4 Dead as Cholera Breaks Out at Kyangwali Refugee Camp

Ugandan television viewers were last evening treated to shocking scenes of an exchange between civilians in Kasese District, check police and the UPDF.

About four people were shot dead in Kisenyi Town council in the western district, during a brawl with police and the army that reportedly followed a botched local council election exercise.

Armed with sticks, machetes and projectiles, angry men are seen charging at armed officers who were shooting in the air to disperse them.

In the heat of the clash, the civilians were gunned down. A number of police officers also sustained injuries.

The Rwenzori Regional police commander Bob Kagarura told NBS Television later on Friday that the charged civilians were part of a radical group that has been causing insecurity in the area.

He also revealed that their aim in the scuffle was to grab guns from the police officers.

Three people he said were arrested to help with the investigations, as deployment got intensified to contain the situation.

Commenting on the shooting, the UPDF spokesperson Lt Col Paddy Ankunda defended the security officers for eliminating the assailants.

Ankunda connoted on his social media sites the incident would be a lesson for the criminal minded persons.

“The Attackers in Kasese had a real hard time,” he tweeted. “No one should ever think that it is such easy business to attack security forces.”

A section of Ugandans however, were outraged by the response of the officers, pointing out that despite being under attack, shooting to kill was not the appropriate alternative.

City lawyer Fred Mpanga noted, “The man with a stick might have been foolish. But the penalty for foolishness is not death by firing squad.”

The Oxfam International Executive Director Winnie Byanyima also added her voice, “We can’t let this go unpunished. Uganda Police Force and UPDF should answer.”

“Ugandans should demand justice. We can’t let this happen with impunity. Let us say no to repression.”

The Uganda Police Act permits Police officers to use fire arms when they have “reasonable grounds to believe that they cannot otherwise prevent” an attack; and after issuing a warning to the offender that they are going to resort to the use of arms and the offender doesn’t heed that warning”

A police officer can also shoot at an offender when he/she has reasonable grounds to believe that he or she or any other person is in danger of grievous bodily harm if he or she does not resort to the use of arms, but only such force as is reasonable in the circumstances may be used.

Four people have been reported dead following a Cholera outbreak in Kyangwali Refugee camp in Kyangwali sub-County, erectile Hoima district.

Hoima district has been battling the epidemic since September. Six people died out of the 261 that contracted the disease in the sub-counties of Buseruka, buy Kabwoya, Kyangwali and Hoima Municipality.

Fred Kugonza the Hoima district Cholera surveillance officer says that epidemic was reported in the Camp about 2 weeks ago, claiming four lives. Over 50 people have been hospitalized at the isolation center that was set up at Kyangwali health center III.

He explains that the epidemic was spread in camp by one patient from the affected sub counties who had gone to visit a relative in the refugee camp.

The Hoima district health department has always attributed the outbreak to open defecation practices and lack of safe water.

Kugonza adds that Lake Albert shoreline has been prone to the cholera epidemic due to poor sanitation and lack of clean water sources.

A team of health personnel has been dispatched to the camp to contain the disease.


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