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

  • Environmentalists in court seeking details on Keystone XL approval

    Canada News CTV News
    BILLINGS, Mont. -- Opponents of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada are asking a judge to force the U.S. government to turn over emails and other documents related to President Donald Trump's approval of the project. Source
  • Alberta shrugs off B.C. legal challenge on wine ban

    Canada News CTV News
    EDMONTON -- Alberta's economic development minister is shrugging off a legal challenge filed by British Columbia over Alberta's ban on B.C. wine. Deron Bilous says the potential fine Alberta faces for violating free trade rules is a pittance when set against the stakes of the Trans Mountain pipeline issue. Source
  • Quebec judge should be removed from bench after cocaine use inquiry, watchdog says

    Canada News CBC News
    A judicial watchdog says a Quebec Superior court judge accused of buying cocaine should be tossed from bench for misleading an inquiry into his conduct. In a report issued to Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould today, a majority of the 23-member Canadian Judicial Council found Michel Girouard guilty of misconduct for misleading an inquiry into the suspected transaction. Source
  • 'I do not want your guns': Florida teacher rejects call to arm up after shooting

    World News CTV News
    A woman who teaches Grade 8 students near the school where 17 were shot dead in Parkland, Fla., says it’s not her job to carry a gun in case of an active shooter situation. Circe Burnett, who works at Logger’s Run Community Elementary School, says there’s simply no way she or any other teacher can be properly trained for an event like the one that happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. Source
  • Edmonton man accused of online threats against PM, government

    Canada News CTV News
    Police have charged an Edmonton man who they allege used social media posts to threaten the Canadian government and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Alberta RCMP say that the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (K-INSET) identified the social media account in question and the suspect was taken into custody last Thursday. Source
  • Judge rules 'vulgar' slur against reporter was not a public disturbance

    Canada News CTV News
    ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- A judge has ruled a notorious sexist slur aimed at a reporter in St. John's, N.L., was vulgar and offensive but wasn't a crime under the circumstances. Provincial court Judge Colin Flynn dismissed the single charge against 28-year-old Justin Penton of causing a public disturbance. Source
  • Mother outraged after school sends 'triggering' residential school book home to 3rd graders

    Canada News CBC News
    A mother from Hay River, N.W.T., says she's upset after her son's school sent the third grader home with a graphic book about an 8-year-old girl being mistreated in residential school. She said she only realized how triggering the book is after she started reading it to her son — partway through the first page, she said they both started crying. Source
  • Palestinian president presents timeline for 2-state solution before walking out on talks

    World News CBC News
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is calling for an international peace conference by mid-2018 with key goals of full United Nations membership for the state of Palestine and a timeframe for resolving all issues with Israel for a two-state solution. Source
  • Woman with disabilities remained in hospital 15 years as reports called for exit

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX - A human rights inquiry heard today that a Nova Scotia woman with intellectual disabilities was deemed ready to leave a psychiatric hospital but remained for 15 years due to a lack of an appropriate care home. Source
  • Commercial airplane incidents, accidents jump in 2017, safety board says

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA - A national pilots association is raising alarm bells over new accident numbers showing a year-over-year jump in incidents involving commercial airliners. The Transportation Safety Board says the increase in airline incidents overall is partly due to a higher number of flight training accidents. Source