UGANDA: EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY CONCERNED OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION IN SOUTH SUDAN

Human rights violation is not limited to South Sudan olnly
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Police patrols Arua City streets during election campaigns

Human Rights violation and rule of law, the East African Community is concerned about Uganda democracy and rule 0f law.
UGANDA: The member states of the East African Community have expressed concern of the human rights violation in South Sudan.
The delegates from the member states were in Gulu on Tuesday for the consultative meeting of drafting the constitution of the East African Community political confederation.

The draft constitution looked at the custom union, the common market, one currency and political integration.
The Summit of EAC Heads of States in 2018 appointed the experts to carry out consultations and to propose a model constitution for the EAC confederation.

The former Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki who is the Chairman Experts Committee of the confederation described the confederation as the milestone to political integration.

However, key among concerns raised was the human rights violations in South Sudan that have claimed many lives of the people.
Godfrey Nyakahuma, the Resident District Commissioner for Masindi District asked the former Chief Justice and the team to undertake insecurity in South Sudan as the matter affected trade and investment in the region.

Nyakahuma noted that the recent killing of 18 Ugandan truck drivers by gunmen along Yei-Juba road is a matter of an urgent security matter that the East African Community must carefully look into.

“South Sudan government must stand up and explain the killing of the drivers from the East African Community” Nyakahuma observed.
He however tasked the member states to intervene and discuss the lasting solution for peace and security in South Sudan to end the long civil strife in the country.

In November 2020, Uganda Military Police shooting, a forensic analysis of 400 the photos short in Kampala among others showed that shooters of people on Kampala road spotted military and field forces police uniforms and road on the back of 999 police patrol vehicles, registration UPS564.

Report by BBC filed investigation says some of the armed men who shot at and alleged rioters on Kampala streets last November drove in police patrol pick-up and other state vehicles and brandished AK47 assault rifles.

The report pin the assailants sat on the left back-side of a patrol police pick-up registration UPS564 and emblazoned with numbers 17 on the side.

The speeding patrol came from Bombo road side with security personnel on its back shooting indiscriminately as city dwellers scampered for safety.

Robin Labalpiny Wod Omal, a veteran Journalist also noted that the restriction at the border by the immigration department is yet another factor affecting East African Integration.

“We are treated like foreigners from the different borders and yet we are the same community of the East Africa and this will affect the integration’
He has asked the constitutional draft experts committee to first study the integrations from other parts of the world before the East African Community can adopt the practice.
He further explained that the integration should not only be subjected to the debate in the East African Parliament but should be brought back to citizens in the bloc through the referendum.
Jackson Omona, the Chairman Kitgum District the draft constitution should compel the member states to remain in the confederation.
In his closing remarks, the former Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki had applauded the different proposals made in the consultation. Justice Odoki was addressing participants in Mbarara, western Uganda during the ongoing national consultations for the drafting of the constitution for the proposed EAC Political Confederation.

The retired CJ urged the participants to tell the committee of experts how much sovereignty they would prefer the national governments to cede to the proposed political confederation.
“Under a confederal system, the decision-making process is based on consensus or unanimity. The member states do not lose their sovereignty, that is, the supreme power of states to manage their affairs,” said the retired CJ, adding that there would be no creation of a new state or some centralised authority.
Simon Peter Owaka, the Communication of the East African Community Partner States shall largely retain their national sovereignty under the proposed EAC Political Confederation; this is according to Justice Benjamin Odoki, the Chairperson of the Committee of Experts tasked with drafting a model constitution for the confederation.
Owaka argues that the Political Confederation would ideally be vertical in that it would deal directly with Partner States rather than EAC citizens.
He further said that constituent states of the Confederation would have the freedom to join and/or withdraw from the arrangement as they wished, being sovereign states.
“The Confederal authority will, however, have the right to suspend or expel a member state that violates the confederal constitution,” said Justice Odoki, who is also a former Chief Justice of the Republic of Uganda.
The former Chief Justice outlining the features of a political confederation as opposed to a political federation, Justice Odoki said that the operations of the confederation would be highly dependent on the goodwill of the constituent states.
The Chairperson was, however, clear that the political confederation was a transitional model to the Political Federation that is the fourth and ultimate stage in the EAC integration process.

The former Ambassador David Mwaka petition Justice Odoke argues that any issues proposed by stakeholder by any stakeholders to addressed in consultation of the EAC political Confederation should consider land issues in Uganda, citing example of land acquisitions land in Mbarara at UGX89 million, while in Acholi region the same people are buying area of land at UGX 300,000.
“The sovereignty should not be abused, now there is a big inflow of people in Acholi land, but they are buying land at UGX 300,000 giving peanuts to Acholi people, this Satanic.” Ambassador Mwaka submitted.
He furthermore argues the drafting of the Constitution for the EAC should consider that the federation of the Intuition should be strengthened and talk about the Council of Ministers, the Ministerial Council in the draft, unlike the current EAC which is not catered for.
Moses Obuku, the issues of farming in Northern Uganda where there are productions do not suit the agro industry, but there is no market in Uganda and EAC pattern states.
”The Constitution drafting should recognise organic farming and give them a shield, we are producing soya beans in mass production and Simsim, but our produce has no market.” Obuko observed.
Education and culture language in EAC pattern states is a key tool to development, we need a single language, citing examples in the nation Chain, Japan, Korea and Anglophone whose education syllabus is taught in their languages. Although the EAC would be moving to have an education curriculum based on Kiswahili, our mother language is a priority.

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