The United States Government has slapped sanctions on the former Inspector General of Police, Gen. Kale Kayihura over alleged human rights abuse and corruption.
A statement released by the Department of Treasury on Friday said the Executive Order was invoked after evaluating satisfying reports implicating Kayihura in “serious” human rights abuse against Ugandans.
“Today, the U.S. department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned the former Inspector General of Police (IGP) of the Ugandan Police Force (UPF), Kale Kayihura (Kayihura), pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, for having been a leader or official of an entity that has engaged in or whose members have engaged in serious human rights abuse against Ugandan citizens, as well as for his involvement in corruption,” said the lengthy statement.
This action complements the Department of State’s concurrent implementation of a visa ban for Kayihura under section 7031(c) of the Fiscal Year 2019 Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act (P.L. 116-6) due to Kayihura’s involvement in gross violations of human rights.
“We are targeting Uganda’s former Police Inspector General Kale Kayihura for using corruption and bribery to strengthen his political position, as units under his command committed serious human rights abuses,” said Sigal Mandelker, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
“The U.S. government is committed to leveraging our human rights and corruption authorities to target, disrupt, and counter those who engage in abuse and corruption around the world.”
According to the statement, all property and interests in property of Kayihura, and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by him alone or with other designated persons, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons, are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. ”
OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons.
It is unclear whether or not, and if any, how much property Gen Kayihura owns in the United States.
The US among others accuses Kayihura of commanding the notorious flying squad whose members allegedly engaged in serious human rights abuse and being a current or former government official who is responsible for or complicit in, or has directly or indirectly engaged in corruption.
“As the IGP for the UPF, Kayihura led individuals from the UPF’s Flying Squad Unit, which has engaged in the inhumane treatment of detainees at the Nalufenya Special Investigations Center (NSIC),” said the statement.
Flying Squad Unit members allegedly used sticks and rifle butts to abuse NSIC detainees, and officers at NSIC are accused of having beaten one of the detainees with blunt instruments to the point that some lost consciousness. Detainees also reported that after being subjected to the abuse they were offered significant sums of money if they confessed to their involvement in a crime.
In addition, Kayihura reportedly engaged in numerous acts of corruption, including using bribery to strengthen his political position within the Government of Uganda, stealing funds intended for official Ugandan government business, and using another government employee to smuggle illicit goods, including drugs, gold, and wildlife, out of Uganda.