UN chief tells Uganda security forces to “refrain from using violence”

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has issued a statement on Uganda's current violent electoral processes. Courtesy photo.

Kampala—22 November 2020: The United Nations (UN) Secretary General, António Guterres is up-to-date with ongoing electoral processes, violent campaigns, including killing of opposition supporters.

The UN chief has come out to advise security forces in Uganda to act in accordance with the rule of law and human rights principles and refrain from using violence.

Mr Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesperson for the Secretary General, issued the statement in which Guterres expressed concerns over reports of violence and fatalities following protests in Kampala early this week.

On Wednesday after the arrest of presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine in Luuka district for disobeying Covid-19 rules, his fans in Kampala, Masaka, Mukono, Wakiso and other parts of the country took to the streets to protest, they burned tyres, posters of candidate Museveni.

In quelling protestors, security forces killed more than 30 people, arrested more than 400. Over 50 are admitted to different hospitals and health centres with injuries.

“He (Guterres) conveyed his condolences to the families of the victims and wishes those injured a speedy recovery,” a statement further reads. 

He further condemned all acts of violence and calls on the Ugandan authorities to ensure that all perpetrators of human rights violations are held accountable.

In his statement, Guterres also called for the immediate release of any individual who may have been arbitrarily arrested. Both Bobi Wine and FDC’s Patrick Amuriat Oboi where released after their arrests.

But more than 400 protestors are still under police custody as investigation continues.

Mr Guterres has urged all political leaders and their supporters to participate in the electoral process peacefully, in accordance with the relevant regulations, and to refrain from any incitement of violence or hate speech.

Ugandans will, on January 14, 2020, vote their next president. Eleven candidates, including incumbent Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, are in the race.

Mr Museveni is seeking re-election to extend his rule to 40 years. He’s campaigning under a slogan “Securing Your Future” and yet some youth say the slogan is “meaningless” since NRM government, for the last three decades has failed to empower youth, and create jobs for them.

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