Sun | Aug 19, 2018

Uganda's opposition leader arrested trying to leave his home

Published:Tuesday | February 23, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Uganda's main opposition leader Kizza Besigye(centre) is arrested by police, yesterday.
Police attempt to prevent the media from filming as Uganda's main opposition leader Kizza Besigye (centre right) is being arrested.



Tensions after Uganda's elections, criticised by international observers as being undemocratic, ratcheted up yesterday when police arrested President Yoweri Museveni's main challenger.

Kizza Besigye was arrested as he tried to leave his home where he had been confined under house arrest. Associated Press journalists saw police push him into the back of a blacked-out van and taken away to a police station in a rural area outside the capital.

Besigye had been going to the election commission to get detailed copies of results from presidential election. He has called for an independent audit that includes the international community.

Uchenna Emelonye of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights visited Besigye in the police station and told reporters that Besigye "has not been informed, formally or informally, why he is being detained."

Polly Namaye, a police spokeswoman, said officers arrested Besigye to keep him from "storming the electoral commission with his supporters."

Neutral observers had criticised the government for using security forces against opposition candidates and supporters.

The commission announced Saturday that Museveni won the vote with more than 60 percent of counted ballots, while Besigye got 35 per cent.