17 February 2013

Uganda: Mbarara Residents Clash With Police

Angry residents of Nyeihanga trading centre along the Mbarara-Kabale road have insisted they will not end their protests until they get better services.

Without electricity for a month, the residents say they are tired of complaining to leaders who do not listen. Last week, residents blocked the Mbarara-Kabale road for over four hours, forcing police to intervene, with tear gas and rubber bullets. Ten residents were picked up but were later released on police bond.

"For how long will we accept to keep quiet when our problems are not solved? We have never had clean and safe water since we talked to our leaders," said one Elias Katwire. "I think the language [they] understand better in Uganda now is demonstrations."

However, Regional Police Commander Martin Abilu warned residents that all demonstrations would be crushed. He urged a community policing meeting last week to avoid confrontation.

"Even if you made 100 demonstrations, they will be crushed and what you are demonstrating for may never be achieved. There are several avenues to resolve issues than demonstrations," Abilu said.

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