Uganda National Day Message

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
October 9, 2013

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Uganda as you celebrate the 51st anniversary of your independence on October 9.

On this day, we recognize and applaud the progress Uganda has achieved since its independence. Uganda and the United States enjoy a strong partnership, rooted in our shared commitment to achieving a prosperous, healthy, and democratic Uganda at the heart of a peaceful and secure region.

Uganda’s efforts, with U.S. support, have improved security and stability in Somalia and made progress in defeating the Lord’s Resistance Army in Central Africa. For decades, the LRA has terrorized the region. Thanks to Uganda’s leadership, the LRA has been significantly weakened and its threat reduced.

I am committed to continuing our support to help Uganda and its regional partners end the LRA threat and bring the remaining top LRA leaders to justice, including through the expanded State Department’s War Crimes Rewards Program. We will continue to help these governments hold war criminals accountable and bring a measure of justice to LRA-affected communities.

The United States remains committed to supporting democracy, human rights, health, food security, and economic growth in Uganda. We look forward to deepening our partnership as we take on these challenges and seize the common possibilities that lie before us.

As you gather with family and friends from Kampala to Kitgum, the United States wishes you a joyous Independence Day and a prosperous future.

PRN: 2013/1242