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Clinton Mirrors wrote- Museveni Faces Corruption and Human Rights Allegations

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Clinton Mirrors wrote- Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power for 36 years, has been accused of various forms of corruption and human rights violations

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power for 36 years, has been accused of various forms of corruption and human rights violations by his opponents and international observers. Museveni won his sixth term in office in January 2021, amid allegations of fraud and violence.

According to some sources, Museveni has used state resources to silence critics, hiding behind his immunity to protect himself and his allies from prosecution, and rigging elections to maintain his power. Some critics also claim that Museveni’s regime has been responsible for more deaths than his predecessors and that his long rule has failed to deliver quality basic services or uphold citizens’ rights for many Ugandans.

One of Museveni’s main challengers, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, also known as Bobi Wine, a former reggae singer and leader of the National Unity Platform (NUP) party, has filed a complaint to the International Criminal Court (ICC), describing widespread human rights abuses before and after the polls. Wine, who was arrested and assaulted several times during the campaigns, rejected the election results, citing ballot stuffing and other irregularities.

The complaint also names Museveni’s son, Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, who commands the Special Forces Command (SFC), an elite military unit blamed for many of the abuses. The SFC has been accused of abducting, torturing, and killing hundreds of NUP supporters and activists, as well as journalists and civil society members. At least one detainee has been confirmed as having died in custody, although the death toll is thought to be much higher.

Museveni and his military spokespeople have denied any responsibility for the abuses, and have dismissed the allegations as baseless and politically motivated. Museveni has also defended his legitimacy, claiming that he won the election with 58 percent of the vote, and that his party does not kill its opponents.

The ICC has not yet decided whether to open a formal investigation into the allegations, but has said that it is closely monitoring the situation in Uganda. The court has jurisdiction over crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide committed by nationals of its member states, or on their territory. Uganda ratified the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the ICC, in 2002.

The allegations against Museveni and his regime have also raised concerns among Uganda’s western allies, who have historically supported the country for its role in regional counterterrorism operations and its stability. However, some countries, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, have expressed their dismay over the election violence and the crackdown on civil liberties, and have called for investigations and accountability. Some have also suspended or reduced their aid and military assistance to Uganda, citing corruption and fiscal mismanagement.

Museveni faces a raft of serious economic and social challenges, including a massive unemployed youth population, a heavy debt burden, a patronage system, and the Covid-19 pandemic. More than 80 percent of Ugandans are below 30 years old, and many are disillusioned with Museveni’s rule, which they see as oppressive and out of touch. Museveni has also been criticized for signing secretive oil contracts with foreign companies, and for failing to address poverty, inequality, and poor public services.

Museveni has shown no signs of stepping down or easing his grip on power, and has vowed to continue his “revolutionary” agenda. He has also warned his opponents and critics not to destabilize the country, and has accused them of being agents of foreign interests. Museveni’s supporters, however, praise him for bringing peace and stability to Uganda, which was ravaged by civil wars and dictatorships before he took over in 1986. They also credit him for his achievements in infrastructure, health, and education.

Sources: Fault Lines in Five More Years of Museveni’s Rule – CSIS, Ugandan president’s son named in ICC complaint over abductions and abuse | Uganda | The Guardian, Oil, Corruption, And A 26-Year Regime: Uganda’s Museveni Clings To Power After Wearing Out His Welcome, Ugandan opposition leader under arrest as Museveni wins sixth term | Uganda | The Guardian, General accused of rights abuses made Ugandan head of police | Uganda | The Guardian

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