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Why Trump Imposed Sanctions On Ex-IGP Kayihura

The United States on Friday revealed that Uganda’s former Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura had banned from entering the super power.

In a statement issued by the US Secretary of State Mike Pompea, the ban is part of sanction against Kayihura and his family members over what the US calls gross violations of human rights.

Kayihura was fired as Police chief by President Yoweri Museveni last year and has since faced several charges in the military court. He is out on bail.

The sanctions were imposed under the US Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries and regimes, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and other threats to the national security, foreign policy or economy of the United States.

OFAC acts under Presidential national emergency powers, as well as authority granted by specific legislation, to impose controls on transactions and freeze assets under US jurisdiction. Many of the sanctions are based on United Nations and other international mandates, are multilateral in scope, and involve close cooperation with allied governments. 

In Kayihura’s case, the US says he was involved in gross violations of human rights, according to the statement.

“Specifically, the Department has credible information that Kayihura was involved in torture and/or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, through command responsibility of the Flying Squad, a specialized unit of the Uganda Police Force that reported directly to Kayihura,” part of the statement reads.

Below is the full statement

STATEMENT IN FULL

PRESS STATEMENT

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE

Public Designation, Due to Gross Violations of Human Rights, of Kale Kayihura of Uganda

The Department is publicly designating Kale Kayihura, the former Inspector General of the Uganda Police Force and its commanding officer from 2005-2018, under Section 7031(c) of the FY 2019 Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, due to his involvement in gross violations of human rights.  Specifically, the Department has credible information that Kayihura was involved in torture and/or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, through command responsibility of the Flying Squad, a specialized unit of the Uganda Police Force that reported directly to Kayihura.  The Treasury Department is concurrently designating Kayihura pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.

Section 7031(c) provides that, in cases where the Secretary of State has credible information that foreign officials have been involved in significant corruption or a gross violation of human rights, those individuals and their immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the United States.  The law also requires the Secretary of State to publicly or privately designate such officials and their immediate family members.  In addition to the public designation of Kale Kayihura, the Department is also publicly designating his spouse, Angela Umurisa Gabuka, his daughter, Tesi Uwibambe, and his son, Kale Rudahigwa.

In Executive Order 13818, the President declared a national emergency with respect to serious human rights abuses and corruption globally, which constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.  Through this E.O., the President has authorized the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of State to impose economic sanctions and visa restrictions, respectively, on persons determined, among other things, to be responsible for or complicit in, or to have directly or indirectly engaged in, serious human rights abuse or corruption.

These actions against Kale Kayihura underscore our concern with human rights violations and abuses in Uganda, as well as our support for accountability for those who engage in such violations and abuses.  We call on the Ugandan government to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly.

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