News / Africa

    Ugandan Capital Tense After Friday’s Riots

    Multimedia

    Audio
    Douglas Mpuga

    Uganda’s capital Kampala is reportedly calm but tense after Friday’s riots that according to a police statement, has claimed the lives of at least five people and left over a hundred injured.

    Uganda security forces fought running battles with protesters following what many describe as the inhumane and brutal arrest of the main opposition leader Dr. Kiiza Besigye on Thursday.

    Besigye is being treated in Kenya after being doused with pepper spray.  Reuters news agency quotes President Yoweri Museveni as saying it was the opposition which first used pepper spray against police officers.

    Besigye has still not recovered his sight since police smashed through the window of his car with a hammer and the butt of a gun on Thursday and sprayed him at close range. The incident was caught on camera.

    The opposition leader was then bundled into the back of a pick-up truck and driven off at high speed, before being freed on bail for medical treatment.

    April's walk-to-work campaign, organized by several opposition parties over rising fuel and food prices, has been marked by clashes between protesters and the police and the arrest of opposition politicians.

    “Kampala is calm and business is going on like on any weekend,” Charles Mwanguhya, a political editor at the Ugandan independent newspaper, The Daily Monitor, told VOA from the Ugandan capital.

    He said there is heavy deployment of armored military vehicles and foot patrols by military police and the anti-riot police. “They are noticeable in many parts of the city, especially the suburbs and along major routes leading to the city.”

    Mwanguhya said it had been anticipated there would have been more riots Saturday had Besigye been blocked from travelling to Nairobi [Kenya] for treatment yesterday “but government finally relented and allowed him to fly out, so things are back to normal.”

    “We just have to wait and see what happens on Monday when there is another ‘walk to work’ protest, or possibly when Besigye returns and he is massively received by his supporters ” he said.

    On Monday, another opposition leader will appear in court.  Norbert Mao of the Democratic Party is currently in jail.  Mwanguhya said now that Besigye is out of the country, “there is a possibility that [Mao’s] appearance in court will determine how the events of that day unfold.”

    The opposition has pledged to continue the walk-to-work protests and is gaining political mileage by exposing the brutality of the police and military. The government of President Yoweri Museveni appears, to the opposition, to be out of touch with the population which is suffering as inflation soars.

    President Museveni says the rising cost of food and fuel is based in large part on global factors that the protests cannot change, including drought, unrest in the Middle East, and increased demand for fuel by China and India.

    He accused protest organizers of planning to loot, and of trying to topple his administration.  Museveni says the government will defeat them.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora