Uganda: 37 killed in protests over Bobi Wine arrest

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At least 37 people have been killed in violent protests over the arrest of opposition figure Bobi Wine.

The popstar-turned-politician was arrested Wednesday following accusations of violating Covid-19 measures by holding rallies. His arrest prompted protests in the capital city of Kampala demanding his release. Demonstrators installed blockades across streets and burned tires before security forces used live bullets and water cannons to disperse crowds.

Dozens killed in Uganda protests

Protesters in Kampala are accused of damaging vehicles, looting properties and throwing stones at security officers in some of the worst protest violence seen in Uganda in the past decade. Authorities warn the death toll from the unrest is likely to increase with more than 350 people confirmed to have been arrested.

Troops on the streets of Kampala were seen carrying AK-47 rifles and shotguns as they marched to disperse crowds in the capital city. Live rounds were fired and water cannons were used to break up demonstrators in a “war-like situation,” as described by Army spokeswoman Brigadier Flavia Byekwaso.

Bobi Wine is a popular figure among Uganda’s younger generations, campaigning to stand against President Yoweri Museveni in the country’s January 2021 presidential election. Museveni, who has been in power for 34 years is seeking a sixth term in office.

A tweet from Bobi Wine’s official Twitter account described his arrest as “brutal” on Thursday.

Featured image: By Mbowasport – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=81995826

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.