By Spy Uganda Correspondent
USA: The new United States administration warned Thursday of targeted sanctions against President Yoweri Museveni and all the security officials involved in the violence that marred the 2021 election.
US Department of State spokesperson Ned Price in a press briefing said the Joe Biden administration is closely following the happenings in Uganda and will consider targeted sanctions against Uganda.
“Uganda’s January 14 elections were marred by-elections irregularities and abuses by the government’s security services against opposition candidates and members of the civil society. We will consider a range of targeted options to hold accountable for what we saw in relation to Uganda elections,” said Mr. Ned Price at a press briefing on Tuesday.
Price made these comments when asked to comment about the National Unity Platform’s president Bobi Wine’s decision to withdraw his election petition from the Supreme Court citing bias.
“We strongly urge independent, credible, impartial, and thorough investigations into these incidents,” Price said.
Price noted that although President Museveni and Uganda continue to play a regional role in some of the United States’ interests in the region as a troop-contributing country to AMISOM in Somalia in efforts to defeat Al-Shabab, the onus is on the United States to see that they don’t turn a deaf ear on human rights violations anywhere in the world.
“This goes to the point that we have now made even more times throughout this briefing, that we can pursue our interests and pursue our values at the same time. We are considering, as I said, a range of targeted options to hold accountable those who are responsible for what we saw in the context of Uganda’s elections, just as we continue to work with Uganda to pursue some of our mutual interests,” Price said.
According to Uganda Electoral Commission results, Museveni won the January 2021 elections by 58.38% (6,042,893 votes), with Robert Kyagulanyi second with 35.08% (3,631,437 votes).
Their statement is similar to that issued early this month by the European Parliament, warning of sanctions on anyone involved in election violence.
On February 11, members of the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly to adopt 19 resolutions taking stock of the human rights violations in Uganda.
Some of the resolutions include; justice and accountability for Ugandans who died in the November riots, increasing scrutiny of Uganda’s fiscal management and transparency, and systematic review of EU budget support programs.
They also reiterated the need for sanctions against individuals and organizations responsible for human rights violations in Uganda.
The government dismissed all the accusations and last week President Museveni met the EU representatives in Uganda to reiterate their position that the foreign experts were simply misinformed and interfering in matters they do not understand.
“By involving yourselves in matters that you don’t understand, even if you do understand, you should not get involved because this kind of misconduct can lead to many serious consequences and suffering of the people like it happened in some African countries,” Museveni said at the meeting.