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United States warns Uganda on conduct of 2021 elections

 

Mike Pompeo, the Secretary U.S. Department of State

Kampala, Uganda |THE INDEPENDENT & URN | The United States has warned Uganda to live up to its obligations to hold free and fair elections.

Opposition candidates have been involved in running battles with security forces across the country over elections rallies. Security say they are enforcing the COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) which require controlled crowds.

Recently, one of the candidates Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine was even arrested for defying the SOPs. This led to riots across the country, that ended with over 50 people dead – most of them shot.

“The United States is a longstanding partner of Uganda. We expect our partners to live up to their obligations to hold free and fair elections. We are paying close attention to the actions of individuals who seek to impede the ongoing democratic process,” said Mike Pompeo, the Secretary U.S. Department of State in a tweet Thursday evening.

The United States Reiterates Its Call for a Free ELECTION in UGANDA by The Independent Magazine on Scribd

The brief statement comes a day after Eliot Engel, the chairperson of the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs, demanded that several Ugandan security officials be sanctioned for human rights violations and brutalizing Ugandans.

They are Gen. Peter Elwelu, the Commander of Land Forces, Maj. Gen. James Birungi, Commander of the Special Forces Command, Maj. Gen. Don William Nabasa, former Commander of the Special Forces Command, Maj. Gen. Abel Kandiho, the commandant of the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence, Maj. Gen. Steven Sabiiti Muzeyi, the Deputy Inspector of General of Police, Frank Mwesigwa, Commissioner of Police and Col. Chris Serunjogi Ddamulira, the Director of Crime Intelligence in the Uganda Police Force.

House Foreign Affairs Committee chair Eliot Engel

In his December 9th, 2020 letter to Pompeo and Steven T. Mnuchin, the Secretary U.S. Department of the Treasury, Engel expresses concern over president, Yoweri Museveni’s “long track record of repressive behavior”.

“More recently, this has included attacks on independent media, the banning of political rallies and concerts, the arrest, detention, and torture of individuals who dare to challenge the president or the ruling party, and a persistent lack of accountability for the arbitrary and extrajudicial killings and torture perpetrated by Ugandan security forces,” reads the letter.

He explains that for several years, the US has raised concern about the Uganda government’s lack of respect for civil liberties of its citizens and urged government to permit or conduct credible investigations into the human rights violations.   “However, diplomatic rhetoric alone has had little impact on President Museveni’s behavior. Instead, he has further consolidated power while preventing the emergence of a viable democratic opposition,” the letter reads.

Engel, who is also the U.S. Representative for New York’s 16th congressional district, cites several incidents of rights violations and brutality in Uganda including the killing of least 45 people by security forces during last month’s protests against the arrest of the National Unity Platform-NUP presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu.

“In November 2016, Ugandan security forces massacred over 100 civilians in Kasese. In September 2017, Ugandan Special Forces forcibly entered parliament during a debate over whether to remove presidential age limits from the constitution, which now allows President Museveni to rule indefinitely. During the tumult, MP Betty Nambooze suffered serious spinal injuries from which she is still recovering. In July 2018, the government imposed a tax on citizens who wished to access social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter – a transparent ploy to discourage anti-government mobilization on the part of youths and dissidents,” he said.

Adding that, “These violent incidents reflect a highly disturbing trajectory for the country, thus ensuring that the environment for general elections in January 2021 has been fundamentally tilted in favor of an incumbent who has been in power since 1986.” Engel now wants specific officers in the Army and Police sanctioned for their specific roles in violence.

Engel has demanded a plan to intensify the U.S. response to human rights abuses beyond rhetorical condemnations. He also wants accountability for citizens who have been subjected to arbitrary arrests, torture, and extrajudicial killings. Engel has called for the State Department to commence a review of all non-humanitarian assistance to Uganda; commit to providing robust support to human rights defenders and independent journalists and to building the capacity of civil society organizations; and coordinate with like- minded allies to issue a joint condemnation of violent repression.

