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US SHOULD SUSPEND MILITARY AID TO UGANDA:LAWYER FOR CRITIC OF MUSEVENI

Sept 6, 2018. The United States should suspend its military aid to Uganda over the government’s human rights record, the U.S. lawyer for a prominent critic of President Yoweri Museveni said on Thursday. 

The call broadens criticism of the government by opposition lawmaker Robert Kyagulanyi, a musician known by his stage name Bobi Wine. 

Authorities charged Kyagulanyi with treason last month over the suspected stoning of Museveni’s convoy. He denies the charge and says he was tortured in detention. He arrived in Washington on Saturday for medical treatment for his injuries. 

Kyagulanyi was elected last year and has gained popularity for his attacks on Museveni. The president has ruled since 1986 and has won a series of elections but is viewed by some as out of touch. The government in Kampala denies torturing Kyagulanyi. 

“We want the American taxpayer to know that the American taxpayer is funding this. The military equipment we are supplying to Uganda is being used in a war of terror against Uganda’s citizens,” lawyer Robert Amsterdam told a news conference in Washington flanked by Kyagulanyi, 36. 

“We call on the U.S. government to immediately suspend military funding to Uganda,” he said.

There was no immediate comment from U.S. authorities or from the government in Kampala. The U.S. embassy previously said it was concerned about the beating of MP’s following the incident during which Kyagulanyi’s driver was shot dead. 

Washington is a major source of funding for Uganda’s military, supplying hardware, cash, and training. It has given equipment, money, and intelligence for the military’s hunt for Lord’s Resistance Army warlord Joseph Kony. 

Museveni also receives diplomatic support from Washington for his deployment of troops in international peacekeeping missions including the fight against militants in Somalia. 

This story first appears on Reuters

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