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Uganda’s Museveni says he’s not sweating ‘Egyptian-like revolution’

Uganda is holding elections on Friday and increasingly autocratic President Yoweri Museveni has made it clear he won’t tolerate any street protests like those that have swept the Middle East recently:  Most analysts expect Museveni to win, though his share of the vote dwindled at each of the last three elections. The opposition alleged vote-rigging ...

Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Uganda is holding elections on Friday and increasingly autocratic President Yoweri Museveni has made it clear he won't tolerate any street protests like those that have swept the Middle East recently: 

Most analysts expect Museveni to win, though his share of the vote dwindled at each of the last three elections. The opposition alleged vote-rigging at each of the polls.

"There can be no Egyptian-like revolution here," Museveni told a final news conference ahead of polling day. "Someone taking power by extra-constitutional means? That one is out of the question. It will not happen."

Uganda is holding elections on Friday and increasingly autocratic President Yoweri Museveni has made it clear he won’t tolerate any street protests like those that have swept the Middle East recently: 

Most analysts expect Museveni to win, though his share of the vote dwindled at each of the last three elections. The opposition alleged vote-rigging at each of the polls.

"There can be no Egyptian-like revolution here," Museveni told a final news conference ahead of polling day. "Someone taking power by extra-constitutional means? That one is out of the question. It will not happen."

Besigye, who is facing former ally Museveni for the third time, told Reuters in an interview last month that a popular uprising in Uganda was "even more likely" than in either Egypt or Tunisia after what he says are years of corruption.[…]

Museveni also warned his security forces were ready to deal with violence.

"Very simple, just lock them up," he said when asked how the government would deal with rioters. "In as humane a manner as possible, bundle them into jails. And that will be the end of the story. And to the courts."

Museveni, who first took power in 1986, has now been president almost as long as Hosni Mubarak. Also like Mubarak, he’s been a strategically important U.S. ally — Uganada is the primary contributor to the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Somalia and has carried out a U.S.-backed effort to eradicate the brutal Lord’s Resistance Army rebel group — and a major recipient of U.S. aid. If anti-government demonstrations erupt this weekend, the White House will again be in a tough spot. 

My colleague Elizabeth Dickinson wrote recently on how sub-Saharan Africans are reacting to the news coming out North Africa and the Middle East in recent weeks. Another country to watch, which has been almost entirely ignored by the international media, is Gabon, which is in the midst of a popular uprising against President Ali Bongo Ondimba, son of longtime strongman Omar Bongo, who won a widely-disputed election in 2009. Julie Owono’s blogging on Global Voices is a valuable source for following the latest developments.

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy  Twitter: @joshuakeating

Tag: Uganda

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