By Owere Steven
The United States of America has added her voice to those calling for a free and fair elections in Uganda.
U.S Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo in a statement on Thursday said his country is “deeply troubled” by the excessive use of force by security agencies in Uganda.
“The United States reiterates its call for a free, fair, credible and peaceful election in Uganda. Repeated violence and excessive use of force by security forces are deeply troubling,” said Pompeo.
He appealed to the Government of President Yoweri Museveni to ensure all presidential candidates are safe and respected.
“We urge the government to ensure the safety of all candidates, respect the right of peaceful assembly of all Ugandans, and ensure that election authorities and security forces act impartially,” he said.
Washington also wants non-governmental organizations and civil society to be accorded safe environment.
“We also call on the Ugandan government to create a safe environment for civil society and non-governmental organizations to undertake election training and monitoring.”
Importantly, Pompeo said COVID-19 SOPs should not be used to prevent candidates and causing their arrests.
“While measures taken to reduce the spread of COVID-19 are imperative, they must not be used as justification for repression and violence.”