Uganda’s President Extends 30-Year Rule, Detains Rivals After Election – Huffington Post

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called Museveni on Friday to voice concern over Besigye’s detention, the harassment of opposition figures and the shutdown of social media such as Facebook and Twitter on election day.

“(Kerry) urged President Museveni to rein in the police and security forces, noting that such action calls into question Uganda’s commitment to a transparent and credible election process free from intimidation,” the U.S. State Department said on Friday.

Museveni replied to Kerry that Besigye had tried to assault a police officer and had not been arrested but rather escorted home by police, according to Ugandan media.

“I told Kerry not to worry a lot about the internal affairs of Uganda because we know how to handle the issues,” the Daily Monitor newspaper quoted the president as saying.

Besigye’s detention on Friday contributed to a day of chaos in some parts of Kampala, with opposition supporters hurling rocks at police and erecting street barricades.

Police officers set off stun grenades and fired tear gas at crowds outside the headquarters of Besigye’s Forum for Democratic Change, where senior members of the party accused organizers of rigging the vote.

Museveni brought calm and stability to Uganda after decades of chaos under leaders Idi Amin and Milton Obote, but many opposition voters accuse the former guerrilla fighter of becoming increasingly autocratic and wanting to rule for life.

The opposition had tried to tap into mounting anger among young voters, especially in urban areas, where unemployment is high and many are frustrated by the poor state of schools and hospitals.

“We are disappointed, the election has been rigged,” said 23-year-old Brenda in Kampala, who declined to give her second name out of concern for her security. “I have never seen another president and it seems it will be like that until he dies.”

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Uganda’s President Extends 30-Year Rule, Detains Rivals After Election – Huffington Post