As reported by the Guardian UK: Rights activists and campaigners have condemned the Ugandan government’s decision to shut down the country’s UN human rights office, describing it as “shameful”.
In a letter to the Office of the UN high commissioner for human rights (OHCHR) in Uganda dated 3 February, the foreign affairs ministry said it will not renew the host country agreement it signed with the OHCHR, which established its initial mandate in the country in 2005. The current mandate, signed on 9 February 2020, expires in August.
“The government of Uganda will now continue its cooperation with the OHCHR Headquarters either directly or through its Permanent Mission in Geneva,” reads the letter.
The development comes less than three months after the UN’s committee against torture adopted the concluding observations on Uganda, which raised concerns that torture and ill-treatment continued to be frequently practised, and called for investigation and prosecution of security officials accused of excessive use of force, violence and arbitrary detention.
“The closure of the @UNHumanRightsUG office proves that [the] government has lost all sense of shame. It no longer wants any close international scrutiny of its human rights record,” tweeted Adrian Jjuuko, executive director of the Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum.
“If the protectors are sent away, what then happens to those they were protecting? We are headed for tough times,” he added.
Bobi Wine, the reggae singer turned Ugandan opposition leader, whose supporters remain in unauthorised places of detention or “safe houses”, said it was no surprise that Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power since 1986, has closed the OHCHR. He tweeted: “In the face of growing international condemnation and isolation, tyrant Museveni has responded by shutting down NGOs, Facebook, DGF [Democratic Governance Facility] & declaring several internationals Persona Non-Grata or deporting them! Now he shuts down @UNHumanRightsUG.”
Wine added: “You’ll recall in the aftermath of the 2021 election and the hundreds killed or abducted by the Museveni regime, we petitioned the UN Human Rights Office & the military brutalised journalists right there. This UN Office condemned these actions. Not surprising it’s being closed.”
Human right activists and advocacy groups have called the decision a “mockery” and accused the government of running from international scrutiny on abuse and protection of human rights.
“This is unbelievable, and the reasons given by the government are a mockery of the real state of human rights in the country,” said Jjuuko. “To claim that Uganda no longer needs the office [OHCHR] because of its strong stand for human rights is ironic to say the least.
“A strong stand for human rights would imply opening up to the UN and other actors.”
Livingstone Sewanyana, founder of the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative in the capital, Kampala, told the Guardian, “The decision not to renew the mandate deprives Uganda of a critical player in the field of human rights promotion and protection.”
At least 38 local and international staff at the head office in Kampala and two field offices in Gulu and Moroto stand to lose their jobs.
Jjuuko said: “Following closely on the closure of the DGF, this is a scary move which indicates that the government is no longer willing to have its human rights record scrutinised by international actors.
“This leaves local organisations at much more risk of being further silenced and their work curtailed without the government fearing close international security. It is a sad day indeed for the human rights movement in Uganda.”
Human Rights gained ascendancy after the Second World War when it became necessary to put sturdy structures in place to prevent a third world war. The meetings of the Big Three led by Sir Winston Churchill, Harry Truman and Josef Stalin led to the formation of the United Nations (UN) in 1945 and human rights of all individuals irrespective of race or creed became critical.
Initially, it made a whole lot of sense and the UN was formed with many sister agencies which worked tirelessly for world peace especially during the era of the cold war between the United States and the defunct Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
With the passage of time, the UN lost focus and was surreptitiously hijacked by sinister liberal forces to push all manner of insidious agendas detrimental not only to the health of individuals but also antithetical to the much-abused global buzzword ‘sustainable development.’
Uganda has been a prime target for liberals because of the success of its abstinence program which led to the loss of billions of dollars in potential revenue in condom and contraceptive sales.
The western media has specifically targeted the country for so-called ‘human rights violations’ because she has refused to bend to the pro-LGBTQ agenda which has destroyed the west and they now want to export such destruction to Africa.
I am not surprised that the Guardian UK which I started this article with has more than a passing interest in this subject matter.
For starters, it was published in its Global Development Section which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – the world’s largest private ‘philanthropic’ organization notorious for its heavy financial backing of abortion and gay rights.
The Guardian UK itself is also a left-wing publication so its no surprise that its platform is being used to propagate all manner of pro-LGBTQ propaganda in the name of ‘equality’ and ‘human rights.’
Africa must stand strong and resist all this hocus pocus whether it is from the so-called UN or not.
Let us learn from the Asian Tigers who didn’t develop based on UN recommendations but by critically looking inwards and harnessing their strengths for the benefit of their citizens.
When will we ever learn that the UN and other international development agencies are neo-colonial or imperialist institutions hellbent on continuing the post-colonial agenda of the massive under development and pauperization of the African Continent?
A big thumbs up to President Yoweri Museveni for his altruistic Pan-Africanist stance in standing up for noble values which the world’s poorest and second most populous continent truly needs!
Chief Editorial Curator