10 June 2018

Uganda: Police Fire Bullets, Teargas to Disperse Mourners At Slain MP Abiriga's Home

Photo: Michael Kakumirizi/Daily Monitor
Mourners carry the casket bearing the remains of Ibrahim Abiriga in Arua town.

Hundreds of mourners have been dispersed at the fallen MP, Ibrahim Abiriga, as the police tried to reclaim the bodies of slain MP Ibrahim Abiriga and his brother Saidi Butele Buga that were hijacked from the A-Plus Funeral Service Van.

The youths who turned rowdy right from the Arua airfield smashed car windows, burnt a motorcycle and injured some passers-by as they carried the caskets aloft. The police then reorganized and started firing live bullets and teargas to disperse the mourners.

The Regional Police Spokesperson, Ms Josephine Angucia, told Daily Monitor that: "We had to swing into action because the youths had turned rowdy and causing destruction. We have not yet established how many vehicles and motorcycles were vandalised. But one motorcycle was burnt near Bugema University, Arua campus."

The angry youths destroyed chairs and pulled away tents that were erected at late Abiriga's home. Some people lost their phones while journalists were pelted with stones. Two of the journalists have also lost their cameras and phones.

The mourners who had gathered at the MP's home were forced to flee for their safety. Traffic has been paralysed as many used the near-by bushes to escape from the bullets and teargas. It remains unclear if the prayers that were scheduled to be held at Arua Primary school grounds will take place before the bodies could be flown to Lukudu village in Rhino Camp for burial tomorrow.

The Arua RDC, Peter Debele, who is also the head of security in the district, said: "This is not a good way to handle the body of our MP. This was totally unacceptable for the youths to mishandle the body. We had to disperse them by force."

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