The International Criminal Court (ICC) must indict Uganda Police Commander Gen. Kale Kayihura, his subordinates, and his commander in chief on the crimes against humanity unleashed since before the Feb. 18 General Election. The latest outrage is the brutal caning on July 12 and July 13, 2016 of Ugandan civilians.
Gen. Kayihura commended the police officers for their criminal actions against civilians.
Ugandans have a constitutional right of freedom of expression. Civilians were beaten on July 12, and 13 simply because they lined up on the roadside in Kampala to wave, cheer and show their for Dr. Kizza Besigye whom they believe is the winner of the Feb. 18 election and Uganda's duly-elected president.
Gen. Kayihura bears direct responsibility for the current wave of violence against civilians by security forces and militias, including masked operatives including the pre and post election violence.
In the run-up to the Feb. 18 election, Gen. Kayihura recruited tens of thousands of Ugandan youth into militias called "Crime Preventers." The United States accused him of inciting violence after Kayihura said instead of sticks the Crime Preventers would be armed with guns to "prepare for war."
Following Gen. Kayihura's comments, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy and Human Rights, Tom Malinowski, tweeted: "#Uganda head of police vague remarks on arming 'crime preventers' for war before election is dangerous/irresponsible."
Yet Kayihura continues his "dangerous" and "irresponsible" behavior with the wave of beatings unleashed on July 12 and July 13.
The police force and militias under Gen. Kayihura's command have targeted opposition party supporters and Dr. Besigye himself for years for vicious assaults.
The July 12, and 13 beatings followed Dr. Besigye's release on bail after two months detention on treason charges, which in Uganda is punishable by death.Dr. Besigye was arrested after he was sworn in as president on May 11, 2016 following the contested elections of Feb. 18, which most Ugandans believe he won. Commonwealth, EU, Ugandan election observers, and the U.S. State Department, concluded the elections were not free, fair or credible. Dr. Besigye has called for an audit of the voting but Gen. Museveni has rejected this demand leading to the current political paralysis.
Uganda's prime minister Ruhakana Rugunda said there will be an investigation into the police criminal conduct. Yet his comments are largely for public relations. A similar promise to investigate was made after police beat Dr. Besigye's supporters in April; there has been no public comment and no disciplinary action taken over those incidents.
This is because Uganda is truly militarized police state where absolute power is exercised by Gen. Yoweri Museveni, autocrat of 30 years now, with Gen. Kayihura as his enforcer-in-chief.
Under Uganda's constitution citizens are obligated to defend themselves and to oppose those who would usurp the constitution as Gen. Museveni and Gen. Kayihura have done.
During his disputed swearing in ceremony on May 12, Gen. Museveni insulted the ICC as a "bunch of useless people" which led to a walk-out by the U.S. delegation, including ambassador Deborah Malac and an assistant secretary of state; the EU country delegations also walked out.
The ICC must not be intimidated by Gen. Museveni's unwarranted attacks. The ICC must conduct a comprehensive investigation and take action warranted by evidence of the crimes unleashed by Gen. Kayihura, which are abundant.
The ICC must intercede before the attacks against civilians by Gen. Kayihura's and Gen. Museveni's security forces and militias provoke mass civil unrest.