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Great Lakes Region States Not Implementing Kampala Declaration Protocols - ICGLR Secretary

Zachary Mubiri-Muita, Executive Secretary says that six years after the signing of the declaration, member states have fallen short of putting into place most of the agreed upon protocols. He says that countries that are having challenges in making advancements should copy what other successful countries have done. He highlights countries like Kenya, South Africa, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
L-R; Byamukama, Mubiri-Muita and Minister Oryem during the Opening of the ICGLR

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Member states of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) have been urged to implement the 2011 Kampala Declaration and other related instruments on Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV).

The ICGLR is an inter-governmental organization of the Great Lakes region. The organisation brings together  twelve member states that include; Angola, Burundi, Central Africa Republic, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Republic of South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia.

A regional conference for implementing of the ICGLR instruments on sexual and gender based violence is underway in Kampala at Munyonyo CommonWealth Resort.

Zachary Mubiri-Muita, Executive Secretary  says that six years after the signing of the declaration, member states have fallen short of putting into place most of the agreed upon protocols.

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The Kampala declaration was signed in 2011 by all ICGR member states to tackle the  high incidence of SGBV in the Great Lakes Region despite the existence on institutional policy, and legal frameworks for the prevention of  SGBV and punishment of perpetrators.

Mubiri-Muita says one way the countries can start implicating the protocols is by focusing on realistic and attainable mechanism  that have worked elsewhere in the war against SGBV.

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He says that countries that are having challenges in making advancements should copy what other successful countries have done. He highlights countries like Kenya, South Africa, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. According to him only one or two countries have begun implementing the protocols.

While opening the conference, Henry Okello Oryem, state minister foreign affairs urged all member states to form special courts in their countries and train various officers on how to handle GBV cases.”

The Kampala declaration was signed in 2011 by all ICGLR member states to tackle the  high incidence of SGBV in the Great Lakes Region despite the existence on institutional policy, and legal frameworks for the prevention of  SGBV and punishment of perpetrators.

The declaration had a total of 19 protocols that were all aimed at ending SBGV in the great lakes region. Some of these protocols included; eradicate existing armed groups in the region, increase financial and technical support for the judiciary and security sector reform on human and women's rights and SGBV, form special courts to deal with SGBV, establish gender desks in various offices, and to involve concerned ministries to get involved in the fight.

Nathan Byamukama, Acting Director ICGLR Regional Training Facility (RTF) says the Uganda has made big strides on starting to implement the protocols.

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In addition to this, the construction of the RTF is complete and the center hopes to be able to offer training to all its member states by 2020. Byamukama says the center will target people from all walks of life ministers to members of the judiciary to police officers and even journalists.

Eunice Musiime, executive director, Akina Mama wa Afrika says Ugandan has done a lot as far as ending SGBV. “Uganda is one of the many countries that have been applauded for having a Zero tolerance to SGBV. We have done something but there is always room for improvement for instance in our policies and laws.”

According to UN Women, at least 51 percent of all women in Uganda have experienced some sort of gender based violence in their lifetime.

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