Sun. Oct 1st, 2023

The Controversial Closure of the UN Human Rights Office

Uganda’s decision to close the United Nations’ local human rights office has sparked outrage from opposition leaders and activists, who claim that it demonstrates the country’s rapidly deteriorating civil liberties record. The government informed the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) that it would not renew the mandate of its office in the country, effectively expelling the human rights monitors.

Critics, however, disagree with the government’s assessment. Opposition leader Bobi Wine, who leads the National Unity Platform, stated that the regime in Uganda should be isolated by those seeking democracy. Wine, who is also a pop star-turned-politician, finished as the runner-up in the 2021 presidential election and has been arrested multiple times for protesting against brutality by security forces.

The state minister for foreign affairs, Okello Oryem, stated that the UN human rights office was established to monitor rights violations during the war in northern Uganda, which ended nearly two decades ago, and that it was no longer relevant now that the war has ended. However, Livingstone Sewanyana, the head of the Uganda Human Rights Foundation, rejected the government’s justification for the closure, stating that the civic space has been shrinking in recent years.

In conclusion, the closure of the UN human rights office has drawn widespread criticism and raised questions about the state of civil liberties in Uganda. The government’s justification for the closure has been met with skepticism, and the situation remains a source of concern for those who believe in the importance of a free and open society.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *