Uganda: Kizza Besigye arrested to prevent Kampala rally

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Kizza Besigye has accused President Yoweri Museveni of failed economic policies

Uganda's opposition leader Kizza Besigye and several other politicians were arrested to stop them attending a rally in the capital, Kampala.

The BBC's Joshua Mmali in the city says police used tear gas on the group, before taking them to a police station.

Mr Besigye had been meeting his allies in advance of a protest against corruption and economic hardships.

Last year, Mr Besigye was arrested several times during clashes between security forces and his supporters.

They were protesting over what they said was a rigged election in February 2011, as well as the rising cost of basic foodstuffs.

Our correspondent says earlier in the day, police had deployed around the homes of prominent opposition politicians to prevent them from leaving their homes.

Later in the evening, the police released Mr Besigye and all the other opposition members arrested with him, except for two of his aides.

Our reporter says they already face treason charges for their involvement in organising last year's opposition "walk-to-work" campaign over the high cost of living, which was banned.

The police said the two aides, who had been out on bail, would now also face assault charges after Thursday's trouble.

The opposition says President Museveni's government's "failed economic policies" have caused the cost of living in Uganda to spiral out of control.

Mr Besigye was previously President Yoweri Museveni's personal doctor, but the pair fell out.

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