Africa

Ugandan opposition leaders detained ahead of inauguration

  • FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 22, 2016 file photo, Uganda's main opposition leader Kizza Besigye, center, is arrested by police and thrown into the back of a blacked-out police van, outside his home in Kasangati, Uganda. Besigye was arrested again Wednesday, May 11, 2016 ahead of the inauguration Thursday of the country's long-time president Yoweri Museveni, while access to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter appeared to have been blocked by a government censor. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)

    FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 22, 2016 file photo, Uganda's main opposition leader Kizza Besigye, center, is arrested by police and thrown into the back of a blacked-out police van, outside his home in Kasangati, Uganda. Besigye was arrested again Wednesday, May 11, 2016 ahead of the inauguration Thursday of the country's long-time president Yoweri Museveni, while access to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter appeared to have been blocked by a government censor. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016 file photo, Uganda's long-time President Yoweri Museveni waves to supporters from the sunroof of his vehicle as he arrives for an election rally at Kololo Airstrip in Kampala, Uganda. Uganda's main opposition leader Kizza Besigye was arrested Wednesday, May 11, 2016 ahead of the inauguration Thursday of Museveni, while access to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter appeared to have been blocked by a government censor. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)

    FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016 file photo, Uganda's long-time President Yoweri Museveni waves to supporters from the sunroof of his vehicle as he arrives for an election rally at Kololo Airstrip in Kampala, Uganda. Uganda's main opposition leader Kizza Besigye was arrested Wednesday, May 11, 2016 ahead of the inauguration Thursday of Museveni, while access to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter appeared to have been blocked by a government censor. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)  (The Associated Press)

Uganda's main opposition figure has been arrested ahead of the inauguration Thursday of the country's long-time president.

Patrick Onyango, a spokesman for Ugandan police, said Kizza Besigye, who claims he won the presidential election held in February, was arrested Wednesday as he addressed a crowd of supporters in the capital, Kampala.

There are fears of violence as the police try to foil possible protests Thursday when President Yoweri Museveni is to be sworn in. On Wednesday social media sites like Facebook and Twitter appeared to have been shut down by a government censor.

In addition to Besigye, other opposition figures have been detained inside their homes since Monday, in what police say are measures to prevent them from committing crimes.

Museveni has held power here since 1986.