U.S. Monitors Uganda Violence

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Kizza Besigye, president of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) opposition party placed blame for the violence “squarely on government” The Monitor reported.

[Global: Africa]

A spokesman at the United States Department of State said American officials are monitoring developments in the East African country of Uganda
after as many as 10 civilians were reportedly shot to death by security forces during protests today.

Other media outlets reported seven deaths while the BBC reported two.

"We will have more to say tomorrow," the spokesman at the State Department told The Black Star News this evening. "We will not have anything to say until tomorrow."

Local newspapers in Uganda report that protests erupted in the capital city of Kampala and beyond when security forces blocked a senior official representing the hereditary king of Buganda, the Kabaka Ronald Mutebi II, from visiting an area in Buganda.

The Kabaka --who is the King of Buganda, the hereditary monarchy within the state of Uganda-- is due to visit Kayunga region, within Buganda on Saturday. The Kabaka's supporters say the Central government has stirred dissent against the Kabaka in Kayunga, and now claim it is blocking his visit in order to prevent violence.

The Kabaka's prime minister or "Katikiro" John Baptist Walusimbi was prevented from visiting Kayunga today, in advance of Mutebi II's Saturday trip, by security forces.
Rumors that the Katikiro had been arrested ignited angry reaction from youth who support the Kabaka, local media reported.

Clashes erupted between the youth --who threw stones and burned tires-- and security forces. An Associated Press photographer reports seeing at least seven killed. The figure of 10 is reported in The Daily Monitor, the country's largest independent newspaper.

Mutebi II's government has been on a collision course with Uganda President General Yoweri Museveni; the Kabaka favors a federal system while Uganda's ruler wants tighter central government control. Tension also escalated when the government this week replaced the Kabaka's security detail with new bodyguards.

Kizza Besigye, president of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) opposition party placed blame for the violence “squarely on government” The Monitor reported.

Despite his autocratic regime and massive human rights abuses Museveni had been backed by the U.S. when he declared himself an ally in the "war of terror." Opposition leaders say Museveni has been stirring domestic crises as a divide-and-rule strategy in preparation for 2011 presidential elections.

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