The Ugandan government says the European parliament is trying to interfere in the country’s politics. Last week, the EU parliament passed a resolution condemning acts by Ugandan security forces, including the arrests of members of parliament, the violent repression of protests, and alleged acts of torture.
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The Ugandan government says the move by the European Parliament is calculated to undermine the progress Uganda has made over the years.
Government spokesman Ofwono Opondo said Monday the resolution is meant to bolster a few Ugandan leaders who want to act with impunity merely because they are elected.
The EU Parliament resolution, among other things, states the arrest of members of parliament is a serious violation of their right to immunity and thereby an attack on the independence of the Ugandan parliament.
It also calls for the immediate release of all the suspects detained illegally, and for criminal proceedings against police officers suspected to have shot dead two civilians.
Opondo characterized the resolution as a show of support for Uganda’s opposition.
“Uganda takes objection to the tacit approval of indisciplined behavior by the EU leaders and some of their institutions of Uganda’s opposition politicians in the country,” Opondo said. “Could [the] EU parliament and those who actively promote impunity in other people’s nations have some humility in this area?”
Four legislators and 29 others face charges of treason for allegedly pelting President Yoweri Museveni’s convoy with stones and damaging property during election-related violence in the Arua district in August.
In his address to the nation on the Arua chaos, Museveni said the protesters had been paid by unidentified non-government organizations to disrupt the country.
Museveni said opposition politicians accused of terrorism, conspiracy to commit arson, and treason are telling lies to foreign governments.
“Interfering in the internal affairs of other countries is morally and practically wrong,” Museveni said. “Morally wrong because the question is, what superior intelligence do you have to think that you can understand the problem in my house better than we the occupants? If there is a problem in my house, we the occupants will solve it, keep out.”
The government insists an opposition member who is unhappy with the decisions of government must use peaceful methods to challenge it.
Opondo says they are now waiting for the EU parliament to formally furnish the resolution. When that happens, he said, the Uganda minister of foreign affairs will make a diplomatic response.
Report By Halima Athumani, VOA News