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Ugandan gov't opens independent newspaper, radio after apology


18:31, May 30, 2013

KAMPALA, May 30 (Xinhua) -- Uganda's Minister of Internal Affairs Hillary Onek on Thursday ordered the police to vacate the Monitor Publication Ltd premises after the management of the Monitor newspaper, Dembe FM and KFM apologized for flouting their editorial policy.

Onek in a statement issued here said that after several meetings between him, the Monitor Publications management and the country's President Yoweri Museveni, the newspaper agreed to always be sensitive to and not publish or air stories that can generate tensions, ethnic hatred, cause insecurity or disturb law and order.

"They acknowledged that there had been violations of their editorial policy by their Reporters and Editors in Uganda. They availed us with a copy of their Editorial Policy and undertook to ensure that both the letter and the spirit of the policy are respected," Onek said.

"They undertook to tighten their internal editorial and gate keeping processes, to ensure that stories that impact especially on national security are subjected to the most rigorous scrutiny and verification process before they run."

The Ugandan police on May 20 closed two local newspapers and shut down two radio stations in a bid to retrieve a sensitive letter and other documents alleging planned assignation plots of key government officials and military officers.

Monitor, Red Pepper, Dembe FM and KFM were occupied by police as it tried to retrieve a letter and other documents published by the media organizations.

The letter allegedly authored by Gen. David Sejusa, coordinator of Intelligence Services to the director general of Internal Security Organization, alleged that some government and military officers are targeted for assassination for opposing the so-called "Muhoozi Project".

The Muhoozi Project is seen as alleged attempts by Muhoozi Kainerugaba, son of President Museveni, to gun for the presidency after his father leaves power.

The government statement did not indicate whether the Red Pepper was allowed to open for operation or not.

Following the police siege of the publications, there have been several media demonstrations calling for the opening of the newspapers and the radio stations.

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