The African Studies Association of Africa (ASAA), in support of the students of Uganda's Fees Must Fall protests, issues this statement in solidarity with their struggle for justice. In protesting the 15% cumulative tuition increase (which will be implemented each year for the next five years), these students have been subjected to a violent police and military crackdown. As part of this suppression, students have been fired upon with canisters of teargas and even live ammunition. Additionally, many students have been arrested and detained. Violent police raids have been conducted on campus wherein students have been battered, subjected to further teargas and stun grenades in addition to live bullets. These arrests have been accompanied by what appear to be targeted abductions and alleged rape of student leaders like Sipera Mollie Saasiraabo and Julius Kateregga. On top of the police and military brutality against students, even journalists covering the protests have been brutalised and arrested. This unbridled violence is evidence of the worsening situation in Uganda. Currently, the students have put five demands on the table, which include:
- Scrapping the 15% cumulative tuition increment
- Releasing all arrested students
- Reinstating all students who were suspended
- Scrapping the electoral reforms that were introduced by the University Administration
- Improving sanitation at the University
These demands should be met with negotiation and mutual understanding rather than continued violence and police intimidation. The brutality that has been meted out to the students of Uganda runs counter to all that the ASAA stands for. As such, ASAA condemns this anti-African repression in the strongest terms possible and stands in solidarity with the students and journalists of Uganda and their families.