NUP to keep spotlight on human rights abuse

Mr Joel Ssemakula , NUP’s diaspora treasurer

What you need to know:

  • The confirmation comes days after the National Resistance Movement (NRM) diaspora conference was unceremoniously called off by the leadership of Canada on grounds of the continued human rights violations, arbitrary arrests and disappearances of NUP supporters in the country.

Organisers of the National Unity Platform (NUP) diaspora convention have said this year’s event will seek to address the different torture and human rights violations against their supporters in Uganda.

The convention will be held in the city of Long Beach, California from August 12 to 14. Some of the keynote speakers include congresswoman Karen Bass from Los Angeles; Hellen Epstein, a prominent journalist who is also  a professor of human rights and public health; and Prof Milton Alimadi, an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University & John Jay College of New York.

“Mr Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu is the guest of honour,” Mr Joel Ssemakula , NUP’s diaspora treasurer, said via WhatsApp.

The confirmation comes days after the National Resistance Movement (NRM) diaspora conference was unceremoniously called off by the leadership of Canada on grounds of the continued human rights violations, arbitrary arrests and disappearances of NUP supporters in the country.

Another similar convention was called off by the leadership of Germany after Mr Kakwenza Rukirabashaija—a victim of torture—wrote a protest letter.

Last week, NUP’s top brass attended a convention in the Netherlands in which they deliberated upon the chilling effect and apt response to human rights violations in Uganda. The merits of joining the Inter-Party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) were also discussed, but it was human rights violations that topped the bill.

Mr Alex Waiswa Mufumbiro, the NUP deputy spokesperson, told this reporter that their mission to The Netherlands is to spread across the world the gospel against torture, killings, unfair treatment and human rights violations.

“We want Mr Museveni to be arrested if found in any part of the country because we have seen all the things he has done and he keeps posturing to the world as a great leader and yet he is a killer,” Mr Mufumbiro said.

Government said 54 people were killed in protests staged on November 18 and 19, 2020 during presidential campaigns.

The countrywide protests which government claimed were planned sparked off following the arrest of then NUP presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine.

In the aftermath of the protests, hundreds of NUP supporters were arrested, killed or disappeared. Many of them have never been seen again while others are still languishing in prisons, according to NUP officials.

This is not the first time NUP is organizing a convention. Last year’s retreat happened in Boston, USA, which brought together more than 1,500 guests. The diaspora leadership invited some foreign government officials to speak at the conference.

“It’s being held because we want the world to know the human rights violations and atrocities that are being committed on Ugandans with impunity by the Museveni regime using the military and the police and all the other paramilitary groups,” Mr Ssemakula.

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