7 January 2016

Uganda: Police Fire Teargas, Bullets to Block Besigye From IDP Camp

Two people were injured after police opened fire to block Kizza Besigye, the Forum for Democratic Change presidential candidate from visiting Toriet IDP camp in Amanang Sub-county in Bukwo district.

Besigye, who was on his way from Suam (Uganda-Kenya) border town, was asked by supporters at Akoro trading centre who insisted that he addresses them too. The residents told Besigye how they were living in deplorable conditions in the camp following their eviction from Mt Elgon.

They complained that they lack basic facilities like health centers and clean water sources and asked Besigye to tour the camp to see it all firsthand.

After listening to the residents' complaints, Besigye and his team decided to tour Toriet Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp but were blocked by police led by Gerald Twishime, the Siipi Regional Police Commander saying they couldn't visit any area which is outside their campaign program. Interestingly, the District Police Commander Alfred Baluku had okayed the visit but was overruled by Twishime.

Twishime directed Besigye and his team to proceed to Amaang primary school ground where he was scheduled to hold a rally. In defiance, Besigye insisted on touring the IDP and within moments the waiting police started firing teargas and live bullets to disperse the crowds.

Two residents including 70-year-old Amin Sadick and another whose identity was not readily available were injured in the fracas. The residents regrouped later and led Besigye to the camp. Jack Wamai Wamanga, the Mbale MP who is part of Besigye's convoy condemned the incident saying the police action was uncalled for.

He said they would continue with their campaign of defiance until they cause a peaceful change of government. Also injured, FDC claimed were Besigye, Nandala Mafabi, Ingrid Turinawe. We couldn't independently verify this.

Wamanga accused police of acting on the orders of the incumbent government and NRM presidential candidate, Yoweri Museveni.


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