Kampala – President Museveni’s swearing in is taking him into his 4th decade in power, amid arrests of opposition politicians and shutdown of social media.
President Yoweri Museveni, 71, was inaugurated in the capital, Kampala, in a ceremony attended by dignitaries from across Africa, including Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, South AfricanPresident Jacob Zumaand President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan. Tribal dancers entertained the crowd and Ugandan military aircraft, including Russian-made fighter jets, performed an air show over the venue.
Human Rights Watch urged Ugandan authorities to arrest Bashir, saying Museveni will “tarnish his inauguration further by welcoming” Sudan’s leader, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged atrocities committed in Darfur.
Congratulations president Museveni!
Museveni, who took power by force in 1986, is already one of Africa’s longest-ruling leaders, and he will have been power for 35 years when his new term expires in 2021. Museveni has not said when he will retire and some critics charge that he wants to rule this East African country for life.
Opposition leader Kizza Besigye rejected Museveni’s victory in the February polls, calling the vote a fraud and demanding an international audit. Uganda’s top court has since ruled in Museveni’s favor. Besigye was arrested as he addressed a crowd of his supporters on Wednesday and is being detained at an unknown location.
Museveni, a U.S. ally on regional security, came to power at the end of a deadly guerrilla war promising to re-establish democracy in Uganda. In one of his early speeches as president, he said Africa‘s problem was “leaders who want to overstay in power.”
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