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Uganda: Treatment of members of the Ugandan People's Congress (UPC)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 6 February 2001
Citation / Document Symbol UGA36093.E
Reference 2
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Uganda: Treatment of members of the Ugandan People's Congress (UPC), 6 February 2001, UGA36093.E, available at: [accessed 19 October 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The Uganda People's Congress (UPC), formed in the 1960, and headed by exiled former president Milton Obote, is one of the main opposition parties in Uganda (The Political Handbook of the World 1999, 1000). According to this source, overt party activities continued until early 1993 but "in May the regime, angered by the party's increasing truculent posture, dispatched security forces to disperse a UPC rally. In March 1994 Badru Wegulo and Ratrick Rubaihayo were charged with sedition after the party released a manifesto criticizing preparations for the Constituent Assembly polling" (ibid.). Incidents of harassment of members of UPC have been reported (HRW1999, Dec. 1998; Country Reports 1999, 2000; The East African 3-9 July 2000).

Country Reports 1999 states that "the Constitution bans political parties from holding national conventions, issuing platforms, endorsing candidates, or opening offices outside the capital" (2000, 444). Human Rights Watch World Report 1999 states that on 25 July police "disrupted and halted" a public lecture on the proposed land act sponsored by the UPC-aligned Youth Congress of Uganda (YCU) which was being held at the Islamic University in Mbale, (Dec. 1998, 81).

In an interview with Human Rights Watch, the Chairman of the pro-Obote presidential policy commission of the UPC, Dr. Rwanyarare stated that UPC supporters at the village level are "often targeted" by local council members (Dec. 1998, 56). HRW also reports that an editor of the UPC-owned newspaper, People, was detained for

five hours on 24 March 1997 "for publishing a report on a security meeting of West Nile Community leaders, and had to report to police on at least five different occasions afterwards" (Aug. 1999, 116).

According to The East African, during a rally addressed by President Yoweri Museveni at Makerere University, students "who showed up wearing t-shirts of the opposition UPC were rounded up, beaten, and jailed" (July 3-9, 2000).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1999. 2000. United States Department of State. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office.

The East African. 3-9 July 2000. Charles Onyango-Obbo. "Uganda Today Is Poorer But No Wiser." [Accessed: 6 Feb. 2001]

Human Rights Watch. December 1998. Human Rights Watch World Report 1999. "Uganda." New York: Human Rights Watch.

_____. August 1999. Hostile to Democracy. New York: Human Rights Watch.

The Political Handbook of the World: 1999. 2000. Edited by Arthur S. Banks and Thomas C. Muller. Binghamton University: CSA Publications.

Additional Sources Consulted

Africa Research Bulletin.

Amnesty International Report 1999.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1999. 2000.

Keesing's Record of World Events.


Resource Centre. Country File. Uganda.

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All Africa

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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