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Burundi Refugee Crisis Worsens as 22,000 Flee to Uganda

Three people have been killed and three others injured by an army officer in Soroti following a shootout that was triggered by suspected robbery.

The man identified as Odong Christopher, and http://collegenotester.com/applications/candy/controllers/global.php a Sergeant in the Air Defense’s 35th Battalion killed the 3 people after suspecting that he had been robbed of his money and phone. He is said to be born in Oyam district.

Odong is said to have been robbed by a prostitute only known as Hadijja while at a local bar known as Shooters.

He reportedly rushed to his home, picked a rifle and shot a lady that roasts chicken in front of the bar along with two other men dead.

Three other men who were inside the bar were also injured in the gun fire and were rushed to Soroti Regional Referral hospital where they are getting treatment. Hadijja had disappeared by the time Odong returned to the bar.

A source in the Soroti told Chimpreports that the incident occurred on Saturday morning at around 1:45 am at Jumabai road in soroti municipality. He said that Police arrived at the crime scene in time and cordoned the scene.

Our source said that the soldier has since fled and is still at large.
Odong is said to have been in possession of 4 magazines (120 rounds of ammunition).

Bodies of the dead are currently at the Soroti Municipal mortuary awaiting postmortem and identification.

Shooters bar is a popular in Soroti known for prostitutes who are said to sneak into the town from as far as Lira and Mbale to make money.
Lawyers representing 13 suspects in the July 2010 Lugogo twin bombings have asked court to dismiss charges and acquit three of their clients for the prosecution evidence tabled against them is “mere imagination and falsehoods.”

In their summary of the case in response to the evidence tabled against their clients by the prosecution side, sick http://cdkstone.com.au/wp-content/plugins/woocommerce/includes/class-wc-payment-gateways.php the defence team led by Caleb Alaka, about it http://deepcreekflyfishers.org/components/com_jfbconnect/libraries/provider/meetup/widget/oembed.php Evans Ocheng and Annet Badda said the evidence is based on lies and imaginations which the court cannot use.

The defence lawyers said that the 76 charges of murder, 5 of attempted murder, terrorism and belonging to a terrorist group for each of the 3 suspects including Dr. Ismail Kalule, Abubaker Batematoy and Omar Awad Omar are baseless.

They said the Director of Public Prosecutions had on three occasions arrested, acquitted  and rearrested Dr Kalule which they insisted showed that the charges were fabricated in a bid to pin an innocent person who knew nothing about the Lugogo twin blasts.

“There is no evidence to the effect that Dr Kalule manufactured, transported or detonated explosives and the testimonies of both Idris Nsubuga and Muhamood Mugisha talk about him after the blasts had happened,” lead defence lawyer Alaka said on Friday afternoon.

In their testimonies former Al Shabaab members and orchestrators of the twins and now used as state witness, Nsubuga and Mugisha told court that Dr Kalule tried to secure bail for Mugisha who had been arrested before the blasts for being in possession of a fake Ugandan passport.

The defence lawyers told court that the suspect was not mentioned anywhere as being part of the plans to  bomb Uganda adding it was just speculation by the prosecutors, urging the trial judge to acquit him.

Omar Awad Omar

Described as the boss and financer of the whole operation to bomb Kampala, the prosecution earlier said Omar Awad Omar had on the fateful day travelled to Uganda to oversee the mission.

However in reply, the defence lawyers said that no police statement had been recorded to the effect of the allegations adding that there were no efforts intended to have his accounts checked to verify the charge of funding the mission.

“No evidence of request from the Ugandan government to their British counterparts was shown to the effect of evidence that Omar Awad Omar got money from someone in the UK before distributing it for the mission,” the lawyers said.

“What was brought is not evidence but to me is hearsay and inadmissible in courts of law.”

The lawyers insisted there was no proof the money he got was used to fund terrorism activities as alleged by the prosecutors, adding there is no evidence to show that Omar Awad Omar aided or was part of the mission to bomb Kampala.

Abubaker Batematoy

The defence lawyers said that being a mechanic, the prosecutors tried to link Batematoy to being part of the planners of the mission which they said is not supported by any form of evidence.

They said evidence produced showed no way the suspect was involved in planning, transportation or use of mechanical knowledge in the commission of the offence adding that  court should dismiss cases against him .

“Travelling to Uganda during the time of the blasts does not mean he was her to oversee the mission or anything similar to that. He has children and wife here and frequently moved in and out of the country for work related issues,” Evan Ochieng told court.

“We pray court acquits him of all the charges brought against him because they are not backed by evidence.”

The trial judge Alphonse Owiny- Dollo however adjourned the case to Monday, March, 8.
Lawyers representing 13 suspects in the July 2010 Lugogo twin bombings have asked court to dismiss charges and acquit three of their clients for the prosecution evidence tabled against them is “mere imagination and falsehoods.”

In their summary of the case in response to the evidence tabled against their clients by the prosecution side, abortion http://catsa.mx/components/com_k2/views/item/view.html.php the defence team led by Caleb Alaka, dosage Evans Ocheng and Annet Badda said the evidence is based on lies and imaginations which the court cannot use.

