WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is “gravely concerned” by reports of excessive force used by Ugandan security forces against lawmakers and journalists in the northwestern town of Arua, a State Department official said on Monday after the country’s opposition called on Washington to suspend military aid to Kampala.
FILE PHOTO: Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni arrives for a group picture at the BRICS summit meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, July 27, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings/File Photo
A group of five lawmakers, including opposition leader Robert Kyagulanyi, a musician known by his stage name Bobi Wine, were arrested in Arua last month. Kyagulanyi and fellow member of parliament Francis Zaake say they were tortured while in detention.
“We have received multiple credible reports of excessive use of force by the Special Forces Command (SFC), including abuse of members of parliament, journalists and others,” the State Department official said in a statement. “The United States has made clear to the Ugandan government that such human rights abuses are unacceptable.”
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, in power since 1986, on Sunday warned against foreign interference in his country’s politics.
Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by James Dalgleish