A Ugandan court has dropped charges against an opposition politician, Kizza Besigye, who organized and led street protests against the government in the spring.
After finishing a distant second to President Yoweri Museveni in an election in February, Mr. Besigye announced that he was going to walk to his office, rather than use his car, to protest rising commodity prices and corruption. He was initially joined by only a few fellow protesters, but Mr. Museveni’s government responded with overwhelming force, locking up hundreds of opposition supporters and at times using tear gas and water cannons to disperse even small numbers of protesters. At least nine people were killed during the demonstrations.
Fueled by anger over the government’s repressive response, larger numbers of people joined the protests, and Mr. Besigye, once seen as an ineffective politician, saw his standing rise. However, a court ruled there was not enough evidence “to require him to defend himself" and all
charges were dropped.
As the Ugandan economy has been hit especially hard, similar to other nations in Africa, an increasing number of people have taken to the streets in order to let their voice be heard. But as we have seen with many countries who have slowly tried to rise up against what they deem
oppressive governments, leaders have only been more violent when it comes to surpressing and silencing the opposition.