The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has sanctioned the former Inspector General of Police (IGP) of the Ugandan Police Force, Gen. Kale Kayihura, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, for having been a leader of an entity that has engaged in or whose members have engaged in serious human rights abuses against Ugandan citizens, as well as his involvement in corruption.
The US sanction supplements the Department of State’s concurrent implementation of a visa ban for Kayihura under section 7031(c) of the Fiscal Year 2019 Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act (P .L. 116-6) due to Kayihura’s involvement in gross violations of human rights on the People of Uganda.
Sigal Mandelker, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence noted that they are targeting Uganda’s former Police Inspector General Kale Kayihura for using corruption and bribery to strengthen his political position, as units under his command committed serious human rights abuses.
“The U.S. government is committed to leveraging our human rights and corruption authorities to target, disrupt, and counter those who engage in abuse and corruption around the world.” he added
The aftermath of today’s actions indicate that all property belonging to Kayihura, directly or indirectly owned that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons, are blocked and must be reported to OFAC.
OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons.
Kayihura is being punished for being a leader of an organization that has grossly abused human rights of Ugandan Citizens. As the Inspector General of Police for the Uganda Police Force, Kayihura led individuals from the Police Flying Squad Unit, which has engaged in the inhumane treatment of detainees at the Nalufenya Special Investigations Center (NSIC).
Graduates from the Nalufenya torture chamber revealed that they were subjected to torture and then offered significant sums of money if they confessed to their involvement in crime for the media.
Other cases that have landed Kayihura a US sanction include corruption where he used bribery to strengthen his political position within the Government of Uganda, using other government employess to smuggle illicit goods, including drugs, gold, and wildlife, out of Uganda.
The U.S. Secretary of State Department, Michael R. Pompeo, noted that the Department has credible information that Kayihura was involved in torture and/or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, through command responsibility of the Flying Squad, a specialized unit of the Uganda Police Force that reported directly to Kayihura.
In Executive Order 13818, the President declared a national emergency with respect to serious human rights abuses and corruption globally, which constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.
The President has authorized the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of State to impose economic sanctions and visa restrictions, respectively, on persons determined, among other things, to be responsible for or complicit in, or to have directly or indirectly engaged in, serious human rights abuse or corruption.
Visa restrictions are also expected to apply to his Wife, Angela Umurisa Gabuka, his daughter, Tesi Uwibambe, and his son, Kale Rudahigwa.
General Kale Kayihura was Uganda’s Inspector General of Police for nearly 13 years, making his tenure the longest in the Police force’s history. He was fired by President Yoweri Museveni in March 2018 and later arrested.
He is currently facing several charges in the military court-martial and was once seen as one of the most powerful military officers in the country before falling out with his boss President Museveni.