Bank we would walk. Down the hill, past the Grade ‘B’ hospital where Africans were treated, and into the central business district of Entebbe.
There were lots of well-stocked shops, a cinema and a bar owned by a Goan trader –De Souza he was called. My favourite store, was ‘Friends Store’, owned by – you guessed it- another Indian dukawallah. My father would bring us here to shop once in a while, and I would cry for this or that toy. I was too young to know if my father paid cash or took credit.
This tranquil world of innocence was shattered by the coup of 1971. Suddenly there were subtle changes. My Father and his friends tore up their UPC and DP shirts and threw them in the pit latrines. Adults huddled, and whispered in hushed tones. We hardly noticed, except that Amin’s kid’s joined our school. And Mr. Yates, the white headmaster, waited for them to be dropped off by one of the government cars. For us it was manna from heaven. They came loaded with goodies everyday – crates of sodas, cakes and biscuits. Little did we know, that the barbarians had breached the citadel. For war, torture and death would soon cast a shadow over our innocent lives as the adults fought for the soul of our nation.
I only recite this tale for its figurative value. In this very abbreviated story, I am talking about the economy and the way that we have dealt with the problem of resourceallocation (including poverty), social services (education and health),and politics. It is on these issues that I wish to share my very subjective reflections. I make no superiority claims, for a society is the sum total of its constituent parts. It is we the constituents of this society that have brought it to where it is, and also bear the historical duty to change its destiny.
The Post Independence Era
At the time of independence in 1962, Uganda had one of the most vibrant and promising economies in Sub-Saharan Africa. Uganda had one of the most vigorous and promising economies in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the years following independence had amply demonstrated this economic potential. The country was self-sufficient in food, and the agricultural sector earned ample foreign exchange through the export of coffee, cotton and cocoa, despite traditional methods of production. A vibrant manufacturing sector supplied basic inputs and consumer goods. Mining in the south supplied copper and cobalt for export and the country enjoyed a positive balance of trade. Fiscal and monetary management was sound and the domestic savings rate averaged about 15 per cent of GDP.
Obote and the ‘Uganda Crisis’
The events of 1966 and Obote’s preeminence resulted in an ideological shift to the left, which had a significant effect on economic life. Obote, like several African heads of state, had become enamoured of socialism, and proposed at a UPC party conference in 1968, as part of his modernization philosophy, that Uganda “Move to the left”, ideologically and practically. He laid the groundwork for socialism in his 1970 “Common Man’s Charter”, which began by declaring that the main purpose of government was “… the realization of the real meaning of Independence, namely, that the resources of the country, material and human, be exploited for the benefit of all the people of Uganda in accordance with the principles of socialism”. Further, “the guiding economic principles must be that the means of production and distribution be in the hands of the people” (article 38). In effect, Obote’s “Charter” offered a blueprint for a mixed economy, in which government controlled the commanding heights. The blueprint was put into effect beginning Labour Day (May 1), 1970, when Obote announced his intention to nationalize various multinational companies.
Amin’s Economic War: 1972 – 1979
By 1971, discontent and corruption in the army, arising mainly out of inequitable promotions and poor care for soldiers crystallized into a coup d’etat. It has been suggested that there was foreign involvement in this coup d’etat. Whatever the immediate causes, this coup brought Idi Amin to power. Amin, a former corporal in the British colonial army, had been used by Obote to quell several riots. He did not actually participate in the coup, but used popular indignation against Obote to gain power. The British and the Israelis first recognized Amin as the legitimate ruler of Uganda, largely because of their economic interests. The Israelis provided his forces training and logistical support, and the British convinced other Commonwealth member states to accord Uganda recognition. There was considerable IMF involvement in the first budget of the Amin government and the conduct of fiscal policy was, initially, not wholly outrageous.
