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Uganda’s Leader Names Son to Top Post, Fueling Talk of a Succession Plan

Uganda’s president, who has been in office for nearly four decades, has appointed his son as the head of the country’s military, fueling long-held suspicions in the East African nation that the leader is preparing his son to one day succeed him.

The president, Yoweri Museveni, said late Thursday that he had named his son, Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, 49, as the nation’s top army commander. General Kainerugaba had been serving as a senior adviser to his father, and had been participating in large rallies across the country to help position himself as heir apparent — even as experts say that Mr. Museveni, who is 79, is unlikely to relinquish power during his lifetime.

General Kainerugaba had burst into the global limelight in recent years for his erratic, late-night tweets. At least one of the general’s closest confidants was also named to a top cabinet position.

Mr. Museveni, a six-term president, is expected to run in Uganda’s next elections, in 2026, and to continue tightening his grip over the lush, landlocked nation. But his advancing age and tensions among his close associates in the military and governing party have rekindled talk about an alleged plan from a decade ago in which it was claimed that he was grooming his son for power.

Mr. Museveni has repeatedly denied such a plan, which is commonly referred to as the “Muhoozi Project.”

Since coming to power in 1986, Mr. Museveni, a key Western ally, has ruled Uganda with an iron fist, cracking down on press freedom, jailing opposition leaders and having his critics tortured. Mr. Museveni, his son and other top Ugandan officials were accused of crimes against humanity in a submission filed last year at the International Criminal Court.

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