News / Africa

Besigye Prevented from Returning to Uganda on Eve of Inauguration

Uganda's opposition leader Kizza Besigye talks to the media at Jommo Kenyatta International Airport, in Nairobi, May 11, 2011
Uganda's opposition leader Kizza Besigye talks to the media at Jommo Kenyatta International Airport, in Nairobi, May 11, 2011

Just one day before Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is sworn in for a fourth term in office, opposition leader Kizza Besigye was barred from re-entering the country Wednesday.  He later said he was cleared to return but was still in Kenya late in the day. 

With Uganda in the midst of civil unrest over the rising cost of living, the country’s police and armed forces are tightening security in Kampala for the inauguration ceremony of President Yoweri Museveni on Thursday.

Tuesday saw a new and unusual tactic employed to quell the “Walk to Work” protests in Kampala as Uganda’s police drenched protesters with pink paint and once again arrested opposition leader Norbert Mao.

The latest move, however, came Wednesday morning when opposition chief Kizza Besigye was barred from returning to Uganda after a week spent in a Kenyan hospital.

Besigye spent the majority of Wednesday seated in a VIP lounge at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta airport after being told to exit Kenya Airways flight 410, which was scheduled to arrive in Uganda just after 9:00 a.m.

Kenya Airways said it had received information that the plane would not be allowed to land at Entebbe International Airport if the opposition leader was on board.

Officials from the Ugandan government have denied a role in barring Besigye's return to Kampala.

But Wafula Ogutu, a spokesman for Besigye’s Forum for Democratic Change rejected the denial.

“It is a lie. He was seated already in the plane. The air hostess who went to offload Dr. Besigye told him that her chief executive had received a request from the Uganda government - or information that they would not allow the plane to land in Uganda if Besigye was aboard,” said Ogutu.

It now appears that Besigye will be allowed to return to Uganda, but may not arrive until Thursday. There is speculation among Uganda’s opposition parties that the leader was barred to prevent any unrest during Thursday’s inauguration ceremony. With Thursday declared a national holiday, opposition groups said the “Walk to Work” demonstrations would become “Walk to Pray” demonstrations instead.

Besigye told reporters at the Nairobi airport the protests would continue whether or not he was present and Ogutu told VOA there were plans for a response to Besigye’s detention.

“We haven’t decided what to do but definitely there will be something. We can’t just let it pass like that. And hopefully Dr. Besigye will be allowed to come back tomorrow, which I think is not unlikely. It just further confirms that he is undergoing political persecution from the government of Uganda,” said Ogutu.

Besigye has been arrested multiple times for leading the “Walk to Work” every Monday and Thursday since April to protest the rising cost of food and fuel in Uganda. The demonstrations have been met with overwhelming force by the Ugandan police and military and have been declared illegal by President Museveni. The president will take his fourth oath of office Thursday, extending his tenure as president to over 25 years.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine 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.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid