Uganda: 10 Reported Shot Dead As Protests Erupt Following Arrest of Presidential Candidate Bobi Wine

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Presidential candidate Kyagulanyi, a.k.a Bobi Wine, who has drawn mammoth crowds, being arrested. Photo: Facebook. 

Security forces in Uganda have shot at least 10 people dead and wounded scores as protests have erupted around the country following the arrest of a leading presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, a.k.a. Bobi Wine. 

Protests broke out in the south, central, and in eastern regions of Uganda following the arrest of Bobi Wine, a member of Parliament, who heads the National Unity Platform (NUP). He’d been traveling around the country and in every city he visited tens of thousands of people greeted him along the way. The huge crowds eager to see Kyagulanyi, dwarfs the small groups that have greeted Ugandan dictator Gen. Yoweri Museveni. 

Kyagulanyi was violently arrested in the eastern district of Luuka, where he was scheduled to hold a rally at noon, as part of his country-wide tour ahead of the 2021 presidential elections. News of his arrest and a video showing him being shoved into a vehicle by the Anti-terrorism police spread on social media. This immediately sparked uprisings around the country. The police and army have been firing live ammunition and teargas at the angry protests. 

A giant-sized poster of Gen. Museveni was torn down as people cheered. The protestors lit wood and car tires in the middle of the road, blocking traffic in Kampala, the capital city. At least seven people were killed by security forces in Kampala and in the city of Iganga, east of Kampala, three dead bodies could be seen on the road. The total number of people killed could rise higher across the country. Hundreds have been arrested and locked in police cells across the country.

In the northern city of Gulu, Patrick Oboi Amuriat, presidential candidate of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) was also violently arrested when he reached the venue. The regime claims both candidates violate a ban on promoting activities that could spread infectious diseases, in this case specifically Covid19. 

Gen. Museveni has also drawn crowds around the country. The police and military have not arrested him. 

In an act of solidarity, Mugisha Muntu, a retired general who leads the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT), another opposition party, announced that he was suspending his campaign until Kyagulanyi and Amuriat are both released. “We call upon the government to recognize that this isn’t business as usual. The future of this country depends a lot on how you handle this season,” Muntu said, in a tweet and on Facebook.

 

The U.S. embassy in Uganda tweeted: "The United States deplores the violence that has claimed multiple lives today, and we extend our sympathy to the victims' families and loved ones..."

 

Ugandans in London protest outside the Ugandan High Commission today.

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