FILE - Ugandans listen as then police chief Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura, center, speaks in Kampala, Dec. 29, 2014.
FILE - Ugandans listen as then police chief Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura, center, speaks in Kampala, Dec. 29, 2014.

KAMPALA - Uganda's longtime leader is disputing United States sanctions targeting a former protege accused of rights violations during his role as police boss between 2005 and 2018.

President Yoweri Museveni on Sunday said Gen. Kale Kayihura's alleged offenses “will be handled in Uganda.”

The sanctions are widely seen in Uganda as sending a strong message to Museveni about alleged corruption and rights violations.

Museveni says his government will never hand any Ugandan to global justice mechanisms such as the International Criminal Court, even though his country is a state party to the statute creating the ICC.

The U.S. this month blocked Kayihura's assets and imposed a travel ban on him and family members, saying units under his command committed “serious human rights abuses.” He also is accused of corruption and bribery.