Despite Rights Abuses, Uganda Seeks Security Council Seat

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“It’s a serious concern that the human rights records of these countries are not taken into consideration in elections for the Security Council seat,” a spokesperson for New York-based Human Rights Watch tells The Black Star News.

 [International: Africa News]

 

 

 

 

As world leaders gather for this year’s annual United Nations General Assembly meetings here in New York, the East African country of Uganda in a bid to burnish its image will be making its pitch to permanent members of the Security Council for a seat on the powerful body.

 

Ironically, Uganda was found liable for massive human rights abuse in Eastern Congo, including genocide and theft, by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2005; separately, the International Criminal Court (ICC) is also investigating the same alleged crimes for which Uganda was found liable by the ICJ.

 

The ICC earlier this year also indicted Jean Pierre Bemba, a Congolese warlord who was financed by Uganda; Bemba already is at the Hague awaiting trial.

 

“It’s a serious concern that the human rights records of these countries are not taken into consideration in elections for the Security Council seat,” a spokesperson for New York-based Human Rights Watch tells The Black Star News.

 

The African bloc of countries at the UN already has thrown their support behind Uganda’s bid, The Black Star News has learned. Uganda now needs support of the permanent members of the Security Council during this year’s General Assembly to get elected to the SC.

A State Department spokesman declined to say whether the U.S. would back Uganda's bid. "The United States doesn't preview its vote for the rotating seats on the Security Council," Mark Schlachter, who is with the State Department's Bureau of International Organizations Affairs, tells The Black Star.

The Security Council consists of 15 members; five permanent members with veto power and 10 non-permanent members without veto power who sit for two-year terms.

 

Still, a combination of seven non-permanent members of the Security Council can band together and block measures favored by a permanent member.

 

Permanent Security Council veto-wielding member countries are the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia.

 

Uganda wants to be rewarded for being the only African country to send troops to participate in the U.S.-backed Ethiopian occupation of Somalia. Ironically, human rights organizations say the occupation armies have been involved in mass killings that would qualify as war crimes.

 
 


 

 

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