Global Market Data
Global News Journal
Pakistan: Now or Never?
Front Row Washington
David Cay Johnston
The Great Debate
Personal Finance Video
Life & Culture
Our top photos from the past 24 hours. Full Article
WRAPUP 2-Thai floods to slash growth, crisis not over for Bangkok
Who’s behind the Wall St. protests?
Alabama immigration law decried, applauded as some flee state
Obama jobs roadshow seeks to tap anti-Wall St anger
Japanese airline, ANA, apologises for plane flip
Fri, Sep 30 2011
Indy 500 champion Dan Wheldon dies after fiery crash
Mon, Oct 17 2011
Rihanna's "inappropriate" outfit halts music video
Tue, Sep 27 2011
Uganda cracks down on opposition, arrests leader
About 175 arrested early Sunday in Chicago protest
Sun, Oct 16 2011
Global "Day of Rage" mostly peaceful, Rome clears
Sun, Oct 16 2011
Thousands protest banks, corporate greed in U.S. marches
Sat, Oct 15 2011
Wall Street protests go global; riots in Rome
Sat, Oct 15 2011
Demonstrators rampage through Rome, clash with police
Sat, Oct 15 2011
Analysis & Opinion
The instability of inequality
Tunisia police tear gas Islamists protesting “blasphemous” film and niqab ban
By Elias Biryabarema
Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:40am EDT
KAMPALA (Reuters) - Ugandan police briefly arrested opposition leader Kizza Besigye on Tuesday and said they would charge 15 protesters with treason in an effort to quell demonstrations against rising prices.
Deadly protests in April and May over soaring food and fuel prices were crushed by President Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power for more than two decades. Besigye was badly beaten and put under house arrest.
The protest movement, led by the Activists 4 Change (A4C)group, has struggled to rally large numbers since then, mainly because Besigye has largely stayed away from demonstrations.
On Tuesday, Besigye's party, the Forum for Democratic Change, said he was briefly arrested when he joined a "walk-to-work" protest on the outskirts of the capital, Kampala.
Later, police said the former presidential contender had been released and taken to his home in the Kasangati suburb.
Opposition youths reacted angrily to his detention, hurling rocks at passing vehicles. Police used teargas and water-cannon trucks spraying pink-colored water to disperse the protesters.
Analysts said this opposition agitation was unlikely to grow into a serious threat to the government given the international community's muted response to the previous crackdown.
"Police brutality in April and May was not punished and neither did we see strong condemnation of Museveni from the Western powers, and this discourages would-be protesters," said political analyst Nicholas Ssengoba.
Ugandan troops form the backbone of a peacekeeping mission in Somalia, a task few countries are willing to undertake.
Police said they had detained 45 opposition protesters since Sunday and would charge 15 of them with treason.
The police said they had unveiled a plot to overthrow the government. The opposition described the treason charges, which carry the death penalty, as flimsy.
Kale Kayihura, the inspector general for police, told reporters that security forces had obtained a recording of a September 23 meeting in which participants said they planned to use protests to topple the government.
"We have arrested 45 people across the country so far and 15 of these will be charged with treason today or tomorrow," Kayihura said.
According to Kayihura, a person can be heard in the recording saying: "The task remaining is how to bring down this regime" and "we must walk without stopping until the government falls."
Kayihura accused the group of seeking to plunge Uganda into lawlessness.
"Clearly, as you can see, the whole intention of A4C's post-election campaign is geared at overthrowing the government through means other than what is provided for by the constitution of the republic of Uganda. This is a criminal offence called 'treason.'"
Deputy foreign envoy for the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Ann Mugisha, dismissed Kayihura's accusation.
"A4C is absolutely clear and unwavering in its commitment to non-violence in its activities. (The)Police just want to use serious charges to keep our activists out of action," she said.
Soaring consumer prices sent Uganda's inflation rocketing to 28.3 percent in September, its highest level since January 1993, fueled by a weak local currency and high food prices.
Uganda, Africa's third-largest economy, hopes to become a top-50 oil producer in the next four years.
(Writing by Yara Bayoumy; Editing by Richard Lough)
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Be the first to comment on reuters.com.
Add yours using the box above.
Social Stream (What's this?)
Back to top
New York Legal
Support & Contact
Advertise With Us
Connect with Reuters
Our Flagship financial information platform incorporating Reuters Insider
An ultra-low latency infrastructure for electronic trading and data distribution
A connected approach to governance, risk and compliance
Our next generation legal research platform
Our global tax workstation
About Thomson Reuters
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.