“Finally, I request that you provide the Committee with the following information in writing no later than January 9, 2021: An overview of the U.S. government’s engagement with the Government of Uganda, opposition political parties, and civil society organizations with respect to the 2021 elections, and how such engagement differs from previous elections; and An assessment of the impact that several years of violent repression and impunity for gross human rights abuses has had on the Ugandan political environment,” Engel asks.

He also wants an assessment of the risks to U.S. interests in East and Central Africa of continuing to work by, with, and through an increasingly authoritarian partner who has exhibited no indications of a succession plan, and a plan to mitigate said risks over the next five years.  The Ugandan government is yet to comment on the letter.

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URN

11 comments

  1. Ok.
    Perhaps watching USA too!

  2. WHAT I CAN SAY IS “USA PLEASE SAVE THE LIFE’S OF UGANDANS OTHERWISE WE GONNA PERISH IN THIS SILENT GENOCIDE. MUSEVENI IS THE PROBLEM OF ALL COUNTRIES AROUND UGANDA MR PRESIDENT JOY BIDEN PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE HELP UGANDANS TO REMOVE BLOOD SUCKERS REGIME.

    • …so that we spend decades as a properly failed state (like what happened to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya etc) while your fake “helpers” continue to benefit from the neverending chaos that always follows their “help”?

      You seem to be very confused. How is Museveni the problem of all countries around Uganda when Uganda is full of refugees from neighbouring countries? Do you even know what genocide means?

  3. Human Rights ?
    Human Rights ?
    Human Rights ?
    Then Africa as a continent & its “BLACK DNA” has been the Most abused race/species of mankind “Abused by the Western World” where our Great Ancestors were taken “forcefully” as Slaves to “Work for their Superior Masters”….
    (“BLACK_LIVES_MATTER” is a clear “sign post” screaming out loud for & about “BLACK HUMAN RIGHTS” abused by the “Ones who still consider themselves Our Grand Masters/Controllers” to direct/control our Black civilization/”politics & democracy” etc…..)__

    the Most Arrogant BULLY always “points the finger” at the “weakest of All his target/s”, and yet the Bully feels so offended (humiliated) if one of his “weakest victim/s” retaliates/stands up against him as a Natural “Defence Mechanism”__
    (Bullies are always ready to showcase their “real or imagined” Power & Authority even in very “unnecessary circumstances”).

    the white Missionaries arrived upon “Black Earth” (Africa) with “Holy Books” in one hand; the other hand was Holding/offering Guns to the “Naive Black Rulers” (But Not All where Naive. Mwanga was Not Naive. Kabalega was Not Naive. Muserekande Nyiragahumuza was Not Naive & many others)….

    the “ARAB Merchants”/Warriors arrived here in “Black land” before the missionaries__
    their interests too were very far from “Fairness to the Black Africans” other than Mostly establishing a “Foreign Legion based upon a Cult/Culture from the Deserts of Saudi Arabia” (Whoever has a distorted/”disturbed” mindset that ISLAM is rooted/originates from AFRICA/ABYSSINIA/KEMET….mustfirst unlearn All the lies of contemporary “Recorded” History then LEARN afresh the Real “Dark History” of & about WHY the Mighty Ancient Library of Alexandria/Egypt was “Set ablaze” by the so_called “Foreign_conquerors/Liberators”;
    (“Distorted History”: the allegation that Julius Ceasar “accidentally” burnt the library)__

    “They” ALWAYS take It upon themselves to first Totally Destroy any mark/record of ancient History/culture in & of the new land/s they are conquering, then these “foreign conquerors/liberators” establish their own Cults/Cultures, Religions/traditions etc….

    https://www.jstor.org/stable/40026122

    During the invasion of Iraq to topple Saddam’s reign of terror, however evil he was said to be, Was it really necessary for the “coalition forces” to “DELIBERATELY” ignore the destruction of Most of the very ancient antiquities in the Iraq Museum?;
    What did those pricesless Historical antiquities of ancient Arabic heritage have to do with Saddam’s so_called “Weapons of Mass destruction”???;
    Where those weapons even found???__NO!!)…
    Are these/such Wars basically “Covert Religious Wars” ??
    But on the surface “political games”, but sadly “games of Bloodshed”__
    (Christianity versus Islam/Jew versus Arab/Israel versus its “Arab neighbours”).

