Controversial Ugandan official may get UN post

2014-06-09 21:05
The UN General Assembly has adopted the first-ever treaty to regulate the $80-billion-a-year conventional arms trade. (Timothy A Clary,  AFP)

The UN General Assembly has adopted the first-ever treaty to regulate the $80-billion-a-year conventional arms trade. (Timothy A Clary, AFP)

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Kampala - Rights activists are criticizing the appointment of a Ugandan government official as the next United Nations General Assembly president.

Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa is expected to be elected to the UN position later this week, replacing John W Ashe of Antigua and Barbuda. The largely ceremonial post rotates annually by region.

More than 9 000 people have signed an online petition urging US Secretary of State John Kerry and UN member states to block the Ugandan from taking up the post as Africa's unanimous choice.

The petition cites his implication in corruption scandals at home and his alleged role in the enactment of Uganda's new anti-gay law.

Kutesa, who denies the allegations, is widely seen by critics to have benefited from his close ties with Uganda's increasingly authoritarian president.

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