Breaking

EU Delegation Condemns Arrests, Intimidation

The EU called on the Ugandan authorities to guarantee the fundamental freedoms of expression and assembly enshrined in the Ugandan constitution, which in particular provides the right of all citizens to fully express their civil and political rights without fear of intimidation.
21 Sep 2017 16:17
The European Union delegation in Uganda expresses dismay at the build-up of tension in and outside Kampala as the country awaits debate on the proposal to lift the presidential age limit.

The delegation said in a statement issued this afternoon that the tension might lead to infringing the fundamental freedoms of Ugandan citizens and damage the country's international reputation.

The statement was issued after a number of arrests in Kampala, of people who were protesting a planned move by parliament to amend article 102(b), of the Constitution which caps the presidential age at 75.  The arrested individuals included political leaders, University Students and activists.

At the same time, Parliament had convened in anticipation of the tabling of the bill which would allow President Yoweri Museveni to seek re-election when his term of office expires in 2021. Museveni is now aged 73.

But EU Member countries in Uganda say they were closely monitoring with concern the most recent reports of cases of arrests and actions targeting NGOs and political activists.

They said they were also troubled by the inflammatory language used in debating issues of national interest, pertaining to the democratic process in Uganda adding that major issues related to the national development should be debated in an open and inclusive national dialogue.

The EU called on the Ugandan authorities to guarantee the fundamental freedoms of expression and assembly enshrined in the Ugandan constitution, which in particular provides the right of all citizens to fully express their civil and political rights without fear of intimidation.

The statement was issued by EU Delegation to Uganda comprising of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom as well as Norway and Iceland.

The statement came amidst growing tension at Parliament characterized by the deployment of the army and Police. Several Members of Parliament on Thursday complained that they could not easily be allowed to access Parliament.

The current tension has not spared a number of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)  The Police on Wednesday besieged the offices Action Aid Uganda and Great Lakes Institute For Strategic Studies (GLISS) suspecting that they were dishing out money intended to fund illegal activities.

It was expected that the bill suggesting the amendment would be presented in Parliament today after getting a nod from at least 271 members of the ruling National Resistance Movement-NRM party.  But the matter was deferred to allow the speaker's chamber enough time to understand the notices.

Entities

Keywords