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Uganda: Politics and Government

Volume 464: debated on Monday 15 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of reports that Ugandan Government ministers and members of parliament recently (a) wore military uniforms and (b) carried out military drills during their annual retreat at the Kyankwanzi ideological training school; and if he will make a statement. (153787)

We are aware of the above mentioned reports but cannot confirm their accuracy. We know that the Kyankwanzi National Leadership Institute remains in use and is responsible for preparing senior government officials.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what assessment he has made of the Ugandan government's treatment of opposition leader Dr. Kizza Besigye and the extent of its surveillance of Dr. Besigye; and if he will make a statement; (153788)

(2) what representations he has made to the Ugandan authorities on the trial for treason of the opposition leader Dr. Kizza Besigye; what his policy is on whether this trial will affect relations with the Ugandan government at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in November; and if he will make a statement.

We continue to monitor closely the People's Redemption Army trial, in which Dr. Besigye is a defendant, and are pushing for a swift and fair conclusion of the legal process. We regularly raise this issue with senior members of the Ugandan government, through the local Heads of Mission Partners for Democracy and Good Governance Group in Kampala. In the course of our regular dialogue with the government of Uganda, we continue to press them, including at senior political level, on the need to engage with the opposition and develop further multi-party democracy.

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in November will be a chance for the Ugandan government to demonstrate the progress they are making on good governance to a watching world. We continue to urge the Ugandan government to make the best use of this opportunity.