In 1972, Amin expelled the Asians, declared an ‘economic war’and created the ‘mafutamingi’ class. His claim then was that the ‘imperialist’ Whites and Asians had made the African’s third class citizens and were exploiting them. He then proceeded to redistribute to the ill equipped African, what the former masters had denied him. As he gave the largesse, he also unleashed in equal measure, a brutal terror that still stains our country. Like Obote, Amin believed that it was important to address the social inequality that prevailed in the country by economically empowering Ugandans. At this time, the Asians had extensive control of the economy as artisans, shopkeepers, industrialists and professionals; in particular, they controlled local and international trade. Amin expelled the Asians, and in this way continued the wave of nationalizations that Obote had begun. Increased insecurity and persecution of white collar workers resulted in an additional mass exodus of professional managers of all persuasion. The vacuum that was created by his actions marked the beginning of Uganda’s economic collapse. Increased defence spending, financed by bank borrowing, made the national budget untenable, and annual inflation rates shot to double digits.
Between 1962 and 1970, the economy had performed reasonably well, experiencing a real GDP growth of about 5.2%. After 1971 upto 1980, the economy experienced serious turbulence as a result of economic mismanagement and civil strife. GDP declined to 1.6% per annum and inflation rose to an average of 30% per annum because of the immense public borrowing.
Uganda became a pariah state and faced various international embargoes. It had been a charter member of the East African Community (EAC), a trading bloc, which included Kenya and Tanzania. The EAC collapsed, further isolating Uganda. Key industries relocated to Kenya. Services such as air transport and telecommunications that had benefited from the existence of the EAC also suffered. The rail transport system collapsed and this further increased the costs of inputs. Production, as measured by constant price GDP, declined by 13 per cent between1971 and 1986.
In absolute terms the economy declined by 1 per cent per year even as Uganda’s population was growing rapidly. Many factories collapsed due to lack of inputs, which were imported, and due to lack of vertical or horizontal linkages between economic sectors, all sectors, probably with the exception of subsistence agriculture, suffered from the lack of imported inputs. Between 1970 and 1979, the per capita income of Uganda fell from US$225 to US$148. The debt-export ratio grew from 51.1 per cent to 142.2 per cent and agriculture’s share of the GDP rose from 48.5 per cent to 70.5 per cent as the manufacturing sector collapsed.
For eight years, as Amin ran roughshod over the populace, there were several uprisings and attempted coups. Plots and mutinies in the army occurred in 1972, 1974, 1975, 1976 and 1979. In 1972, the remnants of Obote’s army and other exiles attempted an ill fated attack from Tanzania. Yoweri Museveni, who later was to become president, led one of the groups. Brave men and women risked their lives to end Amin’s brutality, but most of the opposition was uncoordinated, and had grave consequences. Amin himself turned the tide, when he in 1978 ordered his troops to attack the Kagera Salient, a border region of Tanzania. The Tanzanians retaliated, and were joined by an umbrella coalition of Ugandan exiles, the Uganda National Liberation Front (UNLF). Kampala, the capital city, fell on 11th April 1979 to the advancing Tanzanian forces and the rag-tag army of exiles.
The Post-Amin Era: 1979 – 1986
Between 1979 and 1980, Uganda had three governments. Two were created under the banner of the UNLF, whose diverse composition of exiles and rebel elements, promotion of selfish agendas and lack of cohesive objectives plunged Uganda into further chaos and violence. The UNLF had been formed as a guerilla organization in Tanzania; two weeks later, it found itself at the head of the country. There was no national army, but rather several armed groups. The largest, the Kikoosi Maalum, was allied to Obote. The second, led by Yoweri Museveni, vehemently opposed Obote’s return to power. The scene thus was set for further conflict. The first UNLF president, Lule, managed only 68 days in office before he was forced out by the conspiracies that involved both the UNLF and Julius Nyerere, the president of Tanzania. The next president, Binaisa lasted until May, 1980, when he was removed by Paulo Muwanga, again with the tacit approval of the Tanzanian forces. Muwanga’s regime returned Milton Obote through elections of questionable validity.
