November 27, 2020

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UN urges Uganda’s security forces to respect human rights

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Police aggressively arrest Bobi Wine’s body guard. File Photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The office of the spokesperson for the United Nations (UN) secretary general has called on security forces in Uganda to act in a manner that respects human rights and the principle of the rule of law.

The call was made at the daily press briefing by the office of the spokesperson for the Secretary General, Stephane Dujarric who was responding to questions from journalists in regard to the riots in Kampala and other parts following the arrest of presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu.

The riots left 3 people confirmed dead and 34 others injured according to Wednesday’s report from Uganda Police. Police is still battling protesters in and around Kampala on day two of the riots.

A journalist at the press conference asked how concerned the Secretary‑General was about the developments in Uganda especially the protests that appear to be violently put down with reports of people being shot by security forces.

He also questioned if after 36 years in power, the office of the spokesperson of the UN Secretary General thought President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is going to allow free and fair elections especially without European Union election observers and without implementation of the electoral reforms.

Dujarric says that the UN has been following the situation in Uganda and it is very important that state institutions, particularly security forces, act in a manner that respects human rights and the principle of the rule of law in for an inclusive and broad participatory political and environmental process.

He says the UN will be following up more closely on the latest developments in Uganda and its important that all parties and political actors and government leaders work in a way that will ensure a peaceful election.

He adds that people have a right to demonstrate peacefully and any excessive use of force by security forces anywhere is of concern to them as the UN, and it is important that there is space provided for people to express themselves, whether in demonstration or through a democratic process.

Meanwhile, the United States Embassy in Kampala has condemned the electoral violence calling for the parties to reduce on the tensions. “The United States deplores the violence that has claimed multiple lives today, and we extend our sympathy to the victims families and loved ones. We urge all parties to renounce violence, undertake good-faith measures to reduce tensions and respect fundamental freedoms,” a statement from the embassy reads.

Members of the European Union in Uganda have meanwhile also raised concern over the electoral violence. The Embassy of Sweden in Uganda has notified their government about the happenings in Uganda according to Per Lindgarde, the Ambassador.

Although the EU has reportedly told its staff to work from home, they are yet to issue a statement on the matter.

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