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‘Unprecedented’ violence as Uganda gears up for elections

Security forces are under criticism for the widespread violence before the presidential election on Thursday. Main challenger Bobi Wine said soldiers raided his home and beat two security guards just two days before the election. Police spokesman for Kampala denied the home raid. Wine is a popular singer and politician, his real name is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu and hopes to deny Museveni another term.

The military is in charge of all security in the Kampala area and Wine is motivating his supporters to not be intimidated. He is considered to be the frontrunner of 10 candidates in this election. This year’s election is seen to be more violent than in the past due to security forces against the opposition, for instance, 54 people were killed in November after Wine was imprisoned and a protest ensued. Wine and other opposition candidates hope to prevent vote rigging and are telling supporters to stay within 100 metres of polling stations. Ugandan authorities shut down Facebook on Tuesday due to its decision to censor many Ugandan accounts linked to Museveni. The police and military patrol the streets in Kampala. The country has never seen a peaceful transfer of power since 1962 when they gained independence from Britain.

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