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

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Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni shows his ink-marked thumb after casting his ballot at the Kaaroh high school polling station in Kiruhura, Uganda, on January 14 ,2021. Badru KATUMBA / AFP

 

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.

“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.

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