A Ugandan opposition group says a military general who recently returned from exile in Britain has been put under house arrest by soldiers.

The group, Free Uganda, said Friday the arrest of the four-star Gen. David Sejusa was "a cowardly act" by President Yoweri Museveni's regime.

Sejusa returned from exile in London in December in what seemed to be a negotiated settlement with Museveni, Uganda's long-serving president. Sejusa on Thursday told journalists that he had turned down Museveni's invitation to meet for reconciliation.

Sejusa heads a political party opposed to what he says is Museveni's increasingly authoritarian rule.

Military spokesman Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda said the military action is intended to give Sejusa protection. Journalists were barred by heavily armed military police from getting close to the scene.