By Ruth Anderah
KAMPALA: President Yoweri Museveni has opened the 4th African Judicial Dialogue that runs till November 1 at Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala, with a call on the judiciary to holistically address the causes of injustices and human rights abuses that are deeply rooted in the social, economic and cultural set up of the African society.
The President also told the conference that has attracted participants from 43 African countries that it was not possiblle to address issues of justice and human rights of the African people in isolation of their economic, social status and cultural set up because they are the leading causes that are closely related to human rights’ violations on the African continent.
“There are fundamental human rights such as the right of access to food, shelter, clean water, clothing, education and health. These cannot be addressed legally but rather by developing the economy to enable the state to support her citizens,” he said.
Presidnet Museveni also noted that issues of human rights cannot be addressed by laws alone without taking into consideration the aspect of natural disasters that often subjects the victims to inhumane conditions.
“Man has not only been abused by fellow man. He has also been abused by nature such as floods, drought, diseases, famine and earthquakes, among others. These can only be addressed by development solutions and not by legislations,” he said.
Meanwhile, the President of the African Court on Human and People’s Rights, Justice Sylvain Ore, commended President Museveni and the Government of Uganda for being champions in safeguarding human rights on the African continent as manifested by Uganda’s ratification of all the protocols aimed at safeguarding human rights including the one that established the African Court on Human and People’s rights.
He observed that Uganda’s hosting of the largest number of refugees in Africa is another indicator of the country’s commitment to promoting human rights.
He also commended Uganda for contributing to justice in Africa by being a leading contributor of Judicial Officers to the leading Continental judicial organs.
Chief Justice, Bart Katureebe, commended the African Human and People’s Rights Court for choosing Uganda to host the 4th judicial dialogue, the first ever to be hosted outside the Court’s headquarters in Arusha Tanzania. He said Uganda’s judiciary is looking forward to benefiting from the dialogue especially in handling cases related to human rights violation.
The Dialogue, brings together over 300 delegates, including Chief Justices, Presidents of Supreme and Constitutional Courts, representatives of regional and international judicial, from the 55 AU Member States.
According to the Registrar of the African Court Dr Robert Eno, the biennial event is aimed at improving networking amongst judicial officers, exchange of information and best practices and the proper administration of justice on the continent.
The Dialogue was preceded by the first meeting of the International Human Rights Forum and a media sensitization workshop runs under the theme; Tackling Contemporary Human Rights Issues: The Role of the Judiciary in Africa.