6 July 2014

Uganda: Dozens Killed in Clash With Ugandan Police

Photo: Ann Doornebal/RNW
Uganda police officers (file photo).

Ugandan police claim to have killed 41 attackers in a gunfight with tribal warriors from the Democratic Republic of Congo. According to police, the fighting continues to rage.

"There was an attack by tribal gunmen on our barracks in Bundibugyo [Western Uganda] and we repulsed them, killing so far 41 of the attackers. The operation is ongoing," Paddy Ankunda, Uganda's army spokesman, said on Sunday.

UPDF defeats attacking gunmen, kills 41 - Paddy Ankunda (@defenceuganda) July 5, 2014

Three soldiers and three family members were also killed in the violence, and the attackers stole at least 9 guns and grenade launchers from the army.

Other attacks also occurred in Ntoroko and Kasese, which neighbor Bundibugyo.

The attacks came hours after the army announced that it had killed an individual who was suspected of being involved in attacking a church two weeks ago. The Muslim attackers decapitated a woman and put her head on the altar.

Thus far, military and police officials have denied that the attackers are affiliated with Islamist rebel groups such as the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). The ADF reportedly has ties with Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab rebels.

"The Kasese and Bundibugyo attacks are linked to tribal difference, not the ADF," army spokesman Ankunda said and later tweeted.

Kasese, Bundibugyo attacks linked to tribal differences not ADF - Paddy Ankunda (@defenceuganda) July 5, 2014

The UN Security Council slapped sanctions on the ADF on Tuesday. The rebel group has been cited with sexually abusing women and children, recruiting child soldiers and attacking UN peacekeepers.

Yesterday, Uganda police spokesman Fred Enanga said that the attackers likely came from "radical elements" in a group known as Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu. Its members, who come from the Bakonzo tribe in Congo, have long had tense relations with the Bamba tribe which is found in west Uganda.


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