The Head of the European Union Delegation to Uganda, Ambassador Attilio Pacifici has backed the US sanctions against the former Police Chief, Gen. Kale Kayihura. Pacifici said that there is logic and principle in the visa and economic sanctions imposed against Kayihura, adding that even the EU would have acted the same if they had the evidence at the disposal of the US.
On Friday, the US through the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control issued sanctions against Kayihura for his alleged involvement in gross human rights violations. The Department said that it has credible information that Kayihura was involved in torture, 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 him.
In addition, Kayihura allegedly engaged in numerous acts of corruption including using bribery to strengthen his political position within the Government of Uganda, stealing funds intended for official Ugandan government business, and using another government employee to smuggle illicit goods, including drugs, gold, and wildlife, out of Uganda.
Ambassador Pacifici says that even Uganda had itself slapped charges against Kayihura, which gives credence to the U.S sanctions. He pleaded not guilty to the charge and was released on bail. The former IGP has since refuted the accusations by the US, describing them as baseless, unverified and outrageous.