KAMPALA–U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Tom Malinowski visited Kampala November 15-17. During his trip, Assistant Secretary Malinowski met with numerous members of the Ugandan government and security services, including Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda and Chief of Military Intelligence Brigadier General Charles Bakahumura. Assistant Secretary Malinowski also met with members of the Ugandan political opposition, representatives of civil society and the NGO community, and local journalists. During these meetings, the Assistant Secretary discussed the country’s pre-electoral environment and civil society space ahead of the February 2016 national elections.
Assistant Secretary Malinowski also spoke November 17 at an elections-related event at Makerere University that was organized by the International Republican Institute. In his remarks and during a question and answer session with students, the Assistant Secretary emphasized the importance of protecting the integrity and fairness of the electoral process, preserving fundamental freedoms, strengthening democracy, and supporting a free and independent media during the electoral season.
He also encouraged Uganda’s youth to play a constructive role in the country’s politics, and emphasized the influence they hold to help shape Uganda’s future. “It is clear that this country is full of passionate, patriotic, and creative citizens,” Malinowski said. “[Youth] have an incredible power to influence the future of your country. But only by voting do you leverage that power.”
Assistant Secretary Malinowski travels next to Addis Ababa, where he will meet with government officials, human rights activists, think tanks, and journalists, and bloggers who have been released from prison in recent months. He will continue the discussion begun by President Obama and Prime Minister Heile Mariam on how best to advance democracy and human rights in Ethiopia.
For additional information, please contact:
U.S. Mission Uganda