IN PICTURES: How Besigye’s Friday arrest was executed


IN PICTURES: How Besigye's Friday arrest was executed

Uganda Police on Friday arrested opposition leader and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Presidential candidate Kizza Besigye, in a meticulously executed operation that left the media and the public guessing.

Unlike previous arrests which were made in the full glare of the camera, Friday’s arrest was orchestrated systematically in an unusual operation that involved the military, crime prevention unit and regular police.

Chronology of events

11:00am – The media is invited into Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party headquarters in Kampala for Kizza Besigye’s press briefing.

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11:30am – Police arrive at FDC headquarters to stop the press briefing with the Police Director of Human Resources Development Andrew Kaweesi holding closed door meeting with party hierarchy.

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A few minutes later, Kaweesi walks out of the meeting and is driven off before returning to address the media on the purpose of police presence at the party offices.

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Kaweesi said that they will not allow Besigye to address the press because they had received intelligence that he was planning to release the results.

Police Director of Human Resources Development Andrew Kaweesi addressing the press
Police Director of Human Resources Development Andrew Kaweesi addressing the press

“We have no problem with Besigye having parallel tallying centre, but we will not allow him to release the results since only the Electoral Commission has the mandate to do so,” he said.

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In the meantime Besigye supporters sing songs of praise for their party leader while accusing the police of harassment.

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12:45pm – Police attempt to enter FDC offices after party supporters closed the gate. The push and pull escalates into a running battle with police firing teargas both in and out of the office premises to disperse the supporters.

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Kizza Besigye

Journalists are caught up in the mêlée with some resorting to putting on masks.

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Police then receive reinforcement with the arrival of military police and anti-riot police seemingly completing the plan. Police chopper is also seen carrying out aerial surveillance of the area.

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Several people were arrested in the fracas.

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Roads were closed as more police officers were deployed to the streets to clear the way, using teargas to get crowds off roadsides.

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A black police van that was later used to whisk Besigye away is driven into the office compound as the media is kept at bay.

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1:36pm – Besigye and other party officials are arrested and driven off in the black van.

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Police later continue with their operation to disperse Besigye’s supporters who engage them in running battles.

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