Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Archive for Uganda

Newsline: Uganda president says he is ‘studying’ opening embassy in Jerusalem

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he would look into the possibility of opening an embassy in Jerusalem, as the Israeli leader made a lightning trip to the African country. Appearing alongside Museveni at a news conference, Netanyahu suggested that Israel would open an embassy in Kampala if Uganda were to open an embassy in Jerusalem. Netanyahu said he was hoping they could move ahead on the embassies “in the near future.” (https://www.timesofisrael.com/uganda-president-says-he-is-studying-opening-embassy-in-jerusalem/) Uganda does not currently have an embassy in Israel. The Israeli ambassador in neighboring Kenya also serves as ambassador to Kampala.

Newsline: Uganda expected to move its embassy to Jerusalem

Uganda is reportedly planning to announce that it is moving its embassy to Jerusalem next week, sources close to the Ugandan president and the Ugandan Christian community told The Jerusalem Post. A spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry could not confirm the report. (https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Uganda-to-move-its-embassy-to-Jerusalem-report-615847) The Hebrew website Ynet reported on Wednesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to travel to Uganda on Monday, but did not cite a reason for the visit. Sources close to the community told the Post that the move has been in the works for three years.

Newsline: Hungary to open embassy in Uganda

Uganda has formally accepted a request from Hungary to open a Diplomatic Mission at the level of Charge D’Affaires in Kampala in the near future. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sam Kutesa, revealed the new development during a meeting with Hungary’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Frenc Dancs, at the ministry’s offices in Kampala. Kutesa, according to a press release, recalled that he had had an opportunity to meet with the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September.


Newsline: Former South African ambassador found guilty of hate speech

The South Gauteng High Court ordered former South African ambassador to Uganda Jon Qwelane to apologise to the gay community for his 2008 newspaper column which the court found to be harmful. Judge Dimpheletse Seun Moshidi found Qwelane guilty of hate speech emanating from a column he penned in 2008 while working as a journalist. ”The offending statements made against the LGBTIQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Questioning) community are declared by this court to be hurtful, inciting harm, propagating hatred as envisaged in Section 10 of the Promotion of Equality and Unfair Prevention of Discrimination Act of 2000. The applicant is ordered to tender to the LGBTIQ community an unconditional apology within 30 days, or another period as parties may agree upon,” Moshidi said. ”The apology shall be published in one edition of the Sunday Sun newspaper or publication of the same circulation as a Sunday newspaper in order to receive the same publicity as the offending statements. Proof of the publication of such apology shall be furnished to this court immediately thereafter.” The self-confessed homophobe was also ordered to pay the legal costs for the long-running case, including the postponements. Moshidi further dismissed Qwelane’s constitutional challenge of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act hate speech clause, which Qwelane said was ”vague and too broad.” The column, titled “Call me names, but gay is not ok” was published in the Sunday Sun newspaper, and drew widespread criticism from activists who accused Qwelane of promoting hate speech. It was accompanied by a cartoon that portrayed homosexuality as bestiality.


Newsline: South Korea Envoy Accuses Uganda’s Official Over Alleged $5,000 Bribe

The hard times dogging suspended junior Labour minister Herbert Kabafunzaki seem far from over with the embassy of South Korea now accusing him of detaining their national after he allegedly refused to pay a $5,000 (Shs18m) bribe. In an April 24 letter to Kampala Central Police Station (CPS) CID chief, and signed by Korean Consul Lee Chunghee, Mr Kabafunzaki is alleged to have asked Mr Woo Junghoon, a Korean investor, to first pay $5000 in order to secure a letter of intent to invest in Uganda. But Mr Kabafunzaki dismissed the bribery allegation on phone although he acknowledges the accusers visited his office and looked suspicious, a reason he handed them over to the ministry’s security personnel.


Newsline: U.S. Embassy in Uganda tells citizens to seek shelter

Ugandan authorities have uncovered a “terrorist cell” run by the Somali militant Islamist group al Shabaab, which they believe was planning an imminent attack, the U.S. Embassy in Uganda said on Saturday. “At this point we are not aware of specific targets, and the Ugandan authorities have increased security at key sites, including Entebbe International Airport,” the embassy said in a statement on its website. Uganda, as one of the countries that contribute forces to an African Union peacekeeping mission battling al Shabaab in Somalia, has suffered militant attacks in recent years, and al Shabaab has threatened more. The U.S. Embassy, shortly before issuing its announcement, told its citizens, in a message posted on Twitter, to stay at home or proceed to a safe location while Ugandan authorities completed operations against a suspected cell in Kampala.


