Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has elevated a former military intelligence head to the top command of the country’s dreaded police force, despite the fact that he is on the US blacklist for suspected human rights breaches.
Major General Abel Kandiho was returned as South Sudan’s security envoy late Tuesday, just two weeks after being fired as spymaster.
In a statement, Uganda’s military spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Ronald Kakurungu stated Kandiho had “been appointed to the post of the Joint Staff of the Uganda Police Force.”
Kandiho was the commander of the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence until last month, and he has been accused of atrocities like as beatings, sexual assault, and electrocution.
Last December, the US Treasury imposed penalties on Kandiho for alleged human rights crimes committed while he was in office.
In a statement, it stated that those apprehended by his agency were “subjected to horrible beatings and other atrocious acts by authorities, including sexual assault and electrocutions, frequently resulting in substantial long-term harm and even death.”
Kandiho was occasionally actively involved in overseeing interrogations of detainees, particularly those picked out for criticizing the government, according to the US.
Journalists have been attacked, lawyers have been imprisoned, election observers have been punished, and opposition leaders have been forcefully muzzled in Uganda.
Abductions and torture
With more incidences of abductions and torture at the hands of security personnel, Kandiho’s appointment will bring attention to the police force.
In a case that has sparked worldwide alarm, a notable novelist was recently detained for over a month on grounds of insulting Museveni and his powerful son Muhoozi Kainerugaba.
Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, a 33-year-old satirical author, claims he was tortured in detention and revealed painful-looking welts criss-crossing his back and scars on other parts of his body on television over the weekend.
On Monday, the European Union and many member nations released a joint statement calling for a “full probe” into Ugandan human rights violations.
On Wednesday, security and military expert Charles Rwomushana said Kandiho’s appointment demonstrated Museveni’s desire to “have a solid grasp (on) the police force.”
Rwomushana told AFP that Kandiho will be “strong enough” to make important choices “in favor of (Museveni’s) administration.”