Protests Spark Violence in Uganda

What happened to Bobi Wine?


Violent protests broke out in Uganda this week after politician and activist Bobi Wine was arrested.

  • Bobi Wine is a popular singer, activist, and presidential candidate in Uganda. He was first arrested in October by his political opposition in what claims was an effort to suppress his campaign.
  • He was released from prison and resumed campaigning for the presidency of Uganda, organizing human rights rallies and local events in major cities across the country.
  • On Tuesday, shortly after officially registering his candidacy, Wine was detained by police and tortured for several hours. The police deny this allegation, but another opposition candidate told a nearly identical story of an assault by police.
  • On Wednesday, Wine was formally arrested on charges of violating Coronavirus laws.
  • Protesters immediately took to the streets, saying that his arrest was an attempt to suppress opposition.
  • The protests escalated when armed forces arrived to suppress the demonstrations and violence erupted. As of today, 37 people have died in the clashes.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • Condemns the violence, including statement from the national security minister who said that violent protesters would “reap what they sow.”
  • Implies that Uganda is not democratic, highlighting graphic images of arrests and demonstrations.
  • Points out the huge number of civilian casualties and detainees resulting from the protests.



  • Similar to the left, highlights the anti-democratic nature of the Ugandan governance. Wall Street Journal writes that state security forces were responsible for injuring and killing their own citizens and constituents.
  • Highlights China’s strategic investments in Africa, including Uganda. National Review writes that China is making investments in sub-Saharan Africa to gain an advantage globally.
  • Generally regards the violence as a tragedy. Daily Mail points out that that Uganda has been plagued by ongoing violence and infrastructural issues for years.


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© Evelyn Torsher, 2020