Sunday, September 25, 2005

Uganda demands immediate withdrawal of HRW report

The Uganda government has demanded that the US based rights group, Human Rights Watch immediately withdraws its report on alleged widespread human rights abuses in northern Uganda.

Sep 24 New Vision article says the controversial 76-page report repeatedly said abuses of civilians by UPDF in northern Uganda were perpetrated with impunity, that no effective accountability structure exists in the camps and that there is a lack of Police presence in the region.
Defence minister Amama Mbabazi said, "The Government of Uganda demands for the immediate withdrawal of the report. Uganda cannot but conclude that Human Rights Watch has abandoned its impartiality and allowed itself to be part of a partisan campaign in the run up to the 2006 elections. Indeed, the American human rights body is acting like a mouthpiece for the political opposition."
Note, the article says Mr Mbabazi also told journalists in Kampala that LRA's number two Vincent Otti and a group of rebels had sought political asylum in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He said Uganda, Congo and Sudan were in talks to end the LRA terror.

Uganda-CAN notes a HRW official in Uganda denied the minister's claims and said they "would stand by the accuracy of the report."

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