Uganda’s state television NTV announced the government move on Tuesday. The foreign ministry formally notified the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) of its decision last Friday, according to a ministry document dated February 3.
"Given the strong government commitment to the protection of human rights, the prevailing peace... the Ministry wishes to convey the government’s decision not to renew the mandate of the OHCHR country office in Uganda," an NTV post said, quoting from the document.
The document shared via NTV was viewed by journalists working for Reuters.
The ministry’s letter thanked “the OHCHR Country Office for its contribution towards the promotion and protection of Human Rights in Uganda” and said Uganda’s government “will continue its cooperation” either directly with OHCHR headquarters or through its permanent mission.
Reuters sought comment from the U.N. human rights office in Uganda, but spokesman Bernard Amwine declined.
Critics of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni allege his administration has been responsible for various rights violations, including torture, illegal detentions and extrajudicial killings during his 36 years in power.
Opposition leader Bobi Wine, in a Twitter post Tuesday, denounced the Ugandan government’s decision to halt the UN human rights office’s activities in the country. He also criticized its moves to clamp down on “NGOs, Facebook and DGF.” The Democratic Governance Facility, an initiative suspended in 2021, promoted civil society and good governance.
Uganda’s OHCHR office was established in 2006 with the government’s initial permission to focus on human rights issues in conflict-plagued areas in the north and northeast regions. It later was allowed to cover the rest of the nation.
Some information in this report came from Reuters. This article was updated to revise NTV's broadcast day.