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Ugandan security forces end house arrest of opposition leader Bobi Wine

AFRICA
By Reuters | January 26th 2021
Bobi Wine

Ugandan security forces have withdrawn from around the home of opposition leader Bobi Wine, a Reuters witness said on Tuesday, ending his house arrest since a Jan. 14 presidential election.

On Monday, a court ruled that the police and military should let him leave his Kampala residence. The government had said the security detail was for his own protection.

Wine, 38, has been besieged at home since voting in the Jan. 14 election where he rode a wave of youth disillusionment to challenge Museveni’s 34-year rule.

The incumbent was declared winner with 59% of votes versus 35% for Wine, who had for years denounced corruption and nepotism in his songs. The oppposition rejected the result, alleging fraud which the government denies.

FOREIGN PRESSURE

Uganda’s military was aware of the ruling by High Court judge Michael Elubu and would comply, said military spokeswoman Brigadier Flavia Byekwaso, without specifying when.

Last week, U.S. ambassador Natalie E. Brown tried to visit Wine, drawing an accusation of meddling and subversion from the Ugandan government.

Wine is a hero to many young Ugandans who view former guerrilla leader Museveni as an out-of-touch autocrat repressing dissenters and failing to create jobs.

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“The Ugandan government continues to use state security in a partisan manner to harass and intimidate its citizens, press, and political opposition,” tweeted U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Sunday. “Mr. Museveni’s tactics towards those who advocate for an inclusive democracy is dangerous and must be addressed by the global community.”

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