Two US senators Cory Booker and James Jim Risch of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations have asked President Joe Biden administration’s secretary of state Antony Blinken to furnish the foreign relations committee with information on nine key areas related to US Uganda relations ahead of anticipated review.
Senators Booker and Risch say its high time Uganda-US relations got reviewed in light of recent alleged human rights violations such as arrest and detention of supporters of opposition politician Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine.
The documents Booker and Risch expect by March 31 include: A detailed analysis of Uganda-US relationship that captures a review of several agencies with the view of determining “whether continued partnership with an increasingly brutal authoritarian leader poses risks to US interests in East and Central Africa.”
They also want lists of US security assistance programs in Uganda starting in 2015; a report on capacity to monitor US weapons sold and transferred to the UPDF for Amisom (Somalia) as a way of stopping “training and equipment from being diverted to suppress dissent within Uganda.”
Booker, Risch and their foreign relations committee also want a report on corruption scandals involving US aid to Uganda, as well as support to opposition and civil society organization during the 2021 elections.
The committee has also demanded a report on the impact of human rights abuses on Uganda’s political environment as well as “a plan to intensify the US response to human rights abuses beyond the rhetorical condemnations and to work with the Government of Uganda and local Non-Governmental Organizations to secure accountability for citizens who have been subjected to arbitrary arrests, torture and extrajudicial killings.”