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Ugandan officials said they wouldn’t renew the mandate of the United Nations human rights office in the country, claiming the East African nation has made progress in developing a domestic capacity to monitor such issues, Al Jazeera reported Wednesday.

The Ugandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the government has committed to the promotion and protection of human rights, adding that there was “peace throughout the country.” It maintained the country had developed “strong national human rights institutions and a vibrant civil society.”

Representatives of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights did not comment on the move, which has sparked concerns over potential violations by the administration of President Yoweri Museveni, who has ruled Uganda since 1986.

Human rights groups, opposition politicians and Western nations have accused Museveni’s government of a number of violations, including torture, illegal detentions and extrajudicial killings of opponents and critics.

Ugandan officials denied the allegations, adding that authorities accused of rights abuses have been punished.

Analysts believe that a political patronage culture, involving a statewide network of district commissioners loyal to the president, has been critical to his continued dominance over the country.

The UN office was established in 2006 and was initially only allowed to focus on human rights issues in the conflict-ridden areas in the country’s north and northeast.

It was only later allowed to cover the rest of the country.

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