WATCH: All countries must protect human rights, Museveni tells UN assembly

Friday September 24 2021
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A video grab of President Museveni addressing 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 23, 2021.

By Job Bwire

President Museveni has told the United Nation’s General Assembly that his government remains committed to fulfilling its human rights obligations in accordance with Uganda’s constitution and international law amid growing concerns of human rights abuses in the country.

Mr Museveni who addressed the 76th Session of the General Assembly Thursday night said all countries are duty-bound to promote and protect human rights under international law and United Nations Charter.

“Therefore, we must continue to address the promotion and protection of human rights without politicizing the issue of human rights. Uganda remains committed to fulfilling its human rights obligations in accordance with its constitution and international law. Our commitment is from the firm belief that it’s suitable for our people, drawn from the bad experience and lessons from the history of dictatorship in Uganda,” Mr Museveni said in the virtual address just hours after Opposition activist, Dr Kizza Besigye slammed his government for what he described as outrageous abuse of rights and the violation of the rule of law with impunity.

Dr Besigye’s statement was prompted by the rearrest of Makindye West MP Allan Ssewanyana, moments after he was released on bail from Kigo Prison where he was remanded on charges of murder, attempted murder and aiding and abetting terrorism following his arrest in relation to the recent spate of killings in Greater Masaka sub region.

“Having completed all the requirements to be released on bail from Kigo Prison, Hon Allan Ssewanyana emerged from the prison gates this evening; was promptly grabbed by armed men in black uniforms; thrown in a van (commonly called DRONE) and taken to, yet unknown, destination! This outrageous abuse of rights and the violation of the rule of law, with impunity calls on every Ugandan to protest and resist this NRM/Museveni Junta rule. Today it’s Allan; tomorrow, it’ll be you!,” the four-time presidential contender tweeted Thursday night.

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 However, Mr Museveni in his address to the UN general assembly revealed that Uganda will be voluntarily reviewed during the 44th session of the universal periodic review at the European human rights council in Geneva scheduled for January to February 2022.

Mr Museveni also called for international support in addressing the challenges of refugees in Uganda and elsewhere in the world.

Uganda hosts 1.4 million refugees, the largest number in Africa, according to government.

“The predicament of refugees continues to this day. Uganda has maintained its open door policy on refugees and currently, the country hosts over 1.4 million refugees, the largest number in Africa. It’s in line with this spirit that we recently took another deliberate step to assist those in distress from Afghanistan. Our approach to refugees is anchored on our belief that no one chooses to flee their country or to be a refugee and if they do, they must be treated with dignity and kindness in their times of need,” he said.

According to him, the circumstances of the refugees and host communities pose enormous challenges for the national authorities which need to be addressed as part of the international solidarity.

“We therefore, continue to call for more equitable sharing and responsibility for hosting and supporting the world’s refugees consistent with international commitments,” he said.

Mr Museveni also said his government has embraced the global wave of digital transformation which presents significant opportunities for its population.

“As government fast tracks the progress of 2030 agenda, it has embraced the global wave of digital transformation which presents significant opportunities.”


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