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Uganda opposition figure detained after his driver is slain

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A prominent opposition figure in Uganda has been detained following violent clashes Monday night that allegedly started when President Yoweri Museveni’s motorcade was pelted with stones, a military official said Tuesday.

Lawmaker Kyagulanyi Ssentamu was held overnight in the northwestern town of Arua, where he and other politicians, including Museveni, had been campaigning for a lawmaker, said Capt. Jimmy Omara, a spokesman for the Special Forces Command.

Ssentamu, a popular pop singer in his 30s who was elected to the National Assembly last year, has emerged as a powerful voice with his calls for young people to “stand up” and take over this East African country from what he says is the current government’s failed leadership. Many of his followers are urging him to run in the next presidential election in 2021.

Lawmaker Allan Ssewanyana, a close ally, said he was concerned for his colleague after being unable to reach him by phone. Some journalists, including two reporters for local broadcaster NTV, have also been detained.

Ssentamu said on Twitter on Monday night that his driver was shot dead by the police “thinking they’ve shot at me.” He posted a photo of a bloodied man slumped in his car seat.

Read Also: How a failed plot by Nigeria’s secret police vigorously shook the Buhari Presidency

Police spokesman Emilian Kayima said an unidentified man had been killed as security forces tried to “calm down the situation” after Museveni’s convoy came under attack from opposition supporters throwing stones.

Maria Burnett of Human Rights Watch urged authorities to investigate and “arrest those responsible, no matter who they are.”

The election in Arua is being held because the area’s member of parliament was shot dead near the capital, Kampala, earlier this year.

That killing, and many others of prominent people in recent times, remains unsolved. Uganda is experiencing a spike in gun attacks often blamed on unidentified assailants.
Museveni, a key U.S. security ally, took power by force in 1986 and has since won election four times. The last vote in 2016 was marred by allegations of fraud.

Uganda has not witnessed a peaceful transfer of power since independence from Britain in 1962.

Credit: Associated Press

Politics

Tunisia’s Interior Ministry alleges threats to President Saied’s life

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The Tunisian Interior Ministry has alleged serious threats to the life of President Kais Saied as concerns over a mounting political crisis in the North African country grows.

The Ministry said the country’s intelligence apparatchick revealed that both internal and external elements were involved in plans targeting the president.

Ministry spokesperson Fadhila Khelifi said in a news conference that “the goal was to undermine Tunisian public security by eliminating the President.”

Though Khelifi did not give out names of the purported planners, he however assured that they would soon be rounded up and made to face trial.

President Saied has been having a running battle with the opposition in Tunisia with opponents accusing him of a coup for seizing most powers last summer to rule by decree and preparing a new constitution that he plans to put to a referendum next month.

This year alone, Saied has moved to consolidate his powers by dissolving the parliament, annuling the electoral commission and taking also taking the war to the judiciary by sacking 57 judges after accusing them of protecting Islamists.

Critics have also accused him of clamping down on the opponents with the arrest of leading opposition figures and a widespread crackdown on the opposition parties.

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Senegal’s opposition leader calls for nationwide mega protest on June 29

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Despite clashes between government security forces and anti-government protesters which led to the death of three people last week, Senegal’s main opposition leader, Ousmane Sonko, has called for a fresh demonstration to be held on June 29.

Sonko who came third in the last presidential election in the country and has a large followership made up of mainly youths, had also called on citizens to bang pots and pans in protest on Wednesday which was a huge success, prompting in his call for the July 29 showdown.

“On the 29th of July, with or without authorization, we are going to organize our demonstration,” Sonko, a leader of the PASTEF party said in a press conference on Friday.

“If President Macky Sall wants to prevent this affair, he should be ready to arrest us or terminate us.

“Let the whole of Senegal rumble and let Macky Sall understand that the Senegalese people do not agree with his dictatorial designs or his ill-fated plan for a third term,” Sonko added.

Though the police has banned protests in the West African country citing risk of unrest, Sonko and other opposition figures have called on citizens to come out enmasse for the demonstration.

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