The Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) Commander Maj Gen Abel Kandiho has said he is not bothered by the financial sanctions that were imposed on him by the government of the United States of America.
He says the sanctions are politically motivated and inconsequential.
“I am not bothered by the so called sanctions. I have no business with the US. It is political. They should just be careful not to create unnecessary enemies and losing allies,” Gen Kandiho told Daily Monitor newspaper on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the US imposed financial sanctions on Gen Kandiho, accusing him of being connected to serious human rights abuses and repressive acts.
In an action marking the week of the U.S. Summit for Democracy, the Treasury Department said in a statement it was targeting repression and the undermining of democracy, designating individuals and entities tied to the violent suppression of civilians.
“Treasury will continue to defend against authoritarianism, promoting accountability for violent repression of people seeking to exercise their human rights and fundamental freedoms,” Andrea Gacki, director of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, said in the statement.
The action freezes any U.S. assets of those blacklisted and generally bars Americans from dealing with the sanctioned figures.
Gen Kandiho, was hit with sanctions over alleged human rights abuses committed under his watch.
“As commander of the Ugandan Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), Major General Abel Kandiho (Kandiho) and other CMI officers have arrested, detained, and physically abused persons in Uganda. The CMI targeted individuals due to their nationality, political views, or critique of the Ugandan government,” Gacki noted.
” Individuals were taken into custody and held, often without legal proceedings, at CMI detention facilities where they were subjected to horrific beatings and other egregious acts by CMI officials, including sexual abuse and electrocutions, 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,”he added.
The Ugandan military said earlier on Tuesday that it was disappointed by the decision, which it said had been made without due process.
“We have been officially notified about the unilateral financial sanctions against Maj Gen Abel Kandiho, the Chief of Military Intelligence- UPDF by the United States of America government,” UPDF Spokesperson Brig Gen Flavia Byekwaso said in a statement yesterday.
She added that as Uganda and UPDF, a reputable government institution particular,” We are disappointed that such a decision could be made by a country we consider friendly, a partner and a great ally, without due process and in total disregard of the principle of ‘fair hearing’, occupied with failure to make the necessary consultations.”
Brig Byekwaso further revealed that they will be seeking clarification from USA government/authorities to be able to determine a way forward.
Gen Kandiho joins a growing list of Ugandan security chiefs such as former Inspector General of Police (IGP), Gen Kale Kayihura to be sanctioned by the USA.
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