Ugandan police end newspaper siege

Journalists of newspaper shut for 10 days following reports about assassination plot allowed to return to work.

    Ugandan police end newspaper siege
    General David Sejusa is out of the country and has been reportedly offered police protection in Britain [Al Jazeera]

    Journalists of a newspaper shut down by the Ugandan government for the last 10 days have been allowed to return to work.

    Staff for the Daily Monitor, a semi-independent paper, told Al Jazeera on Thursday that outgoing Interior Minister Hillary Onek had ordered security forces to withdraw from the newspaper premises, which they had occupied since May 16.

    "The office equipment was not tampered with and I am now in the newsroom waiting for our IT staff to switch our server back on," Mukiibi Sserunjogi, the paper's investigative reporter, said.

    Daily Monitor published the letter, leaked to it by General David Sejusa, on May 7 alleging that the government was planning to assassinate senior army officers and government officials opposed to President Yoweri Museveni's son succeeding his father as head of state.

    Sejusa is currently out of the country and has been reportedly offered police protection in Britain.

    The authorities also took off air two FM radio stations owned by the company that publishes Daily Monitor. Red Pepper, another paper that was raided, still remains off the stands.

    A statement issued by Onek said police commenced investigations by asking the journalists and the editors of the Daily Monitor to explain how they got the letter.

    The statement added that the raid took place after two journalists who wrote the story as well as the paper's managing editor refused to cooperate with police investigations.

    Museveni, who became president in 1986 after waging a five-year armed rebellion, has been criticised for overstaying in power, and has been accused of grooming his son, a brigadier named Muhoozi Kainerugaba, to succeed him as leader.

    Kainerugaba has rapidly risen through the ranks and was promoted to brigadier last year before being appointed by his father to lead an elite army unit that protects the president and guards national assets like oil wells.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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