Expanding Boundaries of Human Rights in (East) Africa

In: African and Asian Studies

To what extent has politics in Uganda changed since the era of egregious human rights abuses under General Idi Amin? Using the new book on law and politics in Uganda under Museveni referenced below as focal point, this essay answers that question in a discussion that also sketches three themes, testimony to the plasticity of the human rights doctrine, including the expanding boundaries of human rights in (East) Africa.

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    See Rodney Muhumuza“Despite Regular Elections, Uganda’s Army Remains in Control,” The East AfricanAug. 1-7, 2011, p. 26, quoted on p. 344, n. 75 of the book under review (stating that “Museveni has staked his political legacy on the idea that he is not Idi Amin, and some facts back him up. But three decades after the dictator’s exit, things still happen in Uganda that have a whiff of the dead tyrant, that question the so-called progress from the wild days of Amin, that mock the very idea of a civilized society” based on the rule of law).

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  • 18

    See Alistair Boddy-Evans“This Day in African History – Uganda Gains Independence,” About.comhttp://africanhistory.about.com/b/2013/10/09/50-years-ago-in-african-history-uganda-gains-independence.htm.

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  • 21

    Silvia Antonioli“Bulk of Uganda Commercial Oil Production to Start in 2017 – Minister,” ReutersMay 9, 2014 2:30 pm edthttp://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/09/uganda-oil-idUSL6N0NV4AW20140509.

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  • 46

    Paul N. Ndue“Africa’s Turn toward Pluralism,” Journal of DemocracyVol. 1 (1994): 45-54.

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    Peter Baker“‘Nobody Should Be President for Life,’ Obama Tells Africa,” New York TimesJuly 28, 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/29/world/africa/obama-in-africa-says-he-could-win-third-term.html; “Obama: ‘Nobody Should Be President for Life,’” bbc News, July 28, 2015 (Video). “Your country is better off if you have new blood and new ideas.” Ibid. He told his audience not to pay any heed to the claim some sit-tight leaders make to the effect that “Well, I’m the only person who can hold the nation together[,]” adding: “If that’s true, then that leader has failed to truly build their nation.” Ibid. The au is an association of independent African states that in 2000 replaced the Organization of African Unity (oau). See also Obama’s speech in September 2015 to the u.n. General Assembly where the u.s. president remarked that “[l]eaders who amend constitutions to stay in office only acknowledge that they failed to build a successful country for their people” and cling to power “for its own sake, rather than for the betterment of those they purport to serve.” Text of President Obama’s Speech to the u.n. General Assembly 2015, n.y. Times, Sept. 28, 2015.

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