Diplomats meet with Uganda’s Besigye, call for legal challenge of election

Dr. Col. (rtd) Kizza Besigye is under police siege at his home in Kasangati, near Kampala

Dr. Col. (rtd) Kizza Besigye is under police siege at his home in Kasangati, near Kampala

Foreign diplomats accredited to Uganda on Friday met with the leading opposition leader in Uganda, Dr. Col. (Rtd) Kizza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change at his home in Kasangati near the capital Kampala and counseled  the former presidential candidate to avoid inciting violence and instead challenge the February 18 presidential election results.

“We have appealed to Dr Besigye as we have made the point to all political actors in Uganda in the last weeks to refrain from using any language that incites violence and to engage in dialogue and if there are any electoral disputes, to resolve all those by legal means,” said the European Union Head of Mission to Uganda, Kristian Schmidt.

The envoys also appealed to the government in Kampala to free Besigye, who has been arrested several time since last week’s election and is currently under house arrest at his home.

“Ugandan authorities should allow the opposition to play a legitimate role in the country’s politics and respect the rights and freedoms of all Ugandans. The detention of Dr. Besigye, as well as the multiple occasions of police taking him into custody, is contrary to basic democratic principles and violates his fundamental human rights,” U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Patricia Mahoney told reporters.

Besigye, the four time presidential candidate was defeated by incumbent President Yoweri Museveni in last week’s presidential race but he and his party has since rejected the poll results, and they have indicated they will soon file suit challenging them.