Ugandan troops currently make up the bulk of the African Union’s peacekeeping mission in Somalia, AMISOM. The sole peacekeeping force in the war-ravaged country, AMISOM is the only thing stopping Islamist militant group Al Shabab from routing the feeble United Nations-backed government and taking over entirely. If Museveni pulls out the Ugandan troops, he pulls the plug on AMISOM. If AMISOM goes, the government collapses and the international community are left to pick up the pieces and start from scratch.
Although US Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg said recently that Uganda’s involvement in AMISOM won't stop the US speaking its mind on the elections, last July’s Al Shabab suicide bombings that killed at least 76 people in Kampala have only served to strengthen the sense of international gratitude felt toward Museveni for providing troops in Somalia.