    What’s the whole point for All the Above mentioned??

    (1) The rich Advanced/Western World is the Greatest BULLY of the weak poor low developed lands/countries upon the Earth. Why ? Because being weak always implies being stepped on, Bullied & “enslaved/Controlled by the Strong one/s”.

    (2) Capitalism & Communism are still “Silently clandestinely” at War.
    (e.g_the silent ruthless competition between US, China, Russia etc is enough reason to clearly see why a capitalist & a communist “can Not/will Never share the same bed”)_
    Yes! the “Cold War” has NEVER eneded. “Officially” yes, It ended.
    “Behind the scene/s”__No!
    it has Never ended, & it will Never end, (the common adage that “History repeats itself”).

    (3) the Global media platform is an “orchestral chess board” of competition between Kings/Queens, Knights, “Lords” etc & like in any game of chess, the sharpest Mind is always able to “cunningly enter & remote_view” into the opponent’s mind and see All the opponent’s moves before the opponent actually plays those moves.
    (“Reading the Enemy’s Mind”:
    inside Star_Gates, a book authored by Paul.H.Smith).
    What does this imply….??
    Many Countries across the world use the Global Media system/s for “psychological Non_conventional Warfare”/ESPIONAGE….
    (“The Secrets of the Mossad”_a Great book by Gordon Thomas”)__
    Just because “it appears in the Media” globally or locally does Not automatically validate it as the Absolute Truth_& what is Truth anyway…??
    Is Truth…”what you are fed or is Truth what you feed yourself”…?
    (You can be fed Poison unaware & suffer in pain & agony without knowing what’s killing you, but can you consciously feed yourself poison…?; maybe yes but that implies you have become “mentally unstable” because being suicidal for whatever reason/s is obviously absolutely abnormal)

  4. You mean USA of all countries is still having very many things to say to Africans about police brutality, arbitrary arrests, torture, persistent lack of accountability for extra judicial killings, impunity, injustice, human rights, democratic processes, violent repression etc?

  5. Ojiambo Joseph Ogenya

    Museveni is funny when he was coming to power in 1986 he said in his 10 point program point number 7; the problem of Africa is those leaders who come & over stay in power yet they served for 8-9 years for him 35 years are not enough. Museveni always says he hasn’t finished & if he finishes everything what will the next president do? What has defeated him to finish in 35 years can he finish in 5 years

  6. Pompeo should first advise Trump to concede that he lost an election to Biden.

  7. Saddened Ugandan

    As international headlines continue to expose the hypocrisy of foreign meddlers who choose to disrespect the sovereignty of other nations, Ugandans continue to mind their business and focus on moving forward. As law abiding citizens we remain assured that hooliganism will not interfere with our democratic processes as seems to be the case in paradise:

    Violent pro-Trump mob storms Capitol
    ————————————————————–

    “Over 2,700 troops to be deployed in nation’s capital”

    https://www.bbc.com/news/live/election-us-2020-55558355

    Matthew 7:1-5
    ———————–

    1“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.

    2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

    3“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

    4How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?

    5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

  8. as usual. the guy will rig the vote and nothing will happen

    • Saddened Ugandan

      Sour losers have a serious problem of never accepting defeat, even when claims of rigging fall flat in court, with far reaching consequences.

      Just see the example of America:

      Pro-Trump protestors storm US Capitol
      —————————————————————

      https://youtu.be/C2npCYNnV18

      Lessons:
      ————–

      Losers should not incite hooliganism based on unverifiable claims of rigging but should instead gracefully accept defeat or challenge results through official channels without inciting hooliganism.

      Over anticipating rigging ahead of elections is basically inciting violence and or voter apathy.

      Let us just vote peacefully as Ugandans, accept the results or challenge them through the proper channels as leaders, and avoid following the example of America.

  9. No longer trust the states,infact they are a key factor of dictatorship clinging on power for decades just because they dance to their tunes.

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