Friday , December 4 2020
Home / NEWS / US embassy cautions against violence in Uganda 2021 polls
 Nrm Image

US embassy cautions against violence in Uganda 2021 polls

A politician being arrested recently in Kampala for not following the COVID-19 SOPs

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The United States Embassy in Kampala has cautioned individuals and organizations against instigating violence against the civilian population before, during, and after 2021 general elections. The embassy said that it will not hesitate to consider consequences for those found to be responsible for election-related violence or undermining the democratic process.

Uganda will go to the polls in January 2021 to elect a president, Members of Parliament and local council leaders, a process to be preceded by the first-ever virtual campaigns for the country. However, questions have already been raised over restrictions on the Freedom of Assembly, expression and association especially among opposition groups.

In recent weeks, the National Unity Platform, a new political outfit headed by Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu has been involved in running battles with security forces mainly for holding ‘illegal assemblies and the use red berets which according to the government are a preserve of the armed forces. Kyagulanyi is one of the aspirants intending to challenge President Yoweri Museveni in the presidential race.

While emphasizing that the United States government does not support any specific candidate or party in the upcoming elections, the Embassy stated that it is committed to supporting free, fair and inclusive elections. This includes ensuring the safety of all candidates, respect for the rule of law and the impartiality of the authorities in charge of managing the elections.

“Delivering a free, fair, an inclusive and peaceful election is vital to Uganda’s democracy and international reputation as a strong and stable regional leader,” the Embassy said in a statement issued this afternoon. The Embassy called on all political parties, candidates, and supporters to promote a peaceful and transparent electoral process.

A week ago, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a similar warning targeting all countries across the continent. He said that the conduct of elections is important not only for Africans but also for defenders of democracy around the world and added that repression and intimidation have no place in democracies.

“We will watch closely the actions of individuals who interfere in the democratic process and will not hesitate to consider consequences – including visa restrictions – for those responsible for election-related violence,” Secretary Pompeo said.

The Embassy says that the United States will work with Uganda to strengthen democratic institutions, ensure freedom of expression, and promote an open political environment. Annually, the United States government invests USD 1 billion in Ugandan communities to promote economic growth and employability, improve health and education, uphold democratic values, and strengthen security.

The statement indicates that the goal of U.S. assistance is to build a future in which every Ugandan has an opportunity to achieve their full potential and a voice in how their country is governed.

*******

STATEMENT FROM THE UNITED STATES EMBASSY ON UGANDA’S UPCOMING ELECTIONS

The United States has a broad and strong partnership with Uganda and its people.  Annually, the United States government invests $1 billion in Ugandan communities to promote economic growth and employability, improve health and education, uphold democratic values, and strengthen security.

The goal of U.S. assistance is to build a future in which every Ugandan has an opportunity to achieve their full potential and a voice in how their country is governed. Uganda’s upcoming elections have important significance for the country’s democratic development and give expression to the will of the people.

The United States government reaffirms unequivocally that it does not support any specific candidate or party in Uganda’s upcoming elections.  The United States supports the democratic process itself.  As Secretary Pompeo recently stated, we are committed to supporting free, fair, inclusive elections. This includes ensuring the safety of all candidates, respect for the rule of law, and the impartiality of the authorities in charge of managing the elections.

The United States, along with other democratic countries, will pay close attention to actions of individuals and organizations who interfere in the democratic process or instigate violence against the civilian population before, during, or after the elections.  We will not hesitate to consider consequences for those found to be responsible for election-related violence or undermining the democratic process.

Delivering a free, fair, inclusive, and peaceful election is vital to Uganda’s democracy and international reputation as a strong and stable regional leader.  We call on all political parties, candidates, and supporters to promote a peaceful and transparent electoral process. We support those working to achieve that goal.

The United States remains committed to working in partnership with Uganda to strengthen its democratic institutions, ensure freedom of expression, and promote an open political environment.

*****

URN

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *