Deadly Clashes Rock Uganda After Arrest of Opposition Presidential Candidate
KAMPALA, Uganda—Cities across Uganda erupted into deadly violence on Thursday, a day after the government arrested the main opposition candidate ahead of presidential elections in January.
Security forces fired live rounds at tire-burning protesters, killing 16 and injuring 65, some with serious bullet wounds, police said, in the worst election-related violence of President Yoweri Museveni’s 34 years in power.
Armed security forces in riot gear and plain clothes combed streets and hallways in Kampala, the capital, and the cities of Jinja and Masaka, arresting anyone found wearing red, the color of the opposition party led by Bobi Wine, a 38-year-old pop star who is running for president. Some 350 people were arrested on Wednesday and Thursday.
Mr. Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, was arrested on Wednesday after authorities accused him of flouting social-distancing guidelines introduced to prevent the spread of coronavirus. He remained in custody on Thursday.
The government’s lethal response to demonstrations raises the prospect of a grim two months of campaigning ahead of Jan. 14 elections where the 76-year-old Mr. Museveni, in power since 1986, is seeking a fifth successive term.