15 May 2016

Uganda: Police Close Road Over Bomb Scare

Amuria — Police in Amuria District have detonated a land mine along Amuria - Abim road that had caused panic among travellers to Teso and Karamoja sub-regions.

The bomb scare on Friday prompted security personnel to block the road for hours and diverted traffic to Abim to ensure safety of the travellers.

Cases of land mines became common when the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels invaded Teso in 2003 and abandoned unexploded devices and many parts of the sub-region.

Land mine

According to the East Kyoga police spokesman, Juma Hassan Nyene, the rusty land mine bomb was found in the middle of the road in Amilimil village, Abwanga parish in Kuju Sub-county.

"We sealed the road to prevent passengers from danger and we have made a diversion to avert this," Mr Nyene said.

Mr Nyene added the bomb could have been planted by the LRA rebels when they operated in the Teso sub-region 13 years ago.

LRA invasion

The LRA invaded Teso in June 2003 killing hundreds of people and displaced thousands of others who were herded into squalid Internally Displaced Persons Camps.

The sub-region also suffered insecurity in the late 80s during the cattle rustling and Uganda People's Army rebellion.

The land mine, Mr Nyene said, was an isolated incident that does not warrant any form of panic.

Police had by press time opened the road with motorists free conducting their business.

However, residents said government should come up with a programme that will make sure that it recovers all arms in the area, especially those in wrong arms.

Many people, according to residences, have fallen into traps mounted by armed robbers and have lost property, got injured and others have been killed.

Key issues

Safely removed: The rusty land mine device was safely removed from the road with the road reopened for traffic moments later.

LRA remnant: Police said the land mine could have been some of the LRA remnants that had been planted at the hieght of the 20-year insurgence.

The appeal: Residents want government to institute a programme that will rid the sub-region of all arms, especially those in wrong hands which are at times used to terrorise people.

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