X. Role of Uganda's Foreign Partners in the Military and Security Sector
Uganda 's foreign partners have largely failed to address serious human rights violations by security forces in Uganda, including its counterterrorism forces. The Ugandan government's use of unlawful detention and torture against terrorism and treason suspects violates domestic and international human rights law. And its unwillingness to take action against those responsible, particularly in JATT, is a dereliction of the government's international legal obligations.
Foreign governments who provide training and collaborate with the Ugandan military and police on counterterrorism, national security and justice issues have a substantial responsibility to use their influence with the Ugandan government to stop unlawful detention and torture of suspects in the Kololo facility (and any other detention location illegal or otherwise.) These governments should also urgently call on Uganda to grant detainees access to family members, legal representation and medical attention, and investigate and prosecute abuses by members of the security forces.
In his response to Human Rights Watch, Brig. Mugira explained a series of trainings that JATT agents had received from "partners in the war against terrorism," but did not give any detail about the content of the courses.  In an in-person meeting, Mugira told Human Rights Watch that the United States, the United Kingdom and Israel have all provided training to his forces. 
The United States
A US military official confirmed that at least two former JATT directors had received training from the United States and that the courses included a human rights component.  Media reports, including those from US military sources, indicate that the US has carried out multiple trainings on counterterrorism for Ugandan military forces in Uganda, in a range of topics including "urban terrorism and counter-insurgency" most recently in December 2008.  It is unclear if all members of JATT-including police and intelligence officers-have participated in the US-taught courses.
To receive this US-training, under the terms of the so-called Leahy amendment these individuals had to be vetted for involvement in human rights abuses by the US and passed, because, in principle, the United States prohibits military assistance to gross human rights abusers under this provision.  The Leahy Amendment is a binding provision of the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act that must be renewed every year. It prohibits aid and training to units of foreign security forces if there is credible evidence that the unit has committed gross human rights abuses. To comply with the Leahy amendment, embassy personnel must actively monitor the human rights behavior of military units that benefit from US security assistance.
State Department officials contacted by Human Rights Watch said that they monitor the situation of human rights violations by Ugandan military and law enforcement closely and are in touch with Ugandan human rights organizations.  Given the often-cited allegations of torture and illegal detention by JATT and CMI by local and international human rights organizations, and by the Uganda Human Rights Commission, it is unclear how these individuals could have been eligible for US funded training.
The US congressional budget request for financial year 2009 for Uganda was 4.75 million USD for peace and security operations including 150,000 USD for counter-terrorism activities. The written explanation of the allocation states: " Funds will . . . be used to continue to restore professionalism in Uganda's military . . . . Due to Uganda's strategic location and porous borders, additional funds will be provided to deny terrorist sponsorship and sanctuary." 
In 2005, Uganda also began using the US-funded Terrorist Interdiction Program at border points and the international airport in Entebbe. According to media reports, the program is "designed to collect and analyse data of passport holders" and allows "Ugandan immigration officials to identify and intercept individuals of interest."  Given the prolonged illegal detention of the two South Africans who were arrested at Entebbe Airport, the United States should ensure that the rights of any individual identified through the use of the system are protected and that those individuals are not held beyond the constitutional limits.
The United Kingdom
Historically, the United Kingdom has been one of Uganda's largest bilateral donors. In 2007, the UK signed a 10-year £700 million (1.1 billion USD) development plan to help the country rebuild after decades of civil conflict.  Half of the £70 million (101 million USD) for 2006-2007 was in the form of direct budget support; the other portion was for reconstruction of the war-ravaged north.  According to news reports, " the Ugandan government has agreed to a focus on poverty reduction, financial accountability and respecting human rights." 
Between December 2001 and December 2005, the UK provided Uganda with £500,000 (1 million USD) to carry out its first strategic Defence Review. According to Hilary Benn, former UK Secretary of State for International Development, "the aim of the Defence Review [was] to make the Uganda People's Defence Force more professional and accountable within the resources available for defence expenditure." Britain has, at times, suspended or delayed aid to Uganda when the president sought to increase spending on the defense sector.
Given the ties between the UK and Ugandan militaries, the UK has a particular responsibility to raise human rights concerns directly with the Ugandan government, especially the Ministry of Defence and senior commanders in the Ugandan armed forces, to ensure that abuses by JATT and CMI agents are investigated and prosecuted.
 Letter from Brig. James Mugira, CMI, to Human Rights Watch, November 3, 2008, para. 7.
Human Rights Watch interview with Brig. James Mugira, January 24, 2009.
Human Rights Watch telephone interview with U.S. military official, November 14, 2008.
"Anti-Terrorism Force graduates," December 3, 2008, The New Vision. According to this report, 630 soldiers have been trained in counter-terrorism over the last two years. In May 2008 200 UPDF soldiers given a 16-week counter-terrorism course taught by members of the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA). http://www.hoa.africom.mil/getArticle.asp?art=2108. Another 160 received training in August 2007. "Old guard graduates 160 in Ugandan Counterterrorism course," http://www.mdw.army.mil/content/anmviewer.asp?a=1952&z=1. The US has also been involved planning with the Ugandan army the recent military operation against Lord's Resistance Army rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo. See Jeffery Gettleman and Eric Schmitt, "U.S. Military Helped Plan and Pay for Attack on Ugandan Rebels," The New York Times, February 7, 2009.
This policy is contained in two legislative instruments, Section 502b of the Foreign Assistance Act and a provision known as the "Leahy Amendment" (named after its sponsor, Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont). The Leahy Amendment prohibits US government assistance to units of foreign militaries that are implicated in "gross violations of human rights" unless the governments concerned take appropriate action to address the abuses. The full text of the law (separate versions for State Department and Defense Department assistance) is available online at: http://leahy.senate.gov/issues/humanrights/law.html. The Leahy law does not prescribe specific actions State Department and Defense Department officials must undertake to gather the information they need to determine whether specific military units have been implicated in gross human rights abuses. But the law has little meaning unless policymakers undertake proactive measures to gather such information. In its annual country reports on human rights, the US State Department has noted several times that security agents have been suspected of torture, abuse of suspects and unlawful killings. See 2008 report, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2008/af/119030.htm; 2007 report, available at http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/100510.htm. 2006 report available at http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78763.htm.
 Human Rights Watch interview with US State Department official, August 27, 2008.
Congressional Budget Justification, Foreign Operations, Fiscal Year 2009, p.356, http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/101368.pdf.
AFP, "Uganda starts using hi-tech immigration system to counter terrorism," June 17, 2005.
 Annie Kelly and Liz Ford, "Aid to Uganda: How the UK government is supporting the country," The Guardian, January 30, 2009.
 The Department for International Development, "DFID in Uganda," http://www.dfid.gov.uk/pubs/files/Uganda-Brochure.pdf
 United Kingdom House of Commons, The Daily Hansard, March 28, 2006, at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmhansrd/vo060328/text/60328w09.htm.
 Andrew Mwenda, "Britain suspends aid to Uganda," The Daily Monitor, April 18, 2004.