U.S. Prefer Ugandan Leader To Retire?

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[Global: Africa]

Johnnie Carson, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs will ask Uganda's president Yoweri K. Museveni to consider the "long term stability" of the East African country, before next year's presidential elections, The Black Star News has learned.

Asked whether this meant the United States will ask the Ugandan to consider retirement, a U.S. lawmaker said, "President Museveni should consider all options that would ensure Uganda's continued, and long-term stability. Uganda's partners are interested in truly democratic elections."

The lawmaker did not want to be identified.

The U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, who meets the Ugandan president this week, will also urge Museveni to pave the way for the replacement of his hand-picked Election Commission with a new one, after allowing opposition parties to participate in the appointment of a new Commission, the lawmaker said.

Museveni has been in office since 1986 and for decades had received uncritical backing from the U.S. and the U.K. His government is seen as a useful Western proxy in Africa, for example, supplying thousands of troops to prop the U.S.-backed government in Mogadishu.

U.S. lawmakers were alarmed by the tone of a report issued by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in April in response to a Congressional Directive to Clinton to monitor preparations for the elections, the elections itself, and the aftermath.

In blunt language, Secretary Clinton in her first report said the credibility of the Uganda elections next February was "damaged" since all the members of the Election Commission had been appointed by president Museveni.

The report was also critical of the Uganda government's failure to prepare a credible voter role; allowing the opposition access to media; and allowing the opposition freedom of movement to campaign.

The U.S. State Department tried to block the dissemination of the report, which was published exclusively by The Black Star News.
"This report is a privileged communication with Congress," Russell Brooks, a State Department spokesperson had told The Black Star. "The Administration will not publicly release the report."


Secretary Clinton is to issue a report updating the status of the election preparations every four months; and a final report one month after the election.

Please post your comments directly online or submit them to milton@blackstarnews.com

"Speaking Truth To Empower."


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