Uganda Election: US Vows Actions Against Those ‘Undermining Democracy’

The United States has expressed worries over reports of violence and irregularities in the recently-concluded Ugandan election, vowing to take action against masterminds of such acts.

“We urge all parties to reject violence and to use constitutional and legal means to address complaints,” the United States Department of State said in a statement on Saturday evening.

“We call upon the Government of Uganda to respect freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly and to hold accountable members of the security forces responsible for violence and abuses. We reiterate our intention to pursue action against those responsible for the undermining of democracy and human rights in Uganda.”

It equally condemned reported cases of human rights abuses and continued attacks on political candidates, calling for the government to respect the freedom of expression.

“We strongly urge independent, credible, impartial, and thorough investigations into these reports and that those responsible be held accountable,” the statement added.

While commending Ugandans to turning out en masse for the exercise despite an “environment of intimidation and fear,” the US called for the immediate restoration of internet and social media services shut down in the lead up to the election.

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“Finally, we note the continued nationwide shutdown of the Internet and call for its immediate restoration along with that of social media services,” it noted.

A Sixth Term
Yoweri Museveni won a sixth term in office, extending his 35-year rule after an election which took place under heavy security and an internet blackout, and which his main rival said was marred by fraud and violence.

The 76-year-old leader, who took power in 1986, is one of Africa’s longest-serving presidents and was accused of crushing the opposition and media ahead of one of the most violent election campaigns in recent years.

Museveni won with 58.6 percent of votes, seeing off a stiff battle from the former ragga singer Bobi Wine, 38, whose turn to politics fired up a youthful population where three quarters are under 30 years old.

Wine was under heavy guard at his home on the outskirts of Kampala as results were announced, with his party saying he was under “effective house arrest”, while the government said it was merely providing him with security

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