Uganda deploys elite force in capital ahead of Jan. 14 polls

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Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Thursday said an elite force has been deployed in the capital Kampala to stamp out criminality ahead of the Jan. 14 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Museveni in his End of Year address said the highly trained units of the military who had been on a peacekeeping mission in Somalia and fighting rebel groups in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo will man security ahead of the polls.

The deployment follows days of clashes between opposition supporters and police after Robert Kyagulanyi, a musician and a presidential candidate, was arrested in the eastern town of Luuka due to his violation of the COVID-19 prevention procedures.

Kyagulanyi’s arrest on Nov. 18 sparked off riots in the capital and some other parts of the country. At least 54 people have been killed and dozens of others injured so far.

The president in the speech accused the opposition groups of “indiscipline and criminality.” Eleven candidates, including incumbent Museveni, are taking part in the presidential election.

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