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EU, US call for probe into Uganda election violence

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Election

The European Union and the US have called for a probe into Uganda’s election violence even as the opposition leader Bobi Wine remains under house arrest.

The incumbent, President Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power since 1986, was declared the winner for a record sixth term, amid an internet blackout and allegations of abuse.

Uganda’s opposition leaders and supporters have complained of numerous harassment by the state security before and after the election.

Opposition candidates were harassed by security forces, the media was suppressed by the government, and observer’s offices were raided, said the EU council of ministers in a statement on Wednesday, 20 January.

It called on all parties to refrain from violence and for election challenges and complaints to be addressed in an independent and transparent manner.

The former popstar-turned-politician has been under effective house arrest guarded by soldiers and police since he cast his ballot in last Thursday’s presidential election, which he said was riddled with fraud.

US ambassador Natalie Brown on Monday tried to meet with Wine whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi and was met with a line of police officers clad in riot gear who turned her away.

“The purpose of ambassador Brown’s visit was to check on Wine’s health and safety, given that he’s effectively been unable to leave his home, with security forces surrounding his residence, read a statement posted on the US embassy’s Facebook page on Monday.

Wine, 38, came second in the presidential election, which returned Yoweri Museveni to power for a sixth term, and has said he is cut off from his lawyers and party as the days tick by for him to challenge the vote in the courts.

when asked if Wine was under house arrest, Opondo said he is under the protection of the Uganda government because he is the target of many forces.

“It’s in the interest of the government of Uganda for him (Wine) not to be harmed in any way, he said.

Lawyers for Bobi Wine have asked the Ugandan high court to order security forces to produce the opposition leader, give a legitimate reason for his confinement or release him.

The European Union (EU) says it is concerned about the continued harassment of politicians and civil society activists in Uganda after last week’s general election.

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