Security tight as Uganda awaits pop star MP's return

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Ahead of his return, security forces set up barriers near the airport and elsewhere around the capital amid heavy security. He said he will stay in Uganda because "I can not be a refugee".

In a statement issued Wednesday, Ugandan police ordered that, "There shall be no unlawful rallies, processions and assemblies", that Kyagulanyi should only be met by "his immediate family" upon arrival and that he "is expected to comply with the traffic laws and regulations".

Museveni, a key USA ally on regional security, took power by force and has since been elected five times.

The homecoming of Robert Kyagulanyi, a pop star and opposition lawmaker, could present a significant challenge to Museveni, who has ruled since 1986.

Ugandan singer and opposition MP Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, was virtually shepherded home by police on Thursday as soon as he arrived at Entebbe International Airport from the United States, where he had gone for treatment his wife says.

"So many police officers grabbed me from the plane, they searched me took away my passport and all the documents", he said, but did not allege any mistreatment this time. Armoured personnel carriers and police vehicles lined the highway. The legal basis for the escort was unclear.

The government has denied all allegations of torture. Uganda has also welcomed foreign investors such as France's Total, China's CNOOC and Britain's Tullow as part of a plan to start pumping oil from 2021.

Bobi Wine, 36, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, was charged with treason alongside 32 other politicians following campaign violence during a by-election in August.

The official, who was not authorised to speak on the record, told Reuters news agency that Ssentamu, a prominent critic of President Yoweri Museveni, was "just being taken home".

The singer, who won a national assembly seat previous year, faces treason charges over his alleged role in an incident in which the president's convoy was pelted with stones. The authorities deny any mistreatment.