US sanctions Kayihura, places visa ban & freezes his assets

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The Inspector General of Police, Kale Kayihura

Washington – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned the former Inspector General of Police (IGP) of the Ugandan Police Force (UPF), Kale Kayihura (Kayihura), pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, for having been a leader or official of an entity that has engaged in or whose members have engaged in serious human rights abuse against Ugandan citizens, as well as for his involvement in corruption. 

This action complements the Department of State’s concurrent implementation of a visa ban for Kayihura under section 7031(c) of the Fiscal Year 2019 Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act (P .L. 116-6) due to Kayihura’s involvement in gross violations of human rights.

“We are targeting Uganda’s former Police Inspector General Kale Kayihura for using corruption and bribery to strengthen his political position, as units under his command committed serious human rights abuses,” said Sigal Mandelker, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

“The U.S. government is committed to leveraging our human rights and corruption authorities to target, disrupt, and counter those who engage in abuse and corruption around the world.”

Victoria University

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of Kayihura, and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by him alone or with other designated persons, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons, are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. 

OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons.

KALE KAYIHURA

Kayihura is being designated for being the leader of an entity that has engaged in or whose members have engaged in serious human rights abuse and being a current or former government official who is responsible for or complicit in, or has directly or indirectly engaged in, corruption.

As the IGP for the UPF, Kayihura led individuals from the UPF’s Flying Squad Unit, which has engaged in the inhumane treatment of detainees at the Nalufenya Special Investigations Center (NSIC). 

Flying Squad Unit members reportedly used sticks and rifle butts to abuse NSIC detainees, and officers at NSIC are accused of having beaten one of the detainees with blunt instruments to the point that he lost consciousness.

Detainees also reported that after being subjected to the abuse they were offered significant sums of money if they confessed to their involvement in a crime.

In addition, Kayihura has engaged in numerous acts of corruption, including using bribery to strengthen his political position within the Government of Uganda, stealing funds intended for official Ugandan government business, and using another government employee to smuggle illicit goods, including drugs, gold, and wildlife, out of Uganda.

State Department speaks

The U.S. Secretary of State Department, Michael R. Pompeo, said the Department has credible information that Kayihura was involved in torture and/or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, through command responsibility of the Flying Squad, a specialized unit of the Uganda Police Force that reported directly to Kayihura.

“The law also requires the Secretary of State to publicly or privately designate such officials and their immediate family members.”

Pompeo said in addition to the public designation of Kale Kayihura, the Department is also publicly designating his spouse, Angela Umurisa Gabuka, his daughter, Tesi Uwibambe, and his son, Kale Rudahigwa.

In Executive Order 13818, the President declared a national emergency with respect to serious human rights abuses and corruption globally, which constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.

Through this E.O., the President has authorized the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of State to impose economic sanctions and visa restrictions, respectively, on persons determined, among other things, to be responsible for or complicit in, or to have directly or indirectly engaged in, serious human rights abuse or corruption.

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