Uganda's opposition leader arrested trying to leave his home

KAMPALA, Uganda - Uganda's main opposition leader was arrested Monday as he tried to leave his home near the capital, a day after he urged his supporters to protest his house arrest.

See Full Article

Associated Press journalists saw Kizza Besigye being thrown into the back of a blacked-out van and whisked away to an unknown location. A plain-clothes security agent sprayed pepper spray into the face of a journalist.

Besigye had planned to visit the election commission's headquarters in Kampala Monday to get detailed copies of the results from the country's presidential election. He has also been calling for an independent audit that includes members from the international community.

The election commission announced Saturday that long-time President Yoweri Museveni won the vote with more than 60 per cent of the ballots, while Besigye got 35 per cent.

Besigye, who has been arrested multiple times in the past week and has been detained at his house since Friday, has alleged massive vote rigging and called the results fraudulent. He has said he may petition the country's supreme court and needs to gather evidence.

On Friday, his supporters took to the streets to protest. Riot police lobbed tear gas and stun grenades at them and fired warning shots from automatic rifles, then chased them through narrow alleys, arresting some.

Besigye later urged his supporters to "use the popular numbers that we have to make sure that the gunmen do not do what they are doing."

"If the regime continues to restrict me, to detain me in my home ... I call upon all of you citizens to protest this," the 59-year-old doctor told reporters Sunday. "At the very minimum let us also stop them from moving," he said, referring to the security forces.

Armed police and plainclothes security officers had been surrounding Besigye's house since last week, allegedly to stop him from leading protests against Museveni's win that could turn violent.

The whereabouts of Besigye after his arrest Monday were not known, said Ssemujju Nganda, a spokesman for his Forum for Democratic Change party.

Museveni on Sunday denied the allegations of vote fraud and vowed to "use both soft and hard means to guard the peace in Uganda." Museveni said there was a threat to burn down Kampala by young people directed by leaders he described as "criminal politicians."

Voting on Thursday was marred by lengthy delays in the delivery of polling materials, some incidents of violence as well as a government shutdown of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, which remained inaccessible until Saturday. Most of the delays happened in areas seen as opposition strongholds, including Kampala.

The election was marked by an "intimidating atmosphere, which was mainly created by state actors," and the election commission lacks independence and transparency, the European Union observer mission said in its preliminary report.

The 71-year-old Museveni took power by force in 1986 and pulled Uganda out of years of chaos after a guerrilla war. He is a key U.S. ally on security matters, especially in Somalia. Critics fear he may want to rule for life and they accuse him of using security forces to intimidate the opposition.

Besigye was Museveni personal physician during the 1981 to 1986 bush war between Museveni and former President Milton Obote. He also served as deputy interior minister in his first Cabinet, but broke with the president in 1999, saying he was no longer a democrat.

-----

Associated Press journalist Ben Curtis in Kampala contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Muhammad Ali Jr. detained at Florida airport, asked, 'Are you Muslim?'

    World News CBC News
    The son of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali was detained by immigration officials at an airport in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., according to a lawyer and family friend. Chris Mancini tells the Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., that the 44-year-old and his mother Khalilah Camacho-Ali, the second wife of Muhammad Ali, arrived at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Feb. Source
  • Broadway night out: Barack and Malia Obama check out The Price

    World News CBC News
    The Obamas just can't quit Broadway. Former U.S. president Barack Obama and his daughter Malia Obama have caught a new revival of Arthur Miller's The Price. They attended the play starring Danny DeVito, Mark Ruffalo, Jessica Hecht and Tony Shalhoub at the American Airlines Theatre on Friday. Source
  • Ice from plane tears through roof of Calgary home

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Falling ice tore through the roof of a Calgary home Friday night after falling from an aircraft, police reported. Calgary Police officer Andy Nguyen said emergency crews were called to a home in the 100 block of Doverthorn Bay S.E. Source
  • Iraqi forces facing stiff resistance in western Mosul

    World News CTV News
    SOUTH OF MOSUL, Iraq -- Iraqi forces pushed deeper into western Mosul Saturday amid stiff resistance from entrenched Islamic State fighters, a commander on the scene said. Special forces Lt. Gen. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi said that his troops are "moving very slowly" and that IS fighters are responding with car bombs, snipers and dozens of armed drones. Source
  • Attack on Syrian security forces in Homs kills dozens, prompts airstrikes

    World News CBC News
    Suicide bombers stormed two Syrian security offices in Homs on Saturday, killing dozens with gunfire and explosions including a senior officer and prompting airstrikes against the last rebel-held enclave in the western city. The jihadist rebel alliance Tahrir al-Sham said in a social media post that five suicide bombers had carried out the attack, which it celebrated with the words "thanks be to God," but stopped short of explicitly claiming responsibility. Source
  • TSB investigating Toronto incident involving Air Canada plane

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- The Transportation Safety Board is investigating an incident involving an Air Canada flight from Halifax that landed at Toronto Pearson International Airport on Friday night. A safety board spokeswoman says Flight 623 was carrying 118 people and so far no injuries have been reported. Source
  • Air Canada plane from Halifax slides from Toronto runway in heavy fog

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- The Transportation Safety Board is investigating an incident involving an Air Canada flight from Halifax that landed at Toronto Pearson International Airport on Friday night. A safety board spokeswoman says Flight 623 was carrying 118 people and so far no injuries have been reported. Source
  • No winning ticket for Friday night's $10M Lotto Max draw

    Canada News CTV News
    If you’re feeling lucky you might want to pick up a Lotto Max ticket, because this Friday’s jackpot is going to be a record breaker. Source
  • Zimbabwe's Mugabe marks 93rd birthday in opposition area

    World News CTV News
    MATOPO HILLS, Zimbabwe -- Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe celebrated his 93rd birthday Saturday amid granite hills where ancient spirits are said to dwell, defying calls to resign after nearly four decades in power in a region known for opposing the man who says he'll run again in 2018 elections. Source
  • 'Luckiest 2 guys in the Arctic' rescued by military plane training for search and rescue

    Canada News CBC News
    A Royal Canadian Air Force Twin Otter crew out for some search and rescue training accidentally found, and rescued, two Nunavut hunters needing help this week. Thom Doelman, a captain with the Royal Canadian Air Force out of Yellowknife, said the crew was flying near Hall Beach as part of Operation Nunalivut, a sovereignty operation conducted annually in Canada's North. Source