Police Raids 'Solidarity Uganda' Offices, Arrest Director

3014 Views Lira, Uganda

In short
Her husband Phil Wilmot, a veteran American journalist who works as a consultant in the same organisation, says Police raided their offices at around 7:30am when most of the employees were just reporting for work.

Police is holding Suzan Abong Wilmot, the Director Solidarity Uganda, a Non-Governmental Organisation based in Northern over the presidential age limit demos. Abong was picked up in a Tuesday morning Police raid on their offices in Lira Town.

 
Her husband Phil Wilmot, a veteran American journalist who works as a consultant in the same organisation, says Police raided their offices at around 7:30am when most of the employees were just reporting for work.

 
He says the officers only found his wife, and the guard at the offices. Abong was whisked off to Lira Central Police station where she is locked up. This is the second raid on the Solidarity Uganda offices in less than a week.

 
On Thursday last week, a combined team of Police and army officers raided the same offices and arrested the Programs Manager, Dickens Otim for allegedly financing protests against the proposed scrapping of the presidential age limit from the constitution.

 
Police bowed to pressure from civil society activists and released Otim on Monday this week. According to Police sources, the two are likely to appear in court later today. Wilmot says police has been accusing their organisation for funding illegal activities in the region, an accusation he vehemently denies. 



Wilmot says he is also aware that police have been trailing him for arrest, but says he isn't scared. "Suzan Abong Wilmot doesn't stand for greed or violence, which are exactly the words to describe President Museveni who today is manipulating his parliamentary allies to cling to power in his old age," reads a post on Wilmot's Facebook page. 



He calls for the immediate release of his wife. Police has declined to comment on Abong's arrest. Abong's arrest brings to eight, the number of people arrested in Lira over the presidential age limit protests on Tuesday.
 

The other suspects in police custody are Ambrose Ocen Kibuka, Denis Owera and Tonny Atepo, all civil society activists. Also in custody are four journalists including Isaac Otwi, a Daily Monitor Reporter, Denis Engena of NBS Television, Robert Kalibongo of Unity FM and Martin Ongom, a reporter with Dwon Luo, a local newspaper in Lira.
 
 
What is Solidarity Uganda? 


According to its website, Solidarity Uganda is a nonprofit organization that brings together trainers and consultants who teach nonviolent strategy, movement building, and social change. 




"We are a "capacity-building" organization that helps Community-Based Organizations, Civil Society Organizations, activists, grassroots groups, and marginalized communities affect change in their contexts through nonviolent strategies."

 

About the author

Denis Olaka
Denis Olaka is the URN bureau chief for Lira, in northern Uganda. Apac and Otuke fall under his docket. Olaka has been a URN staff member since 2011.

Olaka started his journalism career in 2000 as a news reporter, anchor, and then editor for Radio Lira in Lira district. He was subsequently an editor with Lira's Radio Wa in 2004 and Gulu district's Mega FM.

He was also a freelance writer for the Daily Monitor and Red Pepper newspapers.

Olaka's journalism focuses on politics, health, agriculture and education. He does a lot of crime reporting too.