US Challenges Uganda on Free and Fair Elections, says it’s “Paying Close Attention”

US Challenges Uganda on Free and Fair Elections, says it's "Paying Close Attention"

The United States (US) secretary of state is Mike Pompeo has said that they are closely monitoring individuals who are seeking to destabilize the current elections. He has also challenged the Ugandan government to hold free and fair elections.

“The United States is a longstanding partner of Uganda. We expect our partners to live up to their obligations to hold free and fair elections. We are paying close attention to the actions of individuals who seek to impede the ongoing democratic process,” Mike Pompano said.

This follows a concern rised by Mr Eliot Lance Engel, the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the US House of Representatives, over what he discribed as “alarming slide towards authoritarianism in Uganda.”

Among the concerns cited by Mr Eliot include “attacks on independent media, the banning of political rallies and concerts, the arrest, detention, and torture of individuals who dare to challenge the president or the ruling party, and a persistent lack of accountability for the arbitrary and extrajudicial killings and torture perpetrated by Ugandan security forces.”

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He also called on the US to hold individuals accountable for their actions previous “violence” in the country where he listed out security chiefs.

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“I request that the Treasury Department and the State Department utilize the authority of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act (Global Magnitsky Act) to designate individuals who may be responsible for violence in Uganda in recent years,” he said

The security chiefs that were listed by Mr Eliot included Lt. Gen. Peter Elwelu, Commander of Land Forces; Maj. Gen. James Birungi, Commander of the Special Forces Command; Maj. Gen. Don William Nabasa, former Commander of the Special Forces Command; Maj. Gen. Abel Kandiho, Chief of Military Intelligence; Maj. Gen. Steven Sabiiti Muzeyi, Deputy Inspector of General of Police; Frank Mwesigwa, Commissioner of Police; and Col. Chris Serunjogi Ddamulira, Director of Crime Intelligence.

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