KAMPALA — The US has imposed sanctions on Ugandan top government and security officials— saying the government of Uganda’s actions during the recent electoral process undermined democracy and Human rights.
The US said Ugandan officials involved in human rights abuses against opposition leader Bobi Wine would be banned from entering the US.
“Today I am announcing visa restrictions on those believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic process in Uganda, including during the country’s January 14 general elections and the campaign period that preceded it,” US secretary of State Antony Blinken announced.
He added: “The Government of Uganda’s actions represent a continued downward trajectory for the country’s democracy and respect for human rights as recognized and protected by Uganda’s constitution”
During the recent elections, opposition candidates particularly Bobi Wine real name Robert Kyagulanyi were routinely harassed, arrested, and held illegally without charge.
The US says the Ugandan security forces were responsible for the deaths and injuries of dozens of innocent bystanders and opposition supporters, as well as violence against journalists that occurred before, during, and after the elections.
“Civil society organizations and activists working to support electoral institutions and transparent electoral processes have been targeted with harassment, intimidation, arrest, deportation, and spurious legal charges and denial of bank account access. The government limited accreditation for international and local election observers and civil society, but those who were able to observe the process noted widespread irregularities before, during, and after the election, which have undermined its credibility. This electoral process was neither free nor fair.”
“Nevertheless, we continue to urge all parties to renounce violence and respect freedoms of expression, assembly, and movement.
The US will also discontinue or redirect funds for certain programmes involving the Ugandan Police Force, National Public Health Institute and Ministry of Health, and has cancelled plans to conduct a US military-sponsored aviation exercise in Kampala.
“The Government of Uganda must significantly improve its record and hold accountable those responsible for flawed election conduct, violence, and intimidation. The U.S. Government will continue to evaluate additional actions against individuals complicit in undermining democracy and human rights in Uganda, as well as their immediate family members. The United States also emphasizes that we strongly support the Ugandan people, and we remain committed to working together to advance democracy and mutual prosperity for both our countries”