UPDATE: Photos of the protests…
The Ugandan government is cracking down on peaceful protests by arresting opposition leaders, including some who opposed President Museveni in the recent February election.
KASANGATI, Uganda — Police in Uganda battled protesters for the third time in a week and again arrested the country’s top opposition politician on Monday, and the Red Cross said one protester died after being tear gassed.
Police arrested Kizza Besigye and about a dozen members of parliament while trying to walk to work. Police spokeswoman Judith Nabakooba said Besigye was arrested for trying to hold a political demonstration.
Besigye was arrested twice last week while trying to walk to work to protest the high cost of gas and food. Last week violence broke out during his second attempt and he was shot in the hand by police.
Besigye took second place in Uganda’s February presidential election to President Yoweri Museveni. A leader in Besigye’s political party, the Forum for Democracy, said Monday’s arrest was unfair.
“He has a right to walk if he wishes so,” Ann Mugisha said.
High fuel and food prices are blamed for the unrest.
Armed security personnel were out in force in Kampala, Uganda’s capital. But a member of parliament and a coordinator of the walk to work, Mathias Mpuuga, said the walks would continue despite the response from security forces.
“We will continue to walk to our places of work as a sign of solidarity with common Ugandans who are suffering from high fuel and food prices,” said Mpuuga.
The price of maize in Uganda has risen 114 percent over the last year, according to a World Bank report released last week.