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Friday, August 19, 2022

US Senate piles more pressure on President Biden to review relations with Uganda, freeze military aid

Two US senators Cory Booker and James Risch of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations have written to President Joe Biden administration’s secretary of state Antony Blinken demanding a review of relations with Uganda over alleged human rights abuses and electoral democracy deficiency.

In a March 04 letter to secretary Blinken, Booker and Risch express their “grave concern about the state of democracy and human rights abuses in Uganda.”

The senators also requested information about “US policy toward Uganda” and urged Blinken to “ensure that accountability measures are pursued.”

Booker and Risch acknowledge the Museveni administration’s role in ensuring regional security — such as Kampala’s role in the South Sudan peace process and contribution of troops to Somalia under Amisom — but warn “this should not grant President Museveni, his government and party — which are virtually synonymous — a free pass to commit human rights abuses at home.”

They have now demanded a review of relations between the US and Uganda which they say have “remained largely unchanged for years, spanning multiple administrations.”

The senators have also demanded sanctions against officials involved in alleged human rights abuses.

They also expressed their wish for Uganda to be ruled by “a competent and uncorrupt government, rather than one that has time and again put its interests first.”

Under the leader they wish for Kampala, Booker and Risch say Uganda would “genuinely reclaim the mantle of the Pearl of Africa.”

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