US Funding of Ugandan Military Aids in Citizens’ Repression

On August 13, Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was attacked by an angry mob of Ugandan citizens who back the political opposition. Protesters surrounded President Museveni’s motorcade, pelting the vehicles with stones. One of the vehicles had its rear window broken.

Numerous political rallies by Museveni’s party and the opposition had been scheduled that day ahead of a parliamentary election in which the independent candidate Kassiano Wadri, while in detention, would win in Arua, Uganda – the third consecutive parliamentary election loss for Museveni’s party.

Museveni has responded brutally, as he has repeatedly during his 32-year tenure as president. That day, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu — the popular singer known as “Bobi Wine,” who also serves in the parliament — was arrested. After a music career of more than 15 years, Ssentamu has emerged as the most formidable political opposition against Museveni. Numerous disturbances have broken out around the country. Yasin Kawuma, Ssentamu’s driver, was killed.

On August 23, after not being seen or heard from for 10 days, Ssentamu was arraigned on charges of treason in a military court for allegedly possessing fire arms in his hotel room despite the fact that he is a civilian. Many were alarmed at his appearance, bearing physical signs of torture while he has been detained.

However, Ssentamu’s treatment is not an anomaly. Museveni has repressed his opposition on many occasions, all with the financial assistance of the US.

The US Ignores Human Rights Abuses of Its Allies

President Museveni has benefited extensively from US military support, most notably $444 million last year. Museveni’s record on human rights is clear in its abusive extent, including documented cases of torture and arbitrary detention of opposition leaders and their supporters. The Museveni government has repeatedly denied due process, imposed severe restrictions on press…

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