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Uganda: Violence

Volume 460: debated on Wednesday 9 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has made on the recent attacks on Asian businesses in Kampala, Uganda; and if she will make a statement. (135895)

We are particularly disturbed by the racially motivated aspects of the violence by some demonstrators during street protests in Kampala on 12 April. We welcome President Museveni’s statement of 13 April condemning the violence, in which he said that

“to attack, insult or damage the property of any Ugandan or guests of Uganda is something the National Resistance Movement government will not tolerate”.

We also condemn all such violence and call on all sides to show restraint and respect the rule of law during demonstrations. We are talking to the Ugandan Government about developing a ‘Code of Conduct’ for running and policing demonstrations.

We have expressed our concerns to the Ugandan Government about the importance of responsible and proportionate policing during demonstrations. Our high commissioner in Kampala raised this most recently with Foreign Minister Kutesa on 25 April.

The violence followed demonstrations protesting about the Ugandan Government’s plans to give away parts of Mabira forest to the Ugandan Sugar Corporation. Two Ugandans and one Indian national were killed and Asian businesses were attacked.