By Spy Uganda
The Uganda Government has terminated the operations of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Uganda, a sign that ‘may be’ that country is now independent enough to monitor the protection and promotion of human rights of the wanainchis.
This department of the United Nations Secretariat, is mandated to promote and protect the enjoyment and full realization, by all people, of all rights established in the Charter of the United Nations and in international human rights laws and treaties. The office is also responsible for ensuring that human rights are incorporated into all work carried out by UN agencies.
Founded in 2006, as a response to the conflict in northern and north eastern Uganda the office renewed its services in 2009 and grew to cover the whole country and holistic approach to human rights issues.
The mandate for the Office was further expanded to include the establishment of a Regional Human Rights Training Centre in Uganda; to provide training activities on the international human rights system for Government officials of interested States in the region, as well as national human rights institutions and civil society organizations.
A letter dated February 3 from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicates that the government of Uganda will now continue its cooperation with the OHCHR Headquarters either directly or through its Permanent Mission in Geneva.
“The Ministry wishes to convey Government’s appreciation to the OHCHR Country Office for its contribution towards the promotion and protection of Human Rights in Uganda, and the enhancement of the capacity of National Human Rights Institutions and Civil Society Organizations in the country,” the letter partially reads.
The office came to the limelight in the aftermath of the 2021 general election when military and police personnel clashed with a team of supporters of the National Unity Platform –NUP who were presenting a petition to the office over human rights violations in the country.
Aside from opposition supporters, another group that suffered gross human rights violations during this period were journalists who were beaten and injured in their pursuit of the news.