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Threats to freedoms of association for organisations working in refugee settlements by Prime Minister's Office

Over 50 civic society organizations are unwarrantedly accused of illegally operating in refugee settlements by the Prime Minister's Office.

August 2020 - The Office of the Prime Minister wrote a letter to all refugee partners regarding compliance with rules and regulations governing the refugee response in Uganda. The letter was addressed to partners and organizations that were operating in refugee settlements "illegally". According to the letter, several of the organizations were operating without valid MOUs with the Prime Minster's Office or permits to operate in Uganda. The letter alleged that these organisations were implementing unauthorized activities beyond the scope of their MOU, including operating in settlements outside their mandate without authorization and failing to share their activity reports with the relevant government authorities. The letter cautioned these cautioned these CSOs to operate within the proscribed rules.However, several of administrative actions referenced in the letter, such as the requirement to sign an MOU with the Prime Minster's Office to undertake projects in refugee settlements, are no required by national legislation.

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Over 50 civic society organizations were accused of illegal operating in refugee settlements by the Prime Minister's Office. While acts of this nature are typical experienced by organizations engaged in exposing government excesses and corruption, the letter targets those CSOs who largely provide services and directly contribute to the service delivery obligations of the government.

See full letter from the Prime Minister's Officer here:

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