Uganda: Protest movement goes to villages

By IndepthAfrica
In East Africa
Jul 17th, 2012
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Supporters of Ugandan Opposition leader Dr. Col. Kizza Besigye (unseen) flash victory signs as they listen to him speak during a political rally in the Rukungiri District of Uganda, about 400 Kilometers west of the capital Kampala, on July 15, 2012. Besigye came to attend a “4GC” (‘for God and my Country’) rally where they launched a “walk to work 3” campaign, which aims to overthrow the government of Uganda through acts of civil disobedience. Besigye told local residents to stand up for their rights and pressure Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, who has ruled the country since 1986, to leave power. AFP PHOTO/ ISAAC KASAMANI (Photo credit should read Kasamani Isaac/AFP/GettyImages)

Kampala – Uganda’s anti-government protests are shifting their rallies toward rural areas to escape a heavy police presence in the capital city.

Marches against the country’s long-serving leader held in Kampala have turned violent in the past, with police using tear gas and batons to disperse protests. But authorities seem to pay less attention to the protests when they are held outside the capital.

The village rallies in recent weeks are coming as the party of President Yoweri Museveni is suffering defeats in by-elections in places where it was once hugely popular. The party has lost five of six electoral contests this year.

His opponents are eager to try him even harder in his own backyard, western Uganda, which was the scene of boisterous rallies that police failed to block in recent weeks.

- AP

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