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International brief ~ Uganda government rejects call to release jailed opposition leader

[JURIST] Leading Friday's international brief, the Ugandan government [official website] has rejected a call by the Pan African Parliament (PAP) [official website] to release Kizza Besigye [BBC profile] as illegal and contrary to the aims of the African Union [official website] and the PAP. Ugandan government Spokesman and State Minister for Information Dr. James Nsaba Buturo told reporters Friday that the PAP's demand that Besigye be released unconditionally [Daily Monitor report] was a violation of Uganda's sovereignty. Besigye was arrested [JURIST report] earlier this month on charges of treason and rape, and was later brought before a military court on terrorism charges [JURIST report]. Buturo emphasized that Besigye was before a competent judiciary on valid criminal charges and that the AU and the PAP should respect the ability of Ugandan government bodies to operate effectively. The PAP's resolution marks a decided change from an organization that routinely takes a 'hands-off' approach to internal national issues, such as Besigye's arrest or Zimbabwe's housing crisis. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Uganda [JURIST news archive]. Uganda's Daily Monitor has local coverage.

In other international legal news ...

  • United Nations Commander Major General Rajender Singh [official profile, PDF] said Thursday that Ethiopian government officials have indicated a willingness to withdraw troops from the disputed border region shared with Eritrea in compliance with a UN Security Council [official website] resolution calling on both sides to withdraw troops from the area. Singh emphasized that the details of the withdrawal had yet to be formalized, but that he had spoken with key officials on the Ethiopian military command and they were willing to remove a significant portion of the armed troops. Singh commands the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea [official website], tasked with keeping peace between the two nations until a formal border demarcation is accepted by both sides. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Ethiopia [JURIST news archive]. The Sudan Tribune has local coverage.

  • The ruling party of Honduras [government website in Spanish] has announced plans to employ over 300 lawyers to check the results of Sunday's national election for proof of fraud and/or falsification of ballots. National Party candidate Porfirio Lobo Sosa [Wikipedia profile], representing the current ruling party, is trailing the major opposition party candidate Manuel Zelaya [Wikipedia profile] by 3.5 percent. Over 80 percent of the ballots have been counted, but problems in new computer systems have delayed the final tally. Opposition party leaders have rejected National Party claims of fraud, arguing that only the current government can conduct fraud in a national election. Honduras' current President Ricardo Maduro is barred from seeking re-election. AP has more.

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