Uganda: Besigye vows protests will continue

Ugandan opposition politician Kizza Besigye arrives in hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, 29 April Kizza Besigye, seen here on Friday, said he knew his life was in danger

Related Stories

Uganda's opposition leader has vowed to continue peaceful protests in the country, days after an attack that left him in hospital.

Kizza Besigye's car was attacked during a demonstration in Kampala on Thursday and he was doused in pepper spray.

The UN meanwhile urged Ugandan authorities to stop using "excessive force" against peaceful protesters.

Demonstrations over the last three weeks have left eight people dead and more than 250 others wounded.

At least two people were killed and 90 injured in Kampala on Friday after police fired bullets and tear gas at crowds protesting against Mr Besigye's arrest.

'National crisis'

Mr Besigye, who has flown to Kenya for medical treatment, told a local TV station there: "I know that my life is in danger, without any doubt."

"The [Ugandan] population is largely marginalised and is now protesting their marginalisation," he added from hospital in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

He is being treated for damage to his eyes from chemicals in the pepper spray and soft tissue injuries.

Mr Besigye said he would continue mobilising what he described as "peaceful demonstrations" and walk-to-work protests.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said that Mr Besigye had provoked his assailants by attacking first, a charge he denies.

UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said on Sunday that the way Mr Besigye had been treated during his latest arrest was "shocking".

After being attacked with pepper spray, he was bundled into the back of a truck and arrested, before being released for medical treatment.

She said in a statement: "The Ugandan authorities must realise that their own actions have been the major factor in turning what were originally peaceful protests about escalating food and fuel prices into a national crisis."

Among the eight people killed in the recent unrest, she added, was a two-year-old girl allegedly shot by a member of the security forces.

Citing the Uganda Human Rights Commission, Ms Pillay said that tear gas had also been fired into schools, health centres and homes.

There have been a number of clashes between protesters and the police and arrests of opposition politicians during recent walk-to-work protests staged over rising fuel and food prices.

Mr Besigye has lost three disputed elections to President Museveni - the most recent in February.

According to the BBC's Will Ross, in Kampala, the two men have not spoken to each other for 10 years.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Africa stories



  • RihannaCloud caution

    After celebrity leaks, what can you do to safeguard your photos?

  • Cesc FabregasFair price?

    Have some football clubs overpaid for their new players?

  • Woman and hairdryerBlow back

    Would banning high-power appliances actually save energy?

  • Rack of lambFavourite feast

    Is the UK unusually fond of lamb and potatoes?

  • Members of staff at James Stevenson Flags hold a Union Jack and Saltire flag UK minus Scotland

    Does the rest of the UK care if the Scots become independent?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.