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With evidence, we would have done the same! EU envoy defends US sanctions on Kayihura

Former Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura faces travel sanctions over human rights violation. (PHOTO/File)

KAMPALA — The Head of the European Union Delegation to Uganda, Ambassador Attilio Pacifici, has said that the sanctioning of former Police Chief, Gen. Kale Kayihura, by the US government was done after a transparent process.

US Secretary of State last Friday announced that they had put economic sections and a travel ban on Gen Kayihura for alleged human rights violations during his time as former Inspector General of Police.

And in an interview on Tuesday, September 18, Mr Pacifici explained in placing the sanctions, the US followed logic and principle, arguing that even Uganda had itself slapped charges against Kayihura, giving credence to the U.S sanctions.

He added that the EU would have acted the same if they had the evidence at the disposal of the US.

In a statement published by the US State Department on Friday, September 13, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said they have credible information that Gen Kayihura was involved in torturing civilians using the Flying Squad, a specialized unit of the Uganda Police Force.

“The Department is publicly designating Kale Kayihura, the former Inspector General of the Uganda Police Force and its commanding officer from 2005-2018, under Section 7031(c) of the FY 2019 Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, due to his involvement in gross violations of human rights,” the statement reads in part.

However, in a strongly worded statement issued on Saturday, September 14, Gen Kayihura said that the US action is a betrayal of the Kampala regime which he said has worked hard to promote human rights.

‘In the baseless, unverified and outrageous statement, I am accused that while I was working as Inspector General of Police (IGP) in Uganda, I engaged in Human Rights violations, corruption, and smuggling drugs, gold and wildlife. This is not only absolutely false but outrageous and infuriating, especially that these accusations and decisions have been made without according me an opportunity to respond to them, whereby I would give evidence to the contrary,’ the statement reads in part.

The former IGP, who was sacked in March last year, said that the US government did not accord him chance to defend himself.

“The United States Government was known as a government that believed in due process, rule of law and democracy. There was absolutely no due process accorded to me before false wild and defamatory statements about my person and my record were issued from Washington, without any bother to verify such allegations, which are in actual fact against the state of Uganda for which I was working,” Gen Kayihura said.

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