Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Head of European Union Delegation in Uganda, Attilio Pacifici says the EU is not supporting potentially subversive activities in Uganda.
Ambassador Pacifici says such claims have come up with in the government questioning the EU support to support to civil society actors in areas of human rights and governance.
Speaking at a dialogue on Human Rights at Kampala Serena Hotel, Ambassador Pacific said the claims are baseless and unfounded.
He was one of the panelists at a dialogue under the theme “The European Union’s contribution to Human Rights in Uganda – Are we doing the right thing?” Other panelists included Chief Justice, Bert Katureebe, former Ethics Minister, Miria Matembe, Lillian Adriko, CEO Uganda Association of Women Lawyers (FIDA-U) and Senior Presidential Advisor Political Affairs, David Mafabi.
Pacifici said the EU in Uganda supports activities aimed at implementation of the human rights issues as par the agreement. Part of the support according to Pacifici goes to the civil society and the rest goes to government in form of budget support. The EU has been part of the biggest funders to the Justice, Law and order sector in Uganda.
He said their support to Uganda is also in line with the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000. Uganda is part of the signatories of the agreement running from 2000 to 2020.
Germany’s Ambassador to Uganda, Albrecht Conze in carefully calculated remark wondered whether the EU and its members in Uganda should not continue asking questions about human rights like another of Uganda’s friend that never asks questions.
He was seemingly referring to China that is generally known not ask questions about human rights in Uganda and other countries receiving Chinese support.
The comments by the EU diplomats in Uganda come hardly a month after the EU Ambassador to Tanzania, Roeland Van dee Geer was unceremoniously made to leave the country. He was allegedly given an ultimatum to leave following a fallout with the President John Pombe Magufuli’s administration.
Roeland Van de Geer was known for his “frankness” and was openly critical about the human rights situation in Tanzania.
Now Conze during the discussion said has reflected on the Tanzania situation and wondered whether is high time that EU and its ambassadors toned down on their human rights demands and questions.
It appears like there has been a silent exchange between the government and EU following the Arua violence.
Senior Presidential Advisor Political Affairs, David Mafabí did stayed away from answering to question raised by the two diplomats apart from saying that Uganda is still evolving in terms of Human Rights Observance.
Former Mbarara Women MP and State Minister for Ethics, Miria Matembe said the civil society in Uganda had been accused of being agents of foreign interests because they are speaking against bad governance, militarism and corruption.