Kampala - The European Union (EU) says it has started its election observer mission in Uganda.
The east African country is set to go to the polls on February 18.
According to News Vision, deputy chief observer Marian Gabriel said the exercise, which started on Tuesday, consisted of at least 30 observers who would be deployed to various districts in the east African country.
The team would be based in the capital Kampala.
"They will be observing all aspects of the electoral process in their duty areas, meeting with election officials, candidates and civil society representatives. They will report back to the core team in Kampala and the information they provide will be the basis for the mission’s assessment," Gabriel was quoted saying.
The EU said it had secured at least Sh12bn ($ 347 328 000) to help monitor the polls.
Recent reports indicated that opposition parties feared that violence could mar the elections. They accused state security agencies of harassing and making it difficult for them to prepare for the polls.
However, the government refuted the claims, saying opposition parties were organising militia groups that would disturb the country's polls.
President Yoweri Museveni is facing one of his worst challenges since coming into power more than three decades ago.