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USA withdraws observers from Uganda election, cites failure to get documentation

The United States of America has removed its observers from Ugandan elections, citing failure to get them accredited for the exercise.

In a statement issued early on Wednesday, American Ambassador to Uganda, Natalie Brown, said their pleas for accreditation went unanswered.

Requests and reminders unanswered

She said the embassy had given constant requests and reminders to provide the observers with the necessary documentation for the election. However, their pleas fell on deaf ears, leaving them with no option but withdraw the observers.

However, Brown said that they had managed to get only 15 observers accredited. But that number was way too short for the election and lower than the figure the mission had asked for.

Brown said that the Electoral Commission of Uganda had denied documentation to more than 75 per cent of their observers they had requested.

“With only 15 accreditation approved, the United States can’t observe Uganda’s election conduct meaningfully at polling sites across the country,” Brown’s statement said.

Lack of accountability

Brown also expressed concern of numerous other civil societies, missions, and observers failing to get their accreditation too. Brown said that these bodies had not heard from the Electoral Commission, less than 24 hours to the elections.

She warned that Uganda’s elections would lack credibility and accountability without observer missions.

“Uganda will also miss the opportunity to benefit from observers’ insight to improve and inform future elections,” Brown went on.

Growing tension in Uganda

Tension in Uganda keeps growing, with the opposition stating that there were plans to rig the elections. However, the Ugandan government has denied any claims of planned rigging. They claimed to be committed to free and fair elections.

However, the UN had warned that that was unlikely. This is because there has been rampant intimidation of the opposition, in addition to arbitrary arrests and deaths of innocent Ugandans.

Early Wednesday morning, Bobi Wine said that his security, provided for by a private security company, had been ordered to withdraw protection at his home.

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