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Allegations of abductions grip Uganda after tense elections

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) – Ugandan opposition chief Bobi Wine on Monday launched a listing of 243 individuals who have allegedly been kidnapped by the safety forces, piling strain on the federal government to search out these lacking amid persevering with political tensions after final month’s elections.

Wine, a singer and lawmaker whose actual identify is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, has asserted that at the least 3,000 of his followers have been detained earlier than and after the presidential elections on Jan. 14. President Yoweri Museveni gained the polls with 58% of the vote, in keeping with official outcomes that Wine has referred to as fraudulent. Uganda‘s high courtroom will hear a case during which Wine seeks to overturn Museveni‘s victory.

Wine’s allegations, newspaper experiences and statements by diplomats have raised the specter of unlawful abductions by state brokers in Uganda.

Wine, in a Twitter put up on Monday, printed what he mentioned was the primary half of a listing of Ugandans being held illegally.

Suggesting that Museveni is answerable for the abductions, Wine posted: “Like all tyrants, he pushed the narrative that all is well, with hundreds of mothers, fathers and siblings in tears over missing loves ones.”

Museveni in a nationwide deal with on Saturday dismissed allegations that his forces have illegally detained civilians, saying his military “is a disciplined force” and that his social gathering “does not kill” its opponents. But he acknowledged that he had beefed up safety forward of the elections by deploying troopers from a commando unit beforehand deployed in Somalia who “kil-led a few” folks he described as terrorists.

Museveni’s admission raised issues that state brokers carried out extrajudicial killings as tensions persist following polls whose consequence is disputed. Local newspapers are dominated by accounts of alleged abductions by safety personnel in vans with out license plates from which armed males have jumped and grabbed their victims.

Museveni, a former guerilla chief who took energy by pressure in 1986 and has since been elected six occasions, is in style amongst many Ugandans for bringing relative stability and safety. Museveni himself has castigated former leaders reminiscent of Idi Amin, whose regime was infamous for kidnappings and extrajudicial killings.

Some now cost that Museveni’s authorities is behaving like its predecessors.

“Efforts to find many of them have been in vain. A few have been arraigned before the courts of law while others have been found dumped in jungles and other remote places, often in poor health and bearing torture marks,” human rights lawyer Sharon Nakandha mentioned in a column within the native Daily Monitor newspaper, referring to kidnapping victims. “This state of affairs should concern every individual irrespective of political affiliation.”

Nakandha referred to as for an impartial fee of inquiry into enforced disappearances.

The United States and the European Union have famous issues about Uganda’s elections. Natalie E. Brown, the U.S. ambassador, in a latest assertion cited “deep and continuing concern about the extrajudicial detention of opposition political party members, the reported disappearance of several opposition supporters, and continued restrictions” on the work of Wine’s social gathering.

Uganda’s 76-year-old president has defied requires his retirement, saying he has been elected many occasions by Ugandans who love him. But in elections final month Museveni confronted a powerful problem from Wine, whose criticism of corruption and unhealthy governance resonated with younger folks, together with the city poor. Wine, whose rallies have been incessantly disrupted by police who accused him of endangering public security, captured the creativeness of many at residence and overseas in his generational conflict with Museveni.

The elections have been marred by violence forward of polling day in addition to an web shutdown that remained in pressure till 4 days after the vote. Facebook stays restricted.

Museveni has dismissed allegations of vote-rigging, calling the election “the most cheating-free” since independence from Britain in 1962.

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