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US assistant Secretary of State Wants Democratic Rights Guaranteed for Uganda :: Uganda Radionetwork

US assistant Secretary of State Wants Democratic Rights Guaranteed for Uganda

Johnnie Carson, the United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, says he hopes the Ugandan government will guarantee that democratic rights, civil liberties as well as political space by the opposition continues to be enjoyed in Uganda even as the country is currently faced with the threat of terrorism.

Carson's statement comes just over two weeks since terrorists, claiming to be Somali based Al-Shabab, bombed two different public places in Kampala, killing over 70 people and injuring several others.

The attacks have raised fears especially within the country's opposition, of government using it as an excuse to curtail civil freedoms and other rights, as the country nears a general election in February next year.

Carson, who is the top most U.S diplomat on African affairs, was one of other top politicians that President Obama sent to meet American allies from Africa attending the just ended African Union summit in Munyonyo, Kampala. The delegation that came as special guests also included the U.S's Attorney General, Eric Holder.

Carson called on the government to ensure that democratic values grow instead of falling.

He praised president Museveni as a democratically and transparently elected leader. He however said he still believes that Uganda needs presidential term limits to limit attempts by the president to over cling to power.

At the end of the AU summit in Kampala today, Carson addressed journalists on his trip and what it has achieved. He said the summit was an important occasion for meeting allies in fighting terrorism though somber, coming weeks after the deadly bomb attacks.

He reiterated the Obama government's commitment to increase its support to the AU peacekeeping mission in Somalia and stressed that the war against terrorism was not an American one but for the whole world.

He said the Somali situation has driven thousands of Somalis out of their own country and led to thousands of refugees in neighboring countries like Kenya and Uganda.

He said he had agreed with many African leaders at the summit new strategies for greater collaboration and ways to increase troop deployment to the troubled country.

Carson ruled out any negotiations with the terrorist group, the Al-Shabab.

He said his country would also help Uganda track and apprehend LRA leader Joseph Kony, currently believed to be on the run in the Central African Republic.