The East African Legislative Assembly has paid tribute to deceased Uganda’s Deputy Prime Minister, Eriya Kategaya, for his contributions towards reviving the East African Community.
Shem Bageine, Uganda’s Deputy Minister for East African Community and Chairperson of the Council of Ministers, moved the motion that was seconded by Mike Sebalu, a representative from Uganda to recognise Kategaya’s contribution. Kategaya was also Uganda’s Minister for the East African Community.
The long serving minister who passed way on March 2, 2013, was described as a key actor in the re-establishment of the East African Community. Many also described him as a man with amiable, yet strong character.
Kategaya was also credited as one of the individuals who sought for the revival of co-operation among the original Partner States that comprises Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania and later, the expansion of the Community to include Rwanda and Burundi.
In another development, the East African Legislative Assembly has criticised the United Nations for its failure to prevent genocide against the Tutsi, nineteen years ago, despite having reports to that effect.
The regional parliament sitting in Kigali, Rwanda also passed a resolution to commemorate the genocide against the Tutsi and urged the East African Council of Ministers to designate April 7 every year, as the EAC Day of Reflection on Genocide against the Tutsi.
The resolution in part rebukes the UN for its decision then, to reduce the numbers of troops under the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR), leading to the deaths of thousands of people who had sought refuge at the UNAMIR sanctuary. This, the Resolution states, was done despite a UN Resolution 912 which had adjusted UNAMIR’s mandate and Resolution 918 of 1994 that expanded the force.
Abubakar Zein Abubakar, a representative from Kenya moved the resolution saying that the UN General Assembly globally adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the crime of genocide against humanity on December 9th, 1948. He noted that there were reports, prior to the genocide, of growing intention of denial with regards to genocide against the Tutsi and the widespread hate speech through media and other relevant channels worldwide.
Dan Kidega, the representative from Uganda was among the delegates who supported the resolution during the assembly on Wednesday.
The East African Legislative Assembly also resolved to support the decision of the Council of Ministers to ensure that all the archives of the International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda (ICTR) are relocated to Rwanda. The court is set to wind up its operations soon.