Ethnic clashes force 200 western Ugandans to flee

Kampala- Uganda (PANA) -- At least 200 people have fled their homes following renewed ethnic clashes which started last Sunday in the western Ugandan district of Kabale, police authorities have confirmed.
Involved in clashes, suspected to be election-related, are the Bakiga and Banyoro ethnic groups in Kakindo, Bugangaizi County, 400 km from Kampala, the Ugandan capital.
Police spokesman Asuman Mugenyi Friday evening confirmed that over 200 people had fled their homes as the clashes intensified and were now camped at Katikara trading center located 26 km from Kakindo.
Mugenyi told PANA that the Kabale District Police Commander, Fabin Drazi had reported that at least 11 people had been arrested in connection with the unrest.
They are scheduled to appear in court next Monday to answer charges of inciting violence.
He also said the police had recovered several weapons, including spears and machetes, which would be tendered as exhibits in court.
Others sources said that 40 houses had been burnt while several acres of banana plantations had also been destroyed during six days of fighting.
Contacted by telephone, Kabale's district chairman, who is also the Resident District Commissioner, Patrick Baliddawa, told PANA that security had been beefed in the district since the violence erupted.
"We have been expecting this to happen in Kakindo, Nkooko and Kasambya.
Our security is enough to contain the situation," Baliddawa said.
Tribal clashes in many parts of the western Uganda districts are common before and after major elections as rival candidates want to out-do each other.
Parliament had instituted a probe on the election-related violence last year but its operations stalled as the country moved into another parliamentary election.
President Yoweri Museveni's right-hand man, Eriya Kategaya, cautioned recently that electoral violence and vote rigging could undermine the Movement or no-party system introduced since 1986.

05 april 2002 18:39:00




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