Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has been sworn in for his fifth term as Uganda’s president during an inauguration event that was held yesterday at the Kololo grounds.The event raised some concerns after the representatives from Europe and North America walked out of the ceremony over the attendance of the Sudanese president who is wanted on genocide charges.
Museveni, now 71 years old and ruled since 1986, won February’s election though the result has been challenged by opposition leaders with one of them, Kizza Besigye, held under house arrest for most of the weeks since.
“I, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni swear in the name of the Almighty God that I shall faithfully exercise the functions of the President of the Republic of Uganda,” Museveni said to cheers from the large bused-in crowd gathered at a parade ground-cum-airstrip on a Kampala hillside.
“I will uphold, preserve, protect and defend the constitution, and observe the laws of Uganda, and I shall promote the welfare of the people of Uganda, so help me God,” he added.
Human Rights Watch urged Ugandan authorities to arrest Bashir, saying Museveni will “tarnish his inauguration further by welcoming” the Sudanese leader, who is wanted by the international criminal court (ICC) over alleged atrocities in Darfur.
In a speech after he was sworn in, Museveni defended Bashir’s presence in Uganda, calling the court “a bunch of useless people” that he no longer supports.US, European and Canadian representatives at the inauguration walked out in protest over the presence of Bashir and Museveni’s comments about the ICC, the US state department said.
Ahead of the inauguration, security forces detained some opposition figures and the government blocked social media sites including Facebook and Twitter, a move criticised by human rights activists.