The United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office has issued a travel advisory warning its nationals of heightened political tensions in Uganda.
In a travel advisory issued on Sunday and updated on Monday morning, the UK warned that there is a likelihood of increased protests that could turn violent, following the arrest of several Members of Parliament and their legislators from Arua district including Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi a week ago.
“The arrest of a number of opposition Members of Parliament following violence around the Arua by-election on the 15 August 2018 has led to heightened political tension,” the travel advisory reads warning that there is an increased likelihood of protests, which may turn violent, across Uganda.
There were violent clashes in Mityana yesterday where one person was killed and other six fatally injured as residents demonstrated following rumours that their MP Francis Zaake had died. The MP is currently admitted in Lubaga Hospital, for injuries allegedly sustained while in custody, following his arrest.
Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, the other person arrested from Arua is currently detained at Makindye Military Barracks while, Gerald Karuhanga, Kassiano Wadri, Micheal Mabikke Paul Mwiru, and more than 30 others, are detained in Gulu.
The UK advised its citizens, to take great care and avoid being in places where they are demonstrations. “The police have used tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition to disperse demonstrators,” the statement reads.
If a person finds him or herself caught up in a political demonstration, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said they should remain calm and try to move away from the area by the safest possible route.
“If you’re travelling in a vehicle, ensure that the doors are locked. If you’re in your accommodation and there’s a demonstration nearby, remain inside if you judge that leaving your accommodation is threatening or unsafe. Familiarize yourself with the security procedures in place at your accommodation, and make sure appropriate precautions are deployed as necessary,” the travel advice statement further says.
The USA Embassy in Kampala equally issued a travel advisory on Sunday, predicting continued political protest.
The US Embassy said; “Avoid areas where demonstrations are taking place. Exercise caution when in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations. Do not photograph police, military personnel, government buildings or protests.”
The embassy further advised US citizens in Uganda to Review their personal security plans, remain aware of their surroundings and monitor local news stations for updates.