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Tuesday, 6 March, 2001, 12:17 GMT
Suspicion at Ugandan army role
campaign posters
President Museveni faces a strong challenge
President Yoweri Museveni's main challenger in elections next week has criticised the dominant security role given to the army.

Uganda's army commander has just been appointed to head a task force overseeing internal security for the elections.

But speaking at a news conference in Kampala, Dr Kizza Besigye expressed concern that the police have been made subordinate to the army.

He called upon Uganda's electoral commission either to intervene or call off the elections, the Ugandan media reported.

The US-based organisation Human Rights Watch has warned that violence and intimidation are threatening to undermine the credibility of the 12 March election.

It said in a report that there was evidence of efforts by the Ugandan government to manipulate the elections.

An official also accused the government of President Museveni of "bullying the opposition".

PPU condemned

Meanwhile an election monitoring group has condemned an incident in the western Ugandan town of Rukungiri at the weekend, when the army's Presidential Protection Unit shot at supporters of Dr Besigye.

Main challenger Kizza Besigye alleges intimidation
Kizza Besigye: Veiled threats to withdraw from election
Nemgroup called for the withdrawal of the PPU from all areas where the president is not present.

Army chief Major General Jeje Odongo says that his task force, which is made up of representatives from the police, millitary and intelligence services, will try to prevent violence in the run-up to and following the election and will not be one-sided.

But the issue of maintaining security in the campaigns is a controversial one, with President Museveni's opponents saying he has been using the security forces to intimidate his rivals.

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23 Feb 01 | Africa
Ugandan opposition 'intimidated'
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