Norwegian concern about political developments in Uganda

from Government of Norway
Published on 05 Dec 2005
No.: 213/05

"The government is very concerned about how the arrest of the prominent opposition politician Kizza Besigye will affect political developments in Uganda," said Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre. "His arrest casts doubt on the basis for conducting multiparty elections in the country next year and is a setback for the country's democratisation process."

"We consider the Ugandan authorities' handling of the arrest most unfortunate and that it raises questions about whether there is a genuine will to adhere to democratic principles," said Mr Støre. He pointed our that earlier this year Norway reduced its budget support by NOK 25 million (about EUR 3 million) due to concerns about the authorities' handling of the democratisation process, human rights issues and the fight against corruption.

The Foreign Minister also expressed his deep concern about the precarious humanitarian situation in northern Uganda. He underlined that Norway expects the Ugandan authorities to give high priority to resolving the conflict and to reconciliation and reconstruction efforts. "The situation in northern Uganda is unacceptable, and the Norwegian authorities want to maintain focus on the conflict and assess how we can best contribute to resolving it."

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is following the situation closely and will consider possible consequences for Norway's cooperation with Uganda on an ongoing basis.