The United States says it is concerned about political developments in Uganda where there is a lot of tension due to a parliamentary motion seeking to scrap presidential age limits.
Members of Parliament (MPs) fought for two successive days as the motion was tabled. The scuffles led to the forced ejection of some lawmakers and the suspension of over 20 of them for unparliamentary conduct. The country’s broadcasting regulator also banned the airing of the scuffles.
According to the U.S. ambassador to the country, Deborah Malac, the age limit issue was one for the people of Uganda to decide and the government needed to create the environment for that decision to be made freely.
We are disturbed by reports of multiple arrests throughout the country, including reports of arrests and rough treatment of some Members of Parliament, and we expect Ugandan authorities to treat all these individuals humanely.
“We are disturbed by reports of multiple arrests throughout the country, including reports of arrests and rough treatment of some Members of Parliament, and we expect Ugandan authorities to treat all these individuals humanely,” she said in a statement.
On the subject of the coverage ban imposed by the Uganda Communications Authority, (UCC) she said, “The media have an important and legitimate role to play in ensuring all Ugandans can follow the proceedings of their elected legislative representatives.
“The Ugandan people have a responsibility to conduct themselves peacefully, and the Government of Uganda has a responsibility to protect the people’s constitutional rights of freedom of speech, expression, and assembly. We urge all sides to refrain from violence,” the statement added.
The U.S. have, meanwhile, issued a security message for citizens in Uganda urging them avoid possible places where politically motivated protests are likely to be held.
U.S. citizens are reminded that photographing police or military personnel and official government buildings is prohibited and that they should not attempt to photograph protests and demonstrations, the statement added.