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UN Speaks Out On Bobi Arrest, Deadly Protests & Police Crackdown

The spokesperson of the UN Secretary General has revealed that the world body is closely following events in Uganda following the incarceration of presidential hopeful Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine.

This happened on Wednesday during the daily briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General.

“We are, we’ve been following, I think, the developments around Uganda and the electoral, the presidential campaign.  I think it’s very important that state institutions, particularly security forces, act in a manner that respects human rights and the principle of the rule of law in order to… for an inclusive and broad participatory political and environmental process.  We will be following up more closely on the latest developments, and I think it’s important that all parties and political actors and Government leaders work in a way that will ensure a peaceful election,” Dujarric said while responding to a question by global news network Al Jazeera’s James Bays.

BELOW IS THE FULL Q AND A BETWEEN AL JAZEERA AND DUJARRIC

Question:  So, Uganda.  Bobi Wine has been arrested again in Uganda ahead of the forthcoming elections.  How concerned is the Secretary‑General about these developments?

Spokesman:  We are, we’ve been following, I think, the developments around Uganda and the electoral, the presidential campaign.  I think it’s very important that state institutions, particularly security forces, act in a manner that respects human rights and the principle of the rule of law in order to… for an inclusive and broad participatory political and environmental process.  We will be following up more closely on the latest developments, and I think it’s important that all parties and political actors and Government leaders work in a way that will ensure a peaceful election.

Question:  Couple of follow‑ups.  You talk about peaceful, but the arrest has been followed by protests, which appear to be… have been violently put down.  There are even reports of people being shot by security forces, unconfirmed, and now some sort of curfew under way.  How concerned are you about the current situation?

Spokesman:  Well, people have a right to demonstrate, demonstrate peacefully.  Any excessive use of force by security forces anywhere is of concern to us, and it is important that there is a space provided for people to express themselves, whether in demonstration or through a democratic process.

Question:  After 36 years in power, do you think President Museveni is going to allow free and fair elections?  I ask that question because the EU [European Union] now is not going to send a monitoring mission.  The reason the EU is not going to send a monitoring mission is because it says it’s done it in previous years.  And in 2016, it made 30 recommendations of things that the Ugandan authorities needed to do to have free and fair elections, and not one of them has been implemented.

Spokesman:  Well, I can’t predict what will happen.  What I can say is that we hope there will be the space for the exercise of democratic process.

Uganda’s capital, Kampala has been plagued by deadly riots since the arrest of Bobi Wine on Wednesday.

Bobi was arrested in the eastern district og Luuka while on a campaign rally.

Presidential elections will be held on January 14th, a day when Ugandans will choose between 11 candidates including President Yoweri Museveni.

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