Uganda Appoints U.S.-Blacklisted General Abel Kandiho as Head of Police

Ugandan President Yoweri Musevini appointed Major General Abel Kandiho, who is blacklisted by the United States for alleged human rights violations, to lead the country’s police force.

Kandiho has been “appointed to the position of Chief of Joint Staff of the Uganda Police Force” on Feb. 8 night, military spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Ronald Kakurungu said in a statement.

Kandiho was recalled from a new role as security envoy in South Sudan barely two weeks after being moved from his post as head of military intelligence.

Kandiho has faced widespread accusations of abuses, including sexual assault, torture, and assassination.

The U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on Kandiho in December over alleged human rights violations under his watch.

Officers of the Ugandan Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence, of which Kandiho was the commander, subjected individuals they arrested to “horrific beatings and other egregious acts… often resulting in significant long-term injury and even death.”

“During these incarcerations, victims were kept in solitary confinement and unable to contact friends, family, or legal support. In some cases, Kandiho was personally involved, leading interrogations of detained individuals,” the U.S. Treasury said in a statement.

Uganda has had a series of crackdowns aimed at opposition activists contesting the 36-year rule of Musevini.

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