Ugandan cops fire teargas at opposition

2011-08-17 16:01
Kampala - Ugandan police fired teargas and used water cannons to disperse opposition supporters who had gathered in a Kampala suburb on Wednesday to mourn people killed during demonstrations earlier this year, witnesses said.

Uganda was rocked by widespread anti-government protests in April and May, sparked by rising food and fuel prices. At least nine people were killed in the government's clampdown and opposition leader Kizza Besigye was arrested and badly beaten by security agents.

A Reuters witness said he did not see Besigye at Wednesday's rally, which had barely started in Kireka, a suburb of the Ugandan capital, Kampala.

"We didn't allow the crowd to grow big because we wanted to prevent the worst from happening ... we were not opposed to the rally but they refused to listen to us on the venue where they should stage it," said Ibn Senkumbi, a police spokesperson at the scene.

The witness said heavily deployed police had managed to disperse the crowd of several hundred people.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, in power for more than two decades, has vowed to crush the Besigye-led protests, blaming the rising food and fuel prices on drought and global increases in crude oil prices.

He accuses the opposition of being desperate for power.yoweri museveni

Read more on:    yoweri museveni  |  kizza besigye  |  uganda  |  east africa
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