Newsline: Ugandan Embassy in Somalia Starts Issuing Visas

The Ugandan embassy in Mogadishu has just started the issuance of the visas to Uganda. In the past people in Somalia who wanted to travel to Uganda used to face challenges in getting visas to Uganda. Therefore, the embassy started the processing of the visas for students, families, business people and patients who want to travel to Uganda for different purposes. The Ugandan embassy in Mogadishu issues visas to at least 30 people per day. In the past, people traveled all the way to Entebe airport where they were given the visas on arrival. Most of the people who travel to Uganda are students who want to study at the universities of Uganda and people who get resettlement in European countries, USA, Canada and Australia. Those who get the resettlement processes go to Uganda to wait their flights to those countries while inside Uganda.


Newsline: Uganda Foreign Missions websites seen as disaster

A website of Uganda’s Foreign Mission in Germany is totally different from that of Ottawa, Canada. The official E-mail address of the Ambassador of Uganda to Italy, is at Hotmail dot com (ugandaembassyrome@hotmail.com ), and that of the Ambassador to Washington DC is dot org (owonekha@ugandaembassyus.org) The domain names are chaotic. While the Embassy in Washington uses dot com (http://www.ugandaembassy.com) for the website the staff E-mails have dot org. The domain name for China is dot org (http://www.ugaembassycn.org/) and that of Germany uses dot de (http://www.uganda.de/). The High Commission to UK has a totally different domain name; dot co dot uk (http://www.ugandahighcommission.co.uk/). The website of Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ has no connections to the foreign missions websites whatsoever, because it uses dot go dot ug (http://www.mofa.go.ug). And until recently, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website had Kenyan colours; green, black and red. One would automatically think, all government ministries and foreign missions should have similar domain names like that of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (dot go dot ug).


Newsline: US Embassy in Uganda Warns of ‘Specific Threat’ to Airport

A day after the announcement of heightened security measures on United States-bound flights, the American Embassy in Uganda said it had been warned of a “specific threat” of attack to the country’s main airport and said travelers “may want to review their plans.” The warning was one of several recent alarms in restive East Africa, where governments have sought to counter threats, particularly those by the Shabab militant movement based in Somalia. The embassy did not specify what the threat entailed, but said it had received information from the Uganda Police Force that, according to intelligence sources, “there is a specific threat to Entebbe International Airport,” which serves the capital, Kampala, 25 miles away. The warning, in a statement on the embassy’s website, said the attack could take place between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Thursday. That period elapsed without any reported incident. “U.S. Embassy Kampala wishes to remind U.S. citizens of the continued threat of potential terrorist attacks in the country,” the statement said. “The targets for these attacks could include hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, shopping malls, diplomatic missions, transportation hubs, religious institutions, government offices or public transportation.”


Newsline: Sudan’s ambassador to Uganda abandons position, flees to London

Senior diplomatic sources in Khartoum confirmed reports that Sudan’s ambassador to Uganda, Adil Hussein Sharfi, has abandoned his position and left to London. Several pro-opposition websites claimed that Sharfi plans to apply for political asylum in the United Kingdom. But a diplomatic source at Sudan’s foreign ministry told Sudan Tribune that Sharfi handed over his work to his deputy, ruling out that the move was motivated by political reasons. The same source described Sharfi as a highly competent diplomat, saying that he has likely requested optional retirement. However, some of Sharfi’s relatives stressed in a Facebook post that the ambassador was not satisfied with Khartoum’s foreign policy, noting he is a vocal opponent of the ruling National Congress Party’s (NCP) policies. They also noted that successive foreign ministers deliberately marginalised Sharfi and prevented him from promotion and work abroad, saying he was only promoted after he won the case he filed at the labour court against the former foreign minister, Mustafa Osman Ismail. Sudan’s foreign ministry has seen several defections since the current regime came to power in 1989. Last year, the Sudanese ambassador to Venezuela, Abdel-Rahman Sharfi, left his post and fled to Canada, while Sudan’s ambassador to Malaysia, Omer Osman, also abandoned his position and left for the United States.