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US issues ‘travel alert’ for Uganda

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The State Department has issued a travel alert during the election period, for its citizens who wish to come to Uganda and that resident in the country.

‘The State Department recommends US citizens maintain a high level of security awareness leading up to, during, and following the election period,’ a release indicates, adding that the alert expires on March 31, this year.

The release advises Americans to ‘avoid political rallies, polling centres, demonstrations and crowds of any kind’ saying that peaceful gatherings can ‘become confrontational and turn violent’.

According to the release however, there are no indications that US citizens are targets of violence.

Uganda goes to the polls in February, beginning with the presidential and parliamentary elections on 18, followed by other lower rung local elections between February 24 and March 10, and results are expected in about a week.

Campaigns in the country began after the November 4-5, 2015 presidential nominations, and since then there have been isolated cases of violence in some campaign areas.

The campaigns have also been laced with vitriolic words by some candidates, prompting some Ugandans to question the prospects of an incident-free election.

However, state authorities led by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and the Uganda police have assured the nation of having an election conducted in a peaceful atmosphere.


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