Uganda People's Defense Forces has assured all presidential candidates and members of the public that the army will not interfere with the election process.
This was contained in a statement issued today by Army and Defense Spokesman, Lt. Col. Felix Kulayigye, on behalf of the Chief of Defense Forces, General Aronda Nyakairima during a media conference at defense headquarters in Mbuya.
Kulayigye said that the media conference had been called to update Ugandans on the state of security in the country, ahead of the general elections. He said that as defenders of the country's sovereignty, they were happy and satisfied with the peaceful atmosphere currently existing in the country.
Kulayigye denied reports in a tabloid newspaper that the army had warned FDC leader Kizza Besigye that he risks being crushed if he threatened violence during this election.
He said that no High Command meeting had taken place except a staff and command meeting, which he said did not even discuss any presidential candidate, leave alone opposition.
Kulayigye said that the army was finalizing a code of conduct that would guide the disciplined behavior of all the men and women in uniform during the elections. He said that keeping law and order was a preserve of the police, a fact they are aware of and would respect.
Kulayigye said that under a multiparty order, the army is aware that there are different political parties and candidates. He said they respect all the parties equally and promised to offer them all the necessary assistance wherever they are needed.
He however warned that the military police would be ready and available to assist the regular police in cases where police calls for assistance.
Observers are concerned that given the high stakes and anxiety in next year's election, cases of violence may not be avoidable.