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23 Aug 2021

Africa Institute for Energy Governance (Uganda)

Uganda: Advocacy group says govt. harassing CSOs for advocating for protection of human & environmental rights in oil sector


Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO) has seen an August 20, 2021 press release through which the NGO Bureau says that it has halted the operations of 23 civil society organisations (CSOs). The bureau indicates that these CSOs are operating with expired nongovernmental organisation (NGO) permits. Other CSOs’ operations have been indefinitely suspended. AFIEGO and seven of our partners are among the organisations whose operations the NGO Bureau says have been halted...

AFIEGO takes note of the fact that seven of the organisations whose operations the NGO Bureau says that it has halted are AFIEGO’s partners. AFIEGO and its partners have been targeted because they play key human as well as environmental rights protection roles in the oil and gas sector. The organisations also hold government accountable with neither fear nor favour. Several of the other organisations whose operations have been halted or indefinitely suspended also play key accountability roles in the human rights and civic education spheres. For many years now, government has targeted these and other CSOs with threats of deregistration, freezing of their bank accounts, arrests, office raids and others. AFIEGO and our partners’ staff have been targeted and arrests have been made. In September 2020 for instance, the AFIEGO Hoima district field officer was arrested and detained in Hoima district. She was arrested alongside our partners under the Save Bugoma Forest Campaign (SBFC). She was released without any charge. Two of our SBFC partners were released on police bond and have never been charged in courts of law todate...

AFIEGO is calling on the public to work with CSOs to engage government and use all the available legal options to end the intimidation of CSOs and the hostile civic space in which CSOs operate