Unites States of America is concerned about police brutality, dispersal of opposition rallies and intimidation of journalists ahead of February 18th presidential elections.
In a press statement issued on Friday, John Kirby Spokesperson, Bureau of Public Affairs Washington, DC said USA is also concerned about the disappearance of Christopher Aine, the missing head of Amama Mbabazi security.
“The United States is concerned that the electoral environment in Uganda is deteriorating in the run-up to national polls next month. Numerous reports of the police using excessive force, obstruction and dispersal of opposition rallies, and intimidation and arrest of journalists have contributed to an electoral climate of fear and intimidation, and raise questions about the fairness of the process,” the statement reads in part.
Adding, “We also underscore the need for all candidates and their campaigns to refrain from inflammatory rhetoric that could incite violence. We note with particular concern the reports that Christopher Aine, an opposition campaign aide, has disappeared.”
John Kirby noted that “Free and fair elections depend on all Ugandans being able to exercise their right to assemble peacefully, express their opinions, and participate in the electoral process free from intimidation and abuse.”
“They also depend on government institutions and security forces remaining neutral, defending the rights of all people and protecting all parties equally. We call on the government, civil society, and political parties to do their part to ensure a peaceful, transparent and credible electoral process,” he added.
FDC’s Kizza Besigye and Go Forward candidate Amama Mbabazi, have accused the government of using Uganda’s security agencies to intimidate supporters, including arrests and beatings, and interference with campaign events.