Sarah Kihika Kasande, ICTJ’s Country Director to Uganda in a statement said ever since a similar appraisal took place in 2016, none of the UPR recommendations that Uganda accepted has ever been acted upon.
Center for Transitional Justice-ICTJ has urged the government to implement the recommendation of the
Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review.
“The Universal Periodic Review
serves as a rare occasion for the government to reflect on its human rights
record and its obligations under international law as assessed by peers and
members of the Human Rights Council. The process presents an opportunity to spotlight the
human rights situation in the country and recommend actions that the
government of Uganda should take to fulfil its human rights
Uganda’s human rights record is due for one such examination on January 27, by the UN Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic
Review (UPR) Working Group. But Sarah Kihika
Kasande, ICTJ’s Country Director to Uganda says that ever since a
similar appraisal took place in 2016, none of the recommendations that
Uganda accepted has ever been acted upon.
In the last review, the government accepted over 200 recommendations, including
those related to delivering redress to victims of mass atrocities,
combating impunity, and dealing with sexual and gender-based violence. The
government also agreed to adopt the National Transitional Justice
Policy and enact the necessary legislation to help fulfil victims' rights to
truth, justice, and reparations.
review came on the heels of the conflict in the Kasese district that pitied the
government against the Obusingwa Bwa Rwenzururu. In the conflict over 150
people were killed and many others were arrested for years without
charge. In their joint report to the Human Rights
Council, human rights organizations in Uganda want the government to
conduct an independent and transparent investigation into the Kasese
killings and enforced disappearances and prosecute the perpetrators
without delay and according to international due process standards.
“In the 2016
UPR, the Human Rights Council called on the government to accede to The
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced
disappearance has been the main feature of Uganda's political instability and
estimated that over 80,000 persons were abducted during the armed conflicts in
Northern Uganda and the Rwenzori region. While large numbers of these abductees
have returned, 10,000 to 15,000 persons abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army,
many of whom were children at the time, are still missing years after the end
of the conflict,” the statement reads in part.
Just like in
2016, tomorrow’s review comes at a time when the country is still riling from a
violent election that left hundreds of people dead. “Political activists were
unlawfully detained, forcibly disappeared, and extra-judicially killed during
the 2021 general elections. State agents abducted and tortured dozens of
"The UPR takes place against the backdrop of rising cases of torture,
arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance; increased restrictions
on civic space; and a failure to redress past atrocities. An absence of
accountability has moreover created a culture of impunity in the country
that undermines the rule of law and human rights," a statement by the -ICTJ reads.
This time, the Ugandan government must take
concrete steps to implement these recommendations if it is to finally
address deeply entrenched human rights concerns and fulfil its international
commitments,” Kasande said.
She also calls on the government to establish an
independent commission of inquiry to investigate all cases of enforced
disappearance and provide redress to the victims and urges the
government to create an inclusive database of those still missing and locate
and recover the remains of the missing,” the statement adds.
Early last year, the National Unity Platform president Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu petitioned the UN Human Rights
office in Kampala complaining about human rights violations in