Victims of human rights violations in Uganda still waiting for redress

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Progress achieved in addressing the situation of the 4000 evictees in Mubende will again be under review, at the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural and Social Rights.

For the first time compliance with economic, social and cultural human rights in Uganda will be reviewed by the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), on 10th -11th June. FIAN International and the evicted community of Kaweri Coffee Plantation in Mubende,Uganda, will advocate for the CESCR to issue recommendations to stop impunity concerning their case, as well as  to hold accountable those who are responsible for the severe human rights violations. Peter Kayiira, the spokesperson of the evictees expresses the community’s hopes: ”We  are convinced that all what is needed is the Committee to recommend the Government of Uganda to adopt measures that bring justice to us, the affected, especially through the restitution of our ancestral land”.

In August 2001,     approximately 4,000 peasants were forcefully evicted from their lands by the Ugandan army to pave way for Kaweri Coffee Plantation, a 100% subsidiary of the German based coffee company Neumann Kaffee Gruppe (NKG). In the course of that eviction all houses and crops were destroyed and the evictees were left without shelter and any source of livelihood. To date, due to lack of access to land and any other sufficient source of income, the evictees still face severe hunger and malnutrition among other violations of their economic, social and cultural rights.

Despite having won their case against the Government of Uganda and Kaweri Coffee Plantation in the High Court, and the international advocacy support, the victims still wait for restitution of their ancestral land and compensation.  Supported by an international advocacy campaign, coordinated by FIAN International, the evictees still struggle for their rights. “We will relentlessly continue the struggle to end the impunity, no matter how long it takes,“ Mr Kayira confirms.

FIAN International recalls that the State of Uganda has ratified the     International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), which implies the obligation of the government to guarantee the rights listed therein. With the conducted eviction in the case of Kaweri Coffee Plantation, a long list of rights have been violated, including the right to food, water, housing, education, as well as health, amongst others.

On this note, FIAN International calls on the CESCR to recommend the fulfillment of the demands by the evictees, including restitution of their lands, compensation for all damages and suffering; stopping Kaweri Coffee Plantation from activities until the case is settled; ensuring independence of the judiciary and timely judicial processes; and holding accountable those responsible.

For more information about the case and demands of the evictees, please consult the following documents:
–     CESCR, List of issues in relation to the initial report of Uganda.
–     FIAN’s Parallel report to the CESCR on the Kaweri case.
–     Oral Statement by FIAN International during the Pre-Session.

For any media enquiries, please contact:
Dr. Ana Maria Suarez Franco, FIAN International
E-Mail:     suarez-franco(at), Mobile: +41 787 96 22 54