Ugandan authorities arrested opposition leader Kizza Besigye this week for rape and treason, charges international observers say appear to be politically motivated. Besigye’s return to Uganda last month drew cheering crowds into the streets and apparently alarmed President Yoweri Museveni. Besigye fled the country in 2001 after losing a presidential election to Museveni, who has ruled for 19 years. Besigye is now charged with trying to overthrow the government in collusion with the armed cult Lord’s Resistance Army, and with raping an official’s daughter in 1997. After his arrest, supporters rioted in the capital, Kampala. “Museveni has spent billions on his international image,” said Geoffrey Ekanya, a member of Parliament and a Besigye ally. “Now they are seeing the nakedness of the emperor.”
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