The United Nations (UN) Department of Safety and Security in the office of the Under Secretary General has announced suspension of non-critical external missions and visits to Uganda over security concerns during the heated 2021 electoral season.
Uganda will go to the polls to elect a president and members of parliament on January 14, 2021.
But with just a month to voting day, Uganda has stolen international headlines over electoral violence that has claimed over 50 lives.
Police and other security agencies have severally been engaged in running battles with incumbent Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s challengers, particularly Patrick Oboi Amuriat (POA) of main opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), and Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine of the National Unity Platform (NUP).
The peak of the electoral violence so far was the protests that followed the arrest on November 18 of Amuriat in the northern Uganda city of Gulu and Bobi Wine in Luuka District.
Now, Gilles Michaud, the undersecretary general for safety and security, has written to all security focal points and alternates of Organizations of the United Nations Security Management System (UNSMS), HR Network, ICSC Secretariat, and UNDSS Headquarters Personnel informing them of the suspension of non-critical external missions and visits in Uganda.
“Following a review of the security situation in Uganda during the critical electoral period, the Designated Official in consultation with the Security Management Team, has recommended immediate suspension of all non-critical external missions/visits to Uganda.
In his notice, copied to UN resident coordinator and designated official for the Republic of Uganda Rosa Malango, and security advisor for Uganda Jamshed Kazi, Michaud revealed that Malango had recommended the suspension and that he agreed with her.
“I further request all organisations of the United Nations Security Management System (UNSMS) to coordinate inbound travel requests to Uganda with consideration of programme criticality,” continued Michaud.
He further revealed that “the suspension will be lifted based on a revised Security Risk Management process.”