On the eve of Uganda’s presidential and legislative elections, hundreds of soldiers are patrolling the streets of the capital Kampala and several cities to “maintain order,” authorities said. The executive wants to avoid further violence like the one that shook the country in November.
as reported from Kampala, Lucie Mouillaud
“Maintaining peace is a duty and not a service.” It was with these words that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni addressed the people on Tuesday after deploying armored vehicles and hundreds of soldiers in Kampala, the capital and other cities of the country.
The head of state, a candidate for his own legacy, justified this strong security system with the need to avoid further violence. In November, 54 people were killed in clashes with police, triggered by the arrest of his main rival Bobi Wine.
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Yoweri Museveni blames opposition leaders, who he says encouraged young protesters to commit violence. This Thursday, the president says he does not want to take any risks. He therefore asked the army to secure the capital and the police to monitor the roofs of houses and buildings to deal with possible attacks from snipers.
Law enforcement operations are carried out by two of the most experienced leaders in the country, two specialists in civil war. An election that gives the impression that the whole country has become a conflict zone.
This strong military deployment adds to the already tense climate following the suspension on Tuesday access to multiple social networks, including Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, accused of interfering in the public debate.