Annual Report: Uganda 2005

Report
May 28, 2005

Annual Report: Uganda 2005

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Head of state and government: Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
Death penalty: retentionist
International Criminal Court: ratified
UN Women’s Convention: ratified
Optional Protocol to UN Women’s Convention: not signed


Summary

Abuses by the armed opposition Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) increased during the first half of the year. The government asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity in the context of the war in northern Uganda. Rape of girls was widespread, and other torture persisted. The media continued to be attacked.

Background

Throughout 2004, debate continued over the recommendations of the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) on moving the country towards a multi-party political system and on lifting the two-term presidential limit ahead of elections due in 2006. The government presented a White Paper containing its counter-proposals to the CRC’s recommendations in September.

In November the Constitutional Court held that certain sections of the hotly contested Political Parties and Organizations Act (PPOA) of 2002 were unconstitutional and infringed civil and political rights such as the rights to freedom of association and assembly.

Harassment of politicians continued. In November, four members of parliament from northern Uganda were reportedly beaten by soldiers, allegedly to prevent them holding consultative meetings on the constitutional proposals.

On 9 December, eight suspects from an alleged armed group, the People’s Redemption Army (PRA), were charged with plotting to overthrow the government. The previous day, the Constitutional Court had ordered that 25 suspects from the same organization be released on bail immediately. The 25 were charged with treason before the Military General Court Martial.

The war in northern Uganda

The first half of the year saw an upsurge in LRA attacks on civilians in Gulu, Kitgum, Lira and Pader districts.