UK Issues Travel Warning Over Media Siege Protests

find geneva; font-size: small;”>“There were demonstrations outside the offices of the Daily Monitor newspaper in the Namuwongo area of Kampala on 28 May. There are reports that tear gas and rubber bullets were used to disperse protesters.

We advise all British Nationals to exercise caution and avoid all demonstrations, and to continue monitoring travel advice,” the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said in a statement on Tuesday night.

Several activists and journalists were tear-gassed as they challenged government’s decision to keep a lock on Daily Monitor and Red Pepper offices.

The newspapers were shut down ten days ago after publishing details of a letter authored by exiled Coordinator of Intelligence Organs, Gen David Sejusa (Tinyefuza).

The decorated NRA war hero said those opposed to the idea of Brig Muhoozi Kainerugaba succeeding his father, President Yoweri Museveni, were targeted for assassination.

The army has since denied the existence of the “Muhoozi project” and accused Sejusa of spreading harmful propaganda and making divisive remarks in a wrong forum.

Sejusa has been holed up in London since April 30.

FCO’s statement further cautioned that, “Some political demonstrations have become violent without warning.”

“We continue to advise caution around political demonstrations and rallies. There have in the past been instances of demonstrations on political issues becoming violent without warning, causing loss of life and injury,” the statement noted.

“The most recent were opposition protests in October 2011. There was also serious rioting in Kampala in September 2009. We recommend that you exercise caution and avoid large demonstrations and rallies where possible.”

UK also advised its citizens against all travel to Karamoja region in north eastern Uganda (the districts of Kotido, Moroto, Nakapiripirit, Katakwi, Kaabong) with the exception of trips to Kidepo Valley National Park, which they should make by air.

Around 15,000 British nationals visit Uganda every year.

Observers say the closure of the newspapers could affect tourism revenues as tourists from western countries continue to receive information of demonstrations and uncertainty in Kampala.


Meanwhile, Daily Monitor has praised its friends for “continuing to show support and encouragement as we mark a week since this unfortunate incident unfolded.”

The Managing Director, Mr. Alex Asiimwe informed the staff that the several meeting with the authorities have been candid and remained hopeful that they will eventually yield fruit. “We’ll continue to engage the authorities at all levels.”

Mr Asiimwe, also implored all stakeholders to remain positive and patient. He said “It’s moments like these that refine a business, removing impurities and making us all better

Mr Asiimwe commended the staff for not engaging in acts that would cause mayhem in spite of what we are going through and cautioned them to watch for dubious elements with ill motives bent on causing damage and loss to MPL.

“We appreciate the alternative platforms offered to us by our friends across the divide and various publics that have carried our supplications to places we couldn’t reach alone. The support we’ve got through your effort is overwhelming and comforting.”


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