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Internal Affairs Minister threatens 'Ruthless Action' ahead of 2011 Elections

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The State Minister for Internal Affairs, Matiya Kasaijja, has said government will not tolerate politicians who attempt to disrupt the electoral process before or during the 2011 elections.
Kasaijja, speaking to diplomats from the European Union in Kampala on Tuesday, said the police will ordered to deal ruthless with politicians who will defy election orders. He said government is committed to conducting smooth elections in future but only if politicians behave themselves.
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Kasaijja's statement came in the midst of the building momentum to the 2011 elections. Several political parties, including the ruling National Resistance Movement, are already laying strategies on how to win power.
Opposition parties and civil society organizations have raised concerns about the NRM use of state organs like the police and army in its campaigns. There are also concerns about strategies to prevent a repeat of violence and intimidation that were recorded in the 2006 elections.
A shadowy paramilitary group, nicknamed the Kiboko Squad, gained notoriety before and shortly after the elections. The stick-wielding gang forcefully dispersed opposition rallies and public demonstration on several occasions.
It still not known who is behind the Kiboko Squad. When asked about the group, Matiya Kasaijja refused to confirm or deny whether it was part of the police force.
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Livingston Sewanyana, the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative Executive Director, said Kasaijja's statement did not explain anything. He said the State Minister's promise of ruthless action was regrettable especially since it was made just a few days after members of the Democratic Party were arbitrarily arrested by the police.
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