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Uganda police chief orders withdrawal from opposition-leader Kizza Besigye's residence

Security forces were ordered to withdraw from Kizza Besigye's home where he has been under house arrest, said Uganda's top police official. But the FDC party said police forces have continued to enforce a blockade.

Ugandan police on Friday ended their blockade of opposition leader Kizza Besigye's residence in a Kampala suburb, Ugandan police chief Kale Kayihura said in a statement.

"We are withdrawing the precautionary security measures we had been forced to take with respect to … Kizza Besigye," said Kayihura.

The opposition leader was detained and put under house arrest in the wake of February's presidential election.

Besigye alleged the elections were marred by vote rigging, bribery and intimidation by security forces. Veteran President Yoweri Museveni won the poll with 60 percent of the vote.

Besigye was accused by Museveni's supporters of attempting to incite civil unrest after the election.

"We expect Besigye to respect the law, to stop causing trouble for people going about their private businesses," said police chief Kayihura. "He must respect the law. If he veers off, the police is there to protect people and their property."

However, Besigye's Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party said police were preventing people from accessing the premises.

"Although Kale Kayihura said that he had given orders for withdrawal, it's an open secret that police are at Kasangati, still barring press access," the FDC said in a tweet.

Besigye's supporters protested in the streets of Uganda's capital days before the election

Besigye's supporters protested in the streets of Uganda's capital days before the election

'Is he released?'

Oxfam International Executive Director Winnie Byanyima, Besigye's wife, questioned whether the police's move meant the opposition leader's house arrest was officially dropped.

"The question is - is he released? Or is he now going to be guarded by plainclothes Uganda Police Force and their armed militia," Byanyima asked in a tweet.

Watch video 01:54

The moment Besigye was arrested | DW News

ls/jm (AFP, Reuters)

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