Obote’s “second coming” heralded a period of terror in Uganda as he sought to hold state power, regardless of the cost. Several armed opposition groups, which included the National Resistance Movement (NRM), rejected the results of the election and took up armed rebellion on the pretext that Obote’s regime was illegitimate. As many as a million people may have lost their lives in the civil war that resulted. Unspeakable atrocities were visited on the Ugandan people, both through the machinery of state and through sabotage by rebels for another five-year period. Grave violations of people’s rights and misgovernment were the order of the day. It has been argued that Obote harbored “mortal wounds” to his ego and pride as a result of his overthrow in 1971, and bore such deep hatred against certain sections of the population that he was out to inflict revenge. Furthermore, he had learnt his lesson regarding the military and he let them have their way. When soldiers were not paid, they were free to go marauding in the population. The international community silently stood by, as it had done in the past. But, in all fairness, it must be noted that the state had dissolved into anarchy and all civil institutions had broken down. The fact that various fighting factions had taken to arms in the “Luwero Triangle” made civilian rule untenable.
Not surprisingly, economic mismanagement continued during the second Obote regime, from 1979 through 1986. Disparate ideologies in the factionalized UNLF hindered the articulation of meaningful economic policy. There were attempts at stabilizing the macroeconomic framework, but given the continuing war, these were largely unworkable. During the war that ousted Amin, Uganda’s infrastructure and industrial plant had been widely destroyed. Out of 930 enterprises registered in 1971, only 300 remained in the early 1980’s, with an estimated capacity utilization of just 5 per cent. Such was the sorry state of Uganda at the time of “liberation” from Amin’s excesses. The destruction continued after 1979. The Luwero Triangle, the food basket of the central region, was destroyed in a kind of “scorched earth” policy. The lack of political stability made it impossible to initiate or implement economic recovery as long as achieving political control was the overriding priority.
The shattered state of the economy made it obvious that the old socialist ideas Obote previously embraced had no place. For example, the government attempted to regulate the foreign exchange market through a two-tier pricing system. Essential goods and services were to be purchased at an official rate, while non-essential goods and services at a market rate. These rates were not scientifically derived and the system soon broke down because strategically positioned public officials could buy on the official rate and sell through the “Kibanda” or black market. The country was obliged to appeal to international financial institutions for assistance. Structural adjustment programs were first introduced in1981 but progress was halted when the war intensified and the Ugandan Government increased spending, thus failing to reach an agreement with the IMF in 1984. Despite the war, during this four-year period (1981- 1985) there were some gains. GDP grew by 5.5 per cent and inflation fell to about 20 per cent, while the current account was in surplus. Per capita incomes recovered from a low of US $136 per annum to US $ 187 per annum and the share of agriculture in GDP fell from 70.5 per cent in 1980 to 50.5 per cent in 1985. Yet this first attempt to stabilise and improve economic performance is largely remembered as a failure because of the continuing instability. Exports fell from US$415 million in 1980 to US$368 million in 1984 while the external debt rose from US$568 million to US$1,031 million in 1985. Inflation had initially been tamed by external aid and relief assistance, but shot from 47.4 to 156 percent, between 1983 and 1985.
Economic Recovery: 1986 – 2002
Obote’s second government was toppled on July 27,1985, ironically by sections of his army. The bush war, which had started in 1981, also ended shortly on January 25, 1986 with victory for the National Resistance Movement (NRM). Led by Yoweri Museveni, the NRM had begun its “people’s war” in 1981 to recover the original Marxist ideals of the 1960’s. It declared, in a ten-point programme, that the people had a right to defend themselves against those who threatened the democratic order and human rights, and that no more would the state be used to violate the rights of the people. The NRM formed a broad-based government, with promise of elections after four years. The NRM-ruled government scheduled elections for 1989, but did not carry through, on the pretext that the new constitution was not ready. Over the next eight years an official commission produced a draft constitution, which was debated in a Constituent Assembly (partly an elected body) and promulgated in 1995. In the first election for president and members of parliament (1996), Yoweri Museveni was victorious. In a second, more bitterly contested election (2001), his margin was considerably reduced. The results were challenged in court but were upheld by a Supreme Court majority of 3 to 2. The seventh parliament (2001-2006) passed controversial legislation to amendthe 1995 Constitution to remove Presidential term limits.
