12 June 2018

Uganda: One Dead, 5 Injured in Arua Mayhem

Photo: The Observer
Arua Municipality MP Ibrahim Abiriga’s bullet-riddled car.

One of four people that security forces shot on Sunday while dispersing a rowdy crowd accompanying the late MP Ibrahim Abiriga's body, has died at Arua Regional Referral Hospital.

Vincent Candiga, 21, took a bullet that ruptured his liver and stomach, damaging his intestines.

The hospital director, Dr Alex Adaku confirmed that he died yesterday afternoon. Two others; 53-year-old Betty O'biru and Twalib Asiku, 32, remained hospitalised with injuries to right leg and right arm, respectively.

The fourth victim, Morris Embani, 23, who was hit by a bullet in the left thigh was discharged after showing remarkable recovery.

Meanwhile, 36-year-old Gideon Amati, who fractured his right arm while fleeing the rowdy mob, is still admitted at Arua hospital alongside Mackey Ejoyi, who was pelted with a stone.

The details of the injuries had by press time not been revealed.

The West Nile regional police Spokesperson, Ms Josephine Angucia, was last night reluctant to discuss the matter.

"There were injuries, but I do not have any credible information on how many were injured and how many were arrested after the fracas," she said, promising to provide details later.

She also discounted separate claims by Arua mayor Issa Kato that the violence displayed by should-be mourners was cultural.

"[The Sunday] violence was not a cultural way of mourning. The violence was beyond and we suspect incitement of the violence by some politicians," Ms Angucia said.

Chaos broke out mid-way as the bodies of fallen Arua Municipality MP Ibrahim Abiriga and his brother Saidi Buga Kongo were being transported from Arua airfield, 3km north of the town, to his home in Anyafiyo on Sunday. The charged crowd smashed windows of the A-Plus funeral service vans and forcibly took the remains, carrying each casket aloft while singing local revolutionary songs.

They later damaged windscreens of vehicles along the road, targeting government vehicles, and hurled stones to crush windows of roadside buildings, including the NRM next to the central police station.

Police responded by firing a volley of teargas and bullets to flush the people from Abiriga's home, culminating in casualties.

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