Chandra Sriram’s field research in Uganda

Posted by: Elizabeth Rhoads

28th May 2015

In April 2015, Chandra Sriram conducted interviews in Uganda with a range of experts, including lawyers, members of the judiciary and officials of nongovernmental organizations. While observations from these interviews are preliminary, a number of themes can be discerned.

First, while many interviewed concurred that the report of 1986 commission of inquiry was important, the failure to publish it in full or disseminate it and its recommendations meant that it did not have a significant and lasting impact upon rule of law and human rights in the country.

Second, many were of the view that the government only engaged with accountability mechanisms, whether the International Criminal Court or the creation of a division of the high court domestically, to promote specific political agendas.  These include diverting international attention and pressure on accountability generally, and specifically constructing a narrative of violations as committed by non-state actors, and not the state apparatus.

Finally, many interviewees felt that the military remained a political tool, tied to the executive, operating with relative impunity.