US considers action against President Museveni

President Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Museveni inspects a parade. (Courtesy photo).

The United States is considering action against the government of President Yoweri Museveni, a longtime ally who has crushed dissent at home. The European Union has also expressed concern, according to The New York Times.

The New York Times reports that many people were killed during campaign time and the National Unity Platform (NUP) principal opposition candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu aka Bobi Wine was placed under de facto house arrest recently, gave a sixth five-year term to President Yoweri Museveni, a staunch U.S. military ally.

Bobi Wine, a pop-star-turned-lawmaker who rose to become the president’s toughest challenger.

The New York Times reports that now the U.S. State Department says it is considering a range of actions against Mr Museveni, 76, who, since taking office in 1986, has been among Africa’s leading beneficiaries of American aid, taking in billions of dollars.

Opposition figures contend that electoral fraud contributed to Mr Museveni’s re-election.

“We have significant concerns about Uganda’s recent elections,” a State Department representative said in a statement emailed to The New York Times.

“The United States has made clear that we would consider a range of targeted options, including the imposition of visa restrictions, for Ugandan individuals found to be responsible for election-related violence or undermining the democratic process.”

The “conduct of the Ugandan authorities during those elections,” the statement read, “is one factor that will be considered as we make determinations on future U.S. assistance.”

Other nations have also voiced concern over how the postelection period in Uganda has unfolded. A spokesperson for the European Union said the bloc was “gravely concerned by the continued harassment of political actors and parts of civil society” and continued to “remain attentive to the situation on the ground.”

Mr Museveni has reportedly been meeting with foreign diplomats in recent days, as concerns mounted about the conduct of the vote, and many Western and African partners have yet to formally congratulate him. The Kenyan presidency deleted a Facebook post congratulating him after it was widely criticized and Facebook erroneously flagged it as containing “false” information.

The New York Times, a publication considered to be a mouthpiece for the US spy agency CIA said that it had received an email from the State department to that effect.

This comes at the time when US Ambassador to Kampala, Natalie Brown, held private talks with Mr Kyagulanyi at his Magere home.

The duo discussed the political situation in Uganda, the essential role that constructive political opposition plays in a democracy, the decades-long partnership between the people of the Uganda and the United States, and the political transition in the United States, according to a statement issued by the U.S embassy.

Earlier, security that was placed at Mr Kyagulanyi’s home blocked the Ambassador from visiting him.

Source: The New York Times

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