At least six people have been injured during the Ugandan elections after a fight broke out between young supporters of the ruling party and supporters of the opposition party in Lubaga City, in Uganda's capital Kampala on 18 February, IBTimes UK can confirm.
Fear of violence have been running high as 15 million Ugandans headed to presidential and parliamentary elections, in which President Yoweri Museveni, who has ruled Uganda for 30 years, will be competing to win his fifth term in office under the National Resistance Movement (NRM) flag. Museveni, who is the National Resistance Movement's (NRW) flag bearer, told voters at his polling station in Kaaro in Rushwere that his NRM party "will obviously win".
'Six injured, no deaths'
Facing Museveni in the the polls are: Dr Kizza Besigye, leader of opposition party Forum for Democratic Change (FDC); and Amama Mbabazi, a former prime minister and founder of NRM, who is running under the GoForward banner after failing to win the NRM nomination from Museveni.
One of the 41 short-term electoral observers (STOs) deployed by the African Union told IBTimes UK the observer mission had reported "scuffles between NRM and FDC supporters had left half a dozen injured, but no deaths reported". Lubaga City is located near Masaka Road in Kampala.
Threat of 'defiance campaign'
Local media, meanwhile, have reported the deployment of armoured vehicle ('mamba') in a number of areas, just 15 minutes before the polls are expected to close. A Ugandan opposition movement, dubbed Free Uganda, warned earlier on Thursday a defiance campaign is 'almost inevitable' after it claimed the delays in delivery of materials in some places may be 'a deliberate vote rigging technique' in the 18 February elections.
"Ugandans be warned: Museveni continues to rig an already rigged election," the coalition of opposition political organisations, said in a statement on Thursday (18 February). "Best to prepare for the national Defiance Campaign that is almost inevitable as Museveni prepares to fraudulently declare himself the winner."
The call comes as opposition candidate Besigye on Wednesday (February 17) said that he will launch a "defiance campaign" if there is evidence of fraud in the polls. "If we consider that this election is fraudulent to the extent that we reject the outcome, we shall do so," Besigye told Reuters.
More to follow...