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Militias threaten Uganda vote, says election chief

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Posted January 19, 2011 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in News ~ 1,942 views

     


KAMPALA (AFP) – At least nine political “militia groups” are threatening to disrupt Uganda’s general elections next month, the country’s election chief said Wednesday.

“Certain political parties and candidates have organised militia groups with the pretext of guarding their votes,” Badru Kiggundu, chair of Uganda’s Electoral Commission said.”

“The following reported brigades and their leadership stand warned,” he stated, then named nine groups which he said “intend to disrupt the prevailing calm campaign period.”
Kiggundu did not comment on the political sympathies of the named militias, but at least two groups have been linked to Uganda’s ruling National Resistance Movement party in multiple independent reports over several years.

The “Kiboko (stick) Squads,” listed by Kiggundu, assaulted top opposition leader Kizza Besigye last June when he addressed a rally in Kampala.

The “Black Mambas,” also on Kiggundu’s list, stormed a Kampala High Court in 2007 and assaulted a judge after he ordered the release of several men charged with treason for membership of the People’s Redemption Army, a rebel group accused of supporting Besigye.

Police chief Kale Kayihura, who also addressed Wednesday’s election briefing for journalists and ambassadors, said terror threats were high ahead of the February 18 vote.

“These terror threats are targeting this period,” he said, referring to the final stretch of the campaign, where seven challengers are competing to unseat President Yoweri Museveni, in power since 1986.

“It’s only someone living in a fools paradise who cannot understand the significance of (the July 11) attacks,” Kayihura added, referring to the twin suicide bombings in Kampala on the night of the World Cup final.

Kiggundu said Wednesday that 13,954,129 Ugandans had been registered to vote. Opposition leaders have repeatedly insisted the electoral register is bloated in favour of the ruling party.

Uganda’s population is estimated at 32 million. According to a November 2010 UN report, 51 percent of the population is under 15.


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Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.

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