The European parliament has today issued a 14-point resolution in relation to the recent events of Arua in which at least four people lost their lives and several got arrested.
Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi's driver Yasin Kawuma was shot dead on August 13 and about 35 others arrested and charged with treason on allegations of stoning President Yoweri Museveni's vehicle.
Among those arrested were four MPs; Francis Zaake, Robert Kyagulanyi, Paul Mwiru and Gerald Karuhanga as well as then MP-elect Kassiano Wadri. Kyagulanyi and Zaake were reportedly tortured and are currently abroad receiving further treatment.
Now, the European parliament in a resolution issued today September 14, says it expresses its deep concern at the arrest of opposition parliamentarians in connection to the Arua by-election.
The parliament also said it "stresses that it is vital for Ugandan democracy that the president and government of Uganda respect the independence of the country’s parliament as an institution and the independence of the mandate of its members and ensure that all members of parliament can freely pursue their elected mandate."
Further, it called on the Ugandan government to drop what it said, appear to be trumped up charged against Kyagulanyi and the brutal treatment of opposition politicians and supporters. Kyagulanyi and his co-accused were charged with treason in Gulu Chief Magistrate's court following their brutal arrest. Since Kyagulanyi's arrest, protests broke out allover the country and across the globe. The brutality of security agencies against protesters and the media has also drawn condemnation from across the world.
The European parliament also demanded for an immediate launch "of an effective, impartial and independent investigation of the killing of Kyagulanyi's driver Yasin Kawuma and other deaths and the use of excessive force by security agencies."
Government was also reminded of its obligation to guarantee, protect, respect and promote fundamental rights including civil and political rights. The parliament also asked the security forces to desist from using live bullets when policing protests. The use of live ammunition when quelling protests led to the death The protestors were also urged to exercise their rights and freedoms with the law.
The European parliament called on the European Union "to take advantage of the political leverage provided by development aid programmes, especially budget support programmes with a view of enhancing the defence and promotion of human rights in Uganda."
It also called on the EU to closely monitor the situation in Uganda and that parliament must be "informed of any other signs of opposition MPs being hindered or obstructed in their work as legislators."
The resolution was forwarded to the President Museveni, speaker Rebecca Kadaga, African Union and other EU institutions.
The European parliament's resolution will likely draw the ire of the Ugandan government which has lately been complaining about external forces meddling in the affairs of the country.