According to Pacifici, there is logic and principle in the visa and economic sanctions imposed against Kayihura, adding that even the EU would have acted the same if they had the evidence at the disposal of the US.
The Head of the European Union Delegation to
Uganda, Ambassador Attilio Pacifici has backed the US sanctions against the former
Police Chief, Gen. Kale Kayihura.
According to Pacifici,
there is logic and principle in the visa and economic sanctions
imposed against Kayihura, adding that even the EU would have
acted the same if they had the evidence at the disposal of the US.
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On Friday, the Trump administration set out two new rounds of
sanctions against Kayihura for his alleged involvement in gross human rights
violations. This was through the U.S’ Department of the Treasury's Office of
Foreign Assets Control.
The Department said that it has credible information that
Kayihura was involved in torture, cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or
punishment, through command responsibility of the Flying Squad, a specialized
unit of the Uganda Police Force that reported directly to him.
The Flying Squad Unit members reportedly used sticks and
rifle butts to abuse detainees at the infamous Nalufenya Detention facility in
Jinja. Detainees also reported that after being subjected to the abuse, they
were offered significant sums of money if they confessed to their involvement
In addition, Kayihura allegedly engaged in numerous acts
of corruption including using bribery to strengthen his political position
within the Government of Uganda, stealing funds intended for official Ugandan
government business, and using another government employee to smuggle illicit
goods, including drugs, gold, and wildlife, out of Uganda.
Ambassador Pacifici says that even Uganda had itself slapped
charges against Kayihura, which gives credence to the U.S sanctions.
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Kayihura, 62, was sacked by President Yoweri Museveni in
March 2018 and arrested in June the same year. He was slapped with three counts including failure to
protect war materials and aiding the kidnapping and illegal repatriation of
Rwandan nationals in the General court martial.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge and was
released on bail. The former IGP has since refuted the accusations by US,
describing them as baseless, unverified and outrageous.
While the U.S designated Gen Kale Kayihura and
his immediate family members, Kayihura, says he has never owned any property in
the United States, or anywhere else outside Uganda.
“I don’t have any bank accounts outside my
country, Uganda. The insinuations in the statement that I could own any
property outside Uganda are totally fabricated and malicious. The freezing of
my so-called assets therefore, is comical,” Kayihura indicated in a statement
released on Saturday.
Kayihura accuses the US authorities of being hypocrites for
their acclaim to uphold Human Rights yet in their letter and action, didn’t give
him a fair hearing. “How can they accuse, judge and
condemn a person without the basic decency to respect the principles of natural
justice, specifically, affording a person the opportunity and the right to be
heard?” Gen. Kayihura wonders.
He contends that the said allegations and the ‘ridiculous
action’ is an attack on the sovereignty of Uganda, since he and the Uganda
Police Force are targeted in an official capacity. “To sit in Washington and make the spurious and unproven
baseless allegations, and take action on them without any effort to establish
any truth, against a former IGP and a National Police Force is the highest form
of disrespect of a foreign country,” Kayihura stated.