News / Africa

Ugandan Opposition Leader Arrested, Released

Uganda's Forum for Democratic Change leader Kizza Besigye is arrested by anti-riot policemen at the Kasangati suburb of Kampala, April 14. (Reuters)
Uganda's Forum for Democratic Change leader Kizza Besigye is arrested by anti-riot policemen at the Kasangati suburb of Kampala, April 14. (Reuters)
James Butty
Ugandan police Thursday arrested Forum for Democratic Change leader Dr. Kizza Besigye.  He was later released without charge.

But it was Dr. Besigye’s second arrest this week and came as Uganda prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its independence on October 9. 

Besigye said he was arrested because the opposition has told Ugandans to mourn on October 9 rather than celebrate the golden jubilee.

“The main reason for the action is that our pressure group, which is called 'For God and My Country' announced that for the independence anniversary next week that considering that the majority of Ugandans are in a desperate condition and the country has been mismanaged for 50 years, we say that rather than celebrating we should mark the 50th anniversary in mourning. And we asked all those people who are in bad desperate condition to put on black and again show our dissatisfaction by walking on foot rather than using vehicles,” he said.

Besigye cited an economy in shambles, infrastructure rundown, social services in decay, unemployment at an unprecedented level and deepening poverty across the country as some of the reasons for which Ugandans should mourn the 50th independence anniversary rather than celebrate it.

Thursday’s arrest was Besigye’s second in a week, and he said on both occasions the police did not say why he was being arrested.

“That’s why I was refusing to leave police cell in Monday because I said you cannot treat me like this. And it’s not the first time that they were doing that. Even previously on a number occasions they had done the same. So this time I said no, I will not leave. You must show cause why you violently arrested me. Obviously there is no crime that we have committed by moving around peacefully. We haven’t even called for a procession or a congregation,” he said.

Butty interview with Besigye
Butty interview with Besigyei
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

Besigye said the government has been conducting preventive arrests of opposition figures to prevent them from coming into Kampala because it realizes that many Ugandans are dissatisfied with their situation.

Senior presidential advisor Kirunda Kivejinja said the government has a responsibility to maintain law and order.  He accused Besigye and the opposition of trying to disrupt the 50th independence anniversary festivities.

“We are organizing the 50th anniversary of our independence anniversary of our independence, and as a person who took part in the struggle for independence, I know things have not been well, and they can never be well except in heaven. The opposition called not their supporters to disrupt to make sure that the celebration is marred by whatever means,” Kivejinja said.

Butty interview with Kivejinja
Butty interview with Kivejinjai
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

Kivejinja accused the opposition of holding violent demonstrations with the intent to disrupt commercial activity in the city. But Besigye said it’s the government that has been violent.
                   
“You need to look at what actually goes on at the time we were arrested. Today [Thursday], the part of the town where I was when I was arrested, there were jubilant crowds, giving me donations and all kinds of things until the police came and beat them up and dispatched them violently and injured many people and cause a stampede. So quite obviously, there has never, ever been any violence or any kind of chaos before the police comes and attacked the public,” Besigye said.

The Uganda Daily Monitor reports Friday that its journalists covering the arrest of Dr. Besigye were roughed up by men in police uniform and their equipment destroyed.

You May Like

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid