The National Unity platform leader and former presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine has applauded the United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken on his pronouncement to impose visa restrictions against Ugandan officials.
On Friday last week, Antony Blinken issued a statement announcing visa restrictions on Ugandan officials who are believed to be “responsible for or complicit in undermining the democratic process in Uganda.”
“The Government of Uganda’s actions during the recent electoral process undermined democracy and respect for human rights. Today I am announcing visa restrictions on those believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic process in Uganda, including during the country’s January 14 general elections and the campaign period that preceded it,” said Blinken.
“The Government of Uganda’s actions represent a continued downward trajectory for the country’s democracy and respect for human rights as recognized and protected by Uganda’s constitution,” he added.
Today Monday, April 19, 2021, Bobi Wine hailed the US decision to restrict certain Ugandan officials from traveling to the United States.
“The people of Uganda appreciate US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s announcement of visa restrictions on Ugandan officials who interfered in the recent elections. The statement by the United States is an important recognition that the recent elections were neither free nor fair,” said Bobi Wine in a statement.
Bobi Wine alleged that “the victims of the worst human rights violations which we have witnessed, including families of hundreds of Ugandans murdered on Gen Museveni’s orders, thousands of victims of abductions and torture, as well as those who are still under illegal detention have received this news with gratitude.”
It, however, should be noted that President Museveni recently said that those arrested had plans of causing chaos during the recently concluded General Elections and or stop the elections from being conducted.
Museveni also warned that there were individuals planning to disrupt the swearing in on May 12, saying that security forces would deal with them.
The statement by Secretary Blinken noted that Opposition candidates were routinely harassed, arrested, and held illegally without charge, adding that Ugandan security forces were responsible for the deaths and injuries of dozens of innocent bystanders and opposition supporters, as well as violence against journalists that occurred before, during, and after the elections.
“Civil society organizations and activists working to support electoral institutions and transparent electoral processes have been targeted with harassment, intimidation, arrest, deportation, and spurious legal charges and denial of bank account access.”
The Secretary of State also highlighted limited accreditation for international and local election observers and civil society to have made the election not free and fair, but noted that those who were able to observe the process noted widespread irregularities before, during, and after the election, which have undermined its credibility.
“This electoral process was neither free nor fair.”
However, the US Government did not give clear details of who the sanctions target.
Blinken added that the U.S. government will continue to evaluate additional actions against individuals complicit in undermining democracy and human rights in Uganda, as well as their immediate family members.