HomeAfrica-NewsInternational community has let Ugandans down, says Besigye

International community has let Ugandans down, says Besigye


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Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye has accused the international community of turning a blind eye to rampant human rights violations in his country.

Although it is the responsibility of Ugandans to hold their government to account, he argues, the West has chosen to ignore what is happening in Uganda.

“Ugandans have the first and foremost responsibility to hold their government accountable to them,” said Dr Besigye TVNKenya Wednesday night.

“We know we have [a] have to. The first duty is to demand that we be treated in accordance with the law, the constitution and international agreements. We’ve been doing quite a bit… that.”

universal human rights

He added: “However, human rights are universal and any abuse of human rights anywhere is an abuse of human rights everywhere because if you don’t address it, you will fall [victim to] sooner or later.


“Therefore, we hope [that] indeed, the international community has an obligation to ensure that the kinds of human rights abuses that have taken place in Uganda are checked. Unfortunately, that has not been carried out.”

The veteran opposition politician said Western countries are not concerned about human rights violations in Uganda because they need President Yoweri Museveni’s help to fight terrorism inside and outside the East African region.

He said that “Western countries are very concerned about the terrorism that has taken over the world, and because our forces are available or recruited for that fight in Somalia, Sudan, elsewhere,” they pretend not to see what is happening in Uganda.

“This is shameful and I think it should stop because you can’t say you’re fighting terrorism while [turning] one blind eye [to] abuse of human rights,” he said.


The number of people who disappear for criticizing Museveni’s leadership style, he said, has increased a lot compared to the Idi Amin era.

“Day after day people are disappearing. The list of [disappeared] people have given [the] government, including Parliament… [This is the list] of people disappeared and kidnapped in broad daylight by security personnel [agencies],” he said.

He added: “Some have been released with hideous marks of torture and displayed in court. [These kinds] of abuses cannot be debated”.

Vowing that he was not willing to give up the fight for a better Uganda, Dr. Besigye said the problem is not getting a new leader, but taking power away from people who bear arms and giving it to the unarmed people of Uganda. Uganda’s independent institutions, he said, need to be released from state capture.

state capture

“In 2011, I personally came to the conclusion that elections cannot solve the problem at hand. There is a complete state capture of state institutions, ”he said.

“What is needed in our country now is not a political dispute in the elections, it is a liberation struggle to liberate our state institutions, to liberate the country from the capture by force that has taken place.

Once this is done, he added, Ugandans can “organize a transition to a democratic space in much the same way that Kenya did.”

He also dismissed claims that the liberation struggle in Uganda failed because the opposition failed to come together to bring about change. He argued that in every election cycle, Ugandans stick together and their efforts to elect someone other than President Museveni are thwarted by state capture of institutions.

Ugandans want a change

“The people of Uganda who want change have been rallying behind a candidate they believe offers the best chance for change and that is why every election has been a two-horse race. You have not found an election where the votes are distributed among 10 candidates, ”he said.

“It’s always been a two-horse race because people who want a change are only looking for what will give them the best chance of making that change.”

Dr. Besigye noted that power in Uganda is mediated between the military and President Museveni’s family.

He added that the reason why “it is always difficult for a candidate to challenge the type of government we have is [that] The people who control power sometimes control wealth.”

“Controlling institutions and capturing the state also leads to the capture of state resources. Once you have unlimited control over resources, it’s easier to sponsor a candidate and encourage all kinds of candidates to apply. Sometimes it’s not easy to stop [a] multiplicity of candidates,” he said.


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