Political Protests Spread to Sub-Saharan Africa

Political Protests Spread to Sub-Saharan Africa

Women in Uganda waved empty pans, marched in the street and carried signs that called for an end to government brutality.

Published May 9, 2011

Holding signs that read "For a country without bread, bullets cannot be food" and "Stop shooting our babies," an estimated 200 women in Uganda marched in the street and waved cooking utensils and empty pots as they called for an end to police brutality.

 

Since mid-April, there have been more than a half-dozen demonstrations in Kampala, the east African country’s capital, decrying government corruption, high fuel and food prices and, lately, the security forces' harsh response to the protests.

 

When Kizzy Besigye, the leading opposition politician, was arrested recently, he sustained injuries that required a week-long hospital stay. Human Rights Watch has also asked for an independent investigation into the killing of at least nine unarmed people by government forces.

 

Last February Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni won the presidential election amid charges of vote buying, vote rigging and state intimidation of the media. Museveni is a close ally of the United States and has been in power for 25 years.

 

Citizens in other sub-Saharan countries, who have watched similar protests lead to regime change in Tunisia and Egypt, are likely paying attention to how Uganda’s leader responds to continued demonstrations.

 

(Photo: AP Photo/Stephen Wandera)

Written by Frank McCoy

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