The United States is concerned that the electoral environment in Uganda is deteriorating in the run-up to national polls next month. Numerous reports of the police using excessive force, obstruction and dispersal of opposition rallies, and intimidation and arrest of journalists have contributed to an electoral climate of fear and intimidation, and raise questions about the fairness of the process. We also underscore the need for all candidates and their campaigns to refrain from inflammatory rhetoric that could incite violence. We note with particular concern the reports that Christopher Aine, an opposition campaign aide, has disappeared.
Free and fair elections depend on all Ugandans being able to exercise their right to assemble peacefully, express their opinions, and participate in the electoral process free from intimidation and abuse. They also depend on government institutions and security forces remaining neutral, defending the rights of all people and protecting all parties equally. We call on the government, civil society, and political parties to do their part to ensure a peaceful, transparent and credible electoral process.