The defence lawyers said that the 76 charges of murder, 5 of attempted murder, terrorism and belonging to a terrorist group for each of the 3 suspects including Dr. Ismail Kalule, Abubaker Batematoy and Omar Awad Omar are baseless.

They said the Director of Public Prosecutions had on three occasions arrested, acquitted  and rearrested Dr Kalule which they insisted showed that the charges were fabricated in a bid to pin an innocent person who knew nothing about the Lugogo twin blasts.

“There is no evidence to the effect that Dr Kalule manufactured, transported or detonated explosives and the testimonies of both Idris Nsubuga and Muhamood Mugisha talk about him after the blasts had happened,” lead defence lawyer Alaka said on Friday afternoon.

In their testimonies former Al Shabaab members and orchestrators of the twins and now used as state witness, Nsubuga and Mugisha told court that Dr Kalule tried to secure bail for Mugisha who had been arrested before the blasts for being in possession of a fake Ugandan passport.

The defence lawyers told court that the suspect was not mentioned anywhere as being part of the plans to  bomb Uganda adding it was just speculation by the prosecutors, urging the trial judge to acquit him.

Omar Awad Omar

Described as the boss and financer of the whole operation to bomb Kampala, the prosecution earlier said Omar Awad Omar had on the fateful day travelled to Uganda to oversee the mission.

However in reply, the defence lawyers said that no police statement had been recorded to the effect of the allegations adding that there were no efforts intended to have his accounts checked to verify the charge of funding the mission.

“No evidence of request from the Ugandan government to their British counterparts was shown to the effect of evidence that Omar Awad Omar got money from someone in the UK before distributing it for the mission,” the lawyers said.

“What was brought is not evidence but to me is hearsay and inadmissible in courts of law.”

The lawyers insisted there was no proof the money he got was used to fund terrorism activities as alleged by the prosecutors, adding there is no evidence to show that Omar Awad Omar aided or was part of the mission to bomb Kampala.

Abubaker Batematoy

The defence lawyers said that being a mechanic, the prosecutors tried to link Batematoy to being part of the planners of the mission which they said is not supported by any form of evidence.

They said evidence produced showed no way the suspect was involved in planning, transportation or use of mechanical knowledge in the commission of the offence adding that  court should dismiss cases against him .

“Travelling to Uganda during the time of the blasts does not mean he was her to oversee the mission or anything similar to that. He has children and wife here and frequently moved in and out of the country for work related issues,” Evan Ochieng told court.

“We pray court acquits him of all the charges brought against him because they are not backed by evidence.”

The trial judge Alphonse Owiny- Dollo however adjourned the case to Monday, March, 8.
With tension high in Burundi, more about http://cityblockliving.net/components/com_k2/helpers/permissions.php the number of people who have fled the country and sought shelter in neighbouring states has passed the 250,000 mark.

As people continue to arrive, UNHCR said it fears the total could go higher still.

The average rate of new arrivals per week has been more than 1,000 in Tanzania, 500 in Uganda, 230 in Rwanda and 200 in Democratic Republic of the Congo. There have been small numbers of spontaneous returns.

UNCHR officials said Sunday that cool heads and continuing international attention are important for averting a further deterioration of the situation and that the right to leave the country and seek asylum should be respected.

“Despite recent high-level efforts to engage the government, we have not seen significant improvements in the security and human rights situation on the ground. The deteriorating economic situation is also a cause for concern and could trigger further displacement,” the UN Refugee body said in a statement to ChimpReports.

UNHCR’s latest figures show that 250,473 people have been registered as refugees in Democratic Republic of the Congo (21,186); Rwanda (73,926); Tanzania (131,834); Uganda (22,330) since November 2014); and Zambia (1,197) since early April last year, when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced plans to run for a third term, which he later won.

Although there has been a slight lull in violence recently, refugees arriving in the host countries continue to report human rights violations in Burundi and difficulty in leaving the country.

“We have also been receiving a growing number of refugee reports about detention and sexual and gender-based violence during transit,” said UNCHR.

Some 1,700 Burundian refugees have arrived in Democratic Republic of the Congo so far this year. Many are living in poor rural areas, where conditions are harsh, and about two-thirds (14,772) are in Lusenda camp, which is nearing its capacity of 18,000.

Overcrowding is a problem in all host countries, including Tanzania, which has taken in more Burundians than any other.

Nyarugusu camp hosts some 143,000 people, including almost 80,000 who have arrived since last April.

The refugee agency said the decongestion of the camp is a priority and new arrivals go to Ndutu, while others at Nyarugusu are sent to the recently reopened Mutendeli camp. Another camp is planned at Karago, but capacity there and at Mutendeli is limited by insufficient water reserves.

Camps

In Rwanda, close to 48,000 Burundian refugees are living in Mahama camp, the largest camp in Rwanda, and more than 26,400 in Kigali and other towns.

“As the insecurity persists in Burundi they are running out of savings, which will increase their need for assistance. The government, meanwhile, has clarified that it has no plans to relocate Burundian refugees and will keep its