Transnational activism and political change in Kenya and Uganda
Title: Transnational activism and political change in Kenya and Uganda
Author: SCHMITZ, Hans Peter
Citation: Thomas RISSE, Stephen C. ROPP and Kathryn SIKKINK (eds), The power of human rights : international norms and domestic change, New York : Cambridge University Press, 1999, Cambridge studies in international relations ; 66, pp. 39-77
ISBN: 9780521650939; 9780521658829
Kenya and Uganda were both subject to intensive global human rights campaigns by international non-governmental organizations (INGOs). Alarming reports on the Ugandan human rights situation appeared in the early 1970s shortly after Idi Amin had staged a successful military coup. The human rights situation worsened throughout Amin's dictatorship and hardly improved after he was himself removed from power by violent means in 1979. Until early 1986 a civil war between government troops and various rebel groups led to continued gross violations of human rights. The situation slowly improved after the National Resistance Movement (NRM) as the main rebel organization took control of the main capital Kampala in January 1986. Kenya came into the limelight of international attention in the mid- 1980s. In contrast to Uganda, increased human rights abuses were not a result of the militarization of politics and subsequent civil war. Moreover, the extent of human rights abuses was never comparable to the atrocities perpetrated in Uganda during the 1970s and early 1980s. Instead, human rights conditions deteriorated in Kenya because an increasingly powerful executive showed declining tolerance for political dissent and developed a personal and paternalistic style of rule. This development began under the independence president Jomo Kenyatta and continued until his death in 1978. During the 1980s, it was perfected by his successor Daniel arap Moi. After considerable transnational mobilization against the Kenyan government and subsequent domestic turbulence in 1991/1992, the executive was forced into a fragile political and constitutional reform process.
Files in this item
There are no files associated with this item.