We will not renew UN human rights office mandate … Say Uganda authorities

 Uganda has said it will not renew the mandate of the United Nations human rights office in the East African country, citing the development of its own sufficient capacity to monitor rights compli­ance.

In a letter sent by Uganda’s Min­istry of Foreign Affairs to the Of­fice of the UN High Commission­er for Human Rights (OHCHR) on February 3 and seen by Reuters on Wednesday, the ministry noted progress Uganda had made in developing a domestic capacity to monitor rights as the main reason for its decision.

“The ministry wishes to convey the government’s decision not to renew the mandate of the OHCHR Country office in Uganda beyond the current term,” said the letter, which the ministry con­firmed to Reuters as authentic.

OHCHR Uganda country office spokesperson, Bernard Amwine, told Reuters he had no comment.

President Yoweri Museveni’s government has, over the years, been criticised by the opposition, human rights activists and West­ern countries for various rights violations, including torture, illegal detentions and extrajudicial killings of opponents and critics.

Officials have denied nearly all the accusations and said all security forces implicated in rights abuses have been duly punished.

In December 2022, Museveni told Al Jazeera that a number of arrests were due to “some mistakes (in) mishandling people while they were being arrested but we correct­ed those mistakes.”

The 78-year-old has ruled Uganda since 1986 when he came to power after a five-year war. The opposition and critics have accused him of grooming his son, a general in the country’s military, to take over from him. Museveni has repeatedly denied doing so.

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