The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, has called president Yoweri Museveni about the arrest of opposition leader, Kizza Besigye.
According to a statement released by Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC Friday February 19, 2016, Kerry spoke to Museveni on phone.
“Secretary Kerry spoke over the phone today with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to underscore that Uganda’s progress depends on adherence to democratic principles in the ongoing election process and that the United States stands by the Ugandan people as they undertake this most essential democratic endeavour.”
The Secretary expressed his concern about the detentions of opposition candidate Kizza Besigye and harassment of opposition party members during voting and tallying.
Besigye has so far been arrested four times in one week.
Kerry urged President Museveni to rein in the police and security forces, noting that such action calls into question Uganda’s commitment to a transparent and credible election process free from intimidation.
Secretary Kerry also expressed concern about the Government of Uganda’s decision to block several popular social media and mobile money sites starting on Election Day.
He urged President Museveni to end this blockage immediately.
Finally, the Secretary noted the delay in the opening of many polling stations.
Secretary Kerry said he was encouraged that the Electoral Commission is taking steps to extend polling for certain areas.