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Kandiho: The Opposition Applauds US Sanctions As The UPDF Demands Justice

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Mathias Mpuuga, the leader of the opposition in parliament (LoP), has welcomed US sanctions against Maj Gen Abel Kandiho, the chief of the Military Intelligence Chieftaincy (CMI).

The US Department of the Treasury charged Kandiho and other CMI officers with arresting, detaining, and abusing persons in Uganda on Tuesday. According to the statement, the CMI targeted people based on their nationality, political views, or criticism of the Ugandan government.

“Individuals were taken into custody and held at CMI detention facilities, often without legal proceedings, where they were subjected to horrific beatings and other egregious acts by CMI officials, including sexual abuse and electrocutions, often resulting in significant long-term injury and even death,” according to the US statement.

Victims were held in solitary confinement and were unable to contact friends, family, or legal counsel during their incarcerations, according to the statement. Kandiho was personally involved in leading interrogations of detainees in some circumstances. The penalties came just days after Twitter, a US-based social media company, shut down almost 500 pro-government accounts for sharing “regime propaganda” content.

Mpuuga has now praised the sanctions, saying they send a strong message to those security officials who abuse their positions to harm Ugandans because of their political convictions. He believes that targeted punishments should be applied to other officials involved in murders and kidnappings that occurred before, during, and after the 2021 elections.

He emphasized that justice will be accomplished if the culprits are brought to justice and the victims are paid. The Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) have opposed the US sanctions, claiming that they were imposed arbitrarily.

“As a country and UPDF in particular, a reputable government institution, we are disappointed such a decision could be made by a country we consider friends, a partner and a great ally, without due process and in total disregard of the principle of fair hearing coupled with failure to make necessary consultations,” reads the statement.

To harmonize the ruling, Byekwaso stated that they will seek clarity from the US administration. Kandiho in a statement scoffed at the sanctions saying he has no interest in travelling to the US and warned the US of turning its allies into new enemies.

All property and interests in property or entities owned directly or indirectly by Kandiho in the United States, as well as property and interests in property or entities in the custody or control of US people, are blocked and must be reported to authorities.

The prohibitions include making any contribution or providing any monies, goods, or services to, or for the benefit of, any blocked person, as well as receiving any such contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services.

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