When the NRM government came to power in 1986, it was strongly influenced by Marxist and dependency theory and was objectionable to IMF programmes. Instead, it favoured revaluing the Ugandan shilling, allocating commodities administratively, controlling prices and maintaining monopolies. Some NRM functionaries believed strongly in statist economic policies, and pointed to the rapid economic deterioration between 1981 and 1986, as a result of the first structural-adjustment efforts. Faced with an almost bankrupt treasury, however, the NRM was forced to abandon this ‘go it alone’ strategy. Inflation was running at 147 per cent between July and December 1986 and the effective exchange rate had increased by 128 per cent. It was inevitable that state-led policies were abandoned. In May 1987, the NRM government accepted an economic reform program sponsored by the World Bank and supported by the IMF and agencies of the European Union.
The reforms involved orthodox adjustment measures: policies to liberalize and stabilize the economy. Liberalisation meant removing all state controls and allowing the laissez-faire allocation of resources, in order to stimulate supply and restore growth (Sejjaaka 1996). In Uganda’s case, liberalization involved the removal of price controls, institution of a free exchange-rate mechanism, and allowing interest rates and foreign-exchange transactions be market-determined. Stabilisation meant imposing a tight regime of fiscal and monetary management on public sector borrowing and reforming the regulatory framework. The aim was to control macro-economic indicators such as inflation so as to improve incentives to the private sector, and develop human capital through investment in education and health.
The structural adjustment program was implemented actively, albeit with mixed results. A currency reform exercise involving a 30 percent tax was implemented and the shilling was devalued from 14 to 60 to the US dollar. Yet there was no consistent direction or grasp for that matter of how economic fundamentals (fiscal deficit, exchange rates, inflation and exports) should be dealt with. Between 1987 and 1992, inflation fell from 200 to 48.5 per cent, but continuing drought, insurgencies and shortfalls in donor assistance forced the government to increase the money supply. Loose budget control also resulted in huge deficits. Macro economic stability was eventually restored through prudent budgeting, fiscal and monetary policy. Many civil servants were retrenched, while the government cut expenditures and curtailed public-sector borrowing. A “cash flow” budget system was introduced to monitor resources and spending while ensuring that fiscal policy remained consistent with low inflation. In 1993, the dual foreign exchange rates were unified, by introducing inter-bank currency auctions. Also, in 1993, the Uganda Revenue Authority was established, helping to improve tax revenue collection, and the Bank of Uganda was given autonomy in supervising commercial banks. These measures restored the revenue-to-GDP ratio to about 12.4% percent but this remains still very low compared to other sub-Saharan countries.
As part of the liberalisation program, the Uganda government moved to eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers, particularly for agricultural exports. Before 1987, exports of coffee, tea, and cotton were managed through marketing monopolies. Trade in tea and cotton had declined drastically. Coffee exports persisted because coffee production required low inputs, and coffee as a product, depreciated slowly and was easy to smuggle. The government switched from export to import taxes because the latter did not penalize exports. The liberalisation of export crop marketing also involved eliminating inefficient state-run marketing boards. The Coffee Marketing Board had maintained an artificial disparity between farm gate prices and export prices, and had invariably had transmitted its inefficiency to farmers in the form of delayed payments. When this board was disbanded, competition and the general welfare of farmers increased. Despite depressed prices on the world market, farm gate prices rose by as much as five times. Still, the coffee sector continues to suffer from the vicissitudes of the world market. Uganda also continues to suffer from an unfavourable balance of trade. Imports constitute 26 per cent of GDP while exports are only 10 per cent. Moreover, 94 per cent of those exports are primary products with little value added.
To attract foreign investment, the Government of Uganda needed to restore its reliability. In 1991, it established an investment code and attempted to undo or at least mitigate the past expropriation of foreign investments. The confiscated properties of departed Asians were returned, and the provisions of the Preferential Trade Agreement, which had favored firms with majority domestic ownership, were revoked . Between 1991-9, many nationalized companies were returned to their owners or privatised. All these measures were intended to encourage and fast track foreign investment. Unfortunately, the tax incentives provided under the 1991 investment code have since been abolished.
The government also instituted a program in 1992 to reform and divest public enterprises (PEs). At this time there were 116 public enterprises, of which 60 were industrial. These enterprises were characterized by low productivity, endemic losses, and huge indebtedness to government and the private sector. They received subsidies amounting to 50 percent of public domestic revenue, despite contributing only a meagre ten percent to GDP and they accounted for 18 per cent of total bank credit. They constituted an excessive administrative burden on public resources and needed to be offloaded. It was, however, politically difficult to privatise them. For years, they had provided a safe haven for inept public officials, employed relatives of high-ranking government officials and cash-rich individuals who faced the predatory actions of politicians. This strong constituency opposed and continues to oppose privatisation. Nevertheless, 103 PEs were either sold off, restructured or liquidated by the end of 2002-leading to increased output, higher tax payment and more meaningful job creation. Privatised companies have attracted significant new investment, at least where profiteers have not stripped the assets of the companies they purchased. The privatisation program succeeded, but not as well as it might have. A survey by Uganda Manufacturers Association Consultancy and Information Services found that the program achieved its fiscal social, and economic objectives, but that the process was perceived to be corrupt.
Privatisation would have had a greater impact if the process had enjoyed broad ownership, more transparency, and if it was efficient in collecting accounts payable. Instead, because of its inadequate legal and institutional framework, and because responsibilities were ill defined, the privatisation programme received severe criticism from parliament, and was partly suspended.Key economic indicators for the period 1987-2012 show the overall impact of economic reform programmes as positive, with improvements in law and order, rehabilitation of the infrastructure, and sustained GDP growth at about 5.6 per cent between 1986-2002. Inflation fell to below 5.8 per cent in 1999. Uganda has been experiencing an high rate of growth estimated at 6.7% in financial year 2009/10. But this has declined to about 3.8% in 2010/11 because fo the world economic crisis and drought. The poverty head count also declined from 56% in 1992 to about 24.5% according to Uganda Bureau of Statistics. Unfortunately the gap between the rich and poor has been widening. Inflation also shot up to about 28% but has been beaten back to about 11%.
One aspect of the reform process that needs specific mention is the problem of corruption. Any reform process carried out in a weak institutional framework offers enormous opportunities for arbitrage and privatisation is one such process. Corruption has become a serious impediment to business in Uganda. It increases the costs of doing business because firms must (1) pay bribes when dealing with public officials, (2) the bribes are based on subject matter and (3) higher bribes do not necessarily result in more beneficial government favours to business. Corruption is a tax, which reduces the return to private capital and slows growth, but even as a tax it does not end up as public revenue.
Looking Forward: Consolidating the Gains
What is our national ethos? Can we build a consensus on being culturally different but with a common destiny? I believe that the next fifty years must consolidate the gains of the last fifty years. This all depends on one’s perspective. Is the glass half full or half empty? I would like to think that it is half full. We may have made several mistakes along the way. And these mistakes may have been very expensive but we have learnt and we can move forward. Here is my take on the Uganda we should look forward to in 2062.
There can never be a return to 1966. Uganda is a Republic now and given the implications of globalization and geopolitical dispensation in the region, we can only look forward to integrating into an East African Community. That itself is difficult but possible. There must be a national conciliation effort. Can we have a national reconciliation of our differences? A Kachoke Madit of Kachoke Madits? A Tabamiruka of Tabamirukas?
Can we create a more equitable society? In the next fifty years Ugandans must strive to for this lofty objective in order to create lasting peace. The conditions of 1967, which birthed the ‘Common Man’s Charter’ and Amin’s ‘Economic War’ are still with us. The commanding heights of our economy continue to be controlled by the victors of the ‘Washington Consensus’. We live in a new neo colonialism, fuelled by foreign aid, and run by MNCs. In the heat of structural adjustment,we assumed that our economies had reached an optimal level of investment in infrastructure, which cannot be undertaken by any private sector investor. Second we assumed that private capital inflows would flow towards least developed countries as freely as they did towards developed countries. Third, we believed that private investors ‘loved’ us very much and would work hard as the ‘engine of growth’. Fourth and most fallacious, we believed in free markets!
We sold the family silver and now there is not much to show for it. One must ask – what happened to the proceeds of the sale of public assets? Why have these proceeds not been used to create a Sovereign Fund? We paid a high price to ‘correct’ the ills of the seventies and early eighties and in the process of righting the wrongs, we sold our birthright. In the absence of clear performance indicators (working regulatory framework) and the retreat of the state, we did acquire a new set of colonial masters. They didn’t use force to recolonize us and not that privatization was wrong. It is just that we didn’t know what we were doing, and we lacked foresight, to make decisions for posterity.
There has been ‘overplanning’ without effectively solving any specific issues in our struggle for economic development and social transformation. Too many priorities dissipate effort and fail to create a recognisable impact. What should be our development agenda over the next fifty years? My five programmes for moving us forward are as follows.
- Economy: continuing to pursue an agro based development paradigm and circumventing the ‘oil curse’
- Education and Health: the UPE story, the HIV story, gender equality all speak to the possibilities in our grasp.
- Infrastructure: electricity, railways and roads (the need to control access to the sea and reduce the cost of doing business to make us competitive should be a strategic agenda).
- Administrative competence and sustainability
- Unity in diversity; ‘a people without a culture, is a people without a civilization’ (solving the numerous ‘Uganda questions’ is an imperative)
In order to be able to implement these programmes, we need to over come the challenges of governance and leadership that our politics has created. Economic transformation and development are not accidental agendas. There must be a consistent and purposeful process of self determination. Just as in the case of Mauritius, Singapore and South Korea. The following issues/constraints are critical for realizing our dream over the next fifty years
- Security and democracy: the gains we have made here have to be strengthened. But they cannot be strengthened on the basis of a lame middle class whose claim to prosperity is largesse from the state. Such a middle class cannot stand up for justice and equitable development. It is a rent-seeking group.
- The 7th Parliament and a very venal affair: there is the not so small matter of article 105(2) of our constitution which was amended to remove term limits. The framers of the 1995 constitution could not have intended to create a very strong presidency with no limit to the duration of service. We must revisit this matter.
- Corruption as a way of life: this is a terrible tax on development that is holding the nation hostage. The corrupt have become so powerful, to the extent that logic and reason is based on who can pay the highest price.
- The population time bomb: a poorly skilled and unproductive labour force cannot help the country lift itself out of poverty. What is our population management policy?
- The debt trap: the national debt stood at about US $ 4.76 billion in 2011. To what use did we put these resources. How will those who review our performance in 2062 judge us? Are we mortgaging our future for a few trinkets?
- Decentralization and transactional leadership: there is a way in which decentralization has been used as a bargaining chip in national politics. Soon there will be ‘too many Chiefs and very few Indians’ as the administrative cost overwhelms the national resource envelope. Many of these units are too small and uneconomical. They do not ‘bring services to the people’.
If one were to draw a score sheet and assess the achievements and failures of the last 50 years, what would be our overall score on a scale of 1 – 10? As I have said elsewhere and here, the question is a subjective one and different commentators will apply different yardsticks to assess how well we have done. Benchmarking Uganda with thesuccess stories of countries that have transformed, I suppose we have scored a 4 out of 10. But this is a marathon and we may yet do a ‘Kiprotich’!
One of the NRM’s greatest achievements was to restore the sanctity of life and security of persons and their properties. But this achievement hangs over us like the sword of Damocles. That security cannot be taken for granted. It is a ‘favour’ that any wise man must enjoy with caution, as I have found to my own disconcert. But is it is the bedrock on which our future will be built. Without security, all else remains conjectural.
At the dawn of independence in 1962, Uganda’s economic prospects seemed bright. It had very good social services, a buoyant economy and visions of socioeconomic transformation. Not many could have foretold the capricious and degenerative path that Uganda took. Various writershave attributed the destructive development path that Uganda took to a number of internal factors: (1) Uganda’s dependence on primary commodities, (2) the slow growth of economic opportunity, as measured against the rapid growth of the population; (3) ethnic intolerance and lack of independent state institutions; (4) social inequality; and (5) the increasing proclivity touse force of arms to resolve political disputes. These factors have not been resolved and more work needs to be done.
Despite the recurring political crises, there has been increased political stability since 1987. Uganda appears to be on the road to recovery from its violent past. The country has made political progress during the twenty-six years of NRM rule. Peace has been restored in most of the country, and a large part has remained relatively stable and amenable to the authority of the state.