The opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) party president, Robert Sentamu Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine has welcomed US travel restrictions imposed on top Ugandan officials for human rights violations.
Last week on Friday, the US department of state announced a blanket travel ban on some unnamed Ugandan government officials over alleged gross human rights violations and undermining democracy during and after January 14 general elections.
The secretary of state, Anthony Blinken, said the presidential polls in which the incumbent President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was declared winner were “neither free nor fair.”
Now, Bobi Wine who also doubles as the outgoing Kyandodo East legislator, says the sanctions are an important recognition that the world is watching over Uganda as government as it continues to violate human rights against its own citizens.
"The statement by the United State is an important recognition that the recent elections were neither free nor fair. It sends an unequivocal message that although Gen. Museveni boasts of controlling all Ugandan institutions that would call him to account, the world is watching and is beginning to act." Bobi Wine said.
Adding; "The victims of the worst human rights violations which we have witnessed, including families of hundred of Ugandans murdered on Gen. Museveni’s orders; thousands of victims of abductions and torture, as well as those who are still under illegal detention, have received this news with gratitude."
Kyagulanyi further urged other nations to follow suit and support Ugandans quest for freedom and democracy. However, the Ugandan government has dismissed the position of the US, saying it acted on hearsay and biased media reports. Speaking on behalf of the Ugandan government, the Foreign Affairs state minister Okello Oryem, said Uganda is committed to protecting human rights and democracy. He also said the action by the US point to a lack of respect for the sovereignty of Uganda.
More than 54 people were killed during the November 2020 protests triggered by the arrest of Bobi Wine during his presidential campaign trail in Luuka district. There are also widespread complaints of kidnaps and torture of opposition supporters, mainly from Uganda’s youngest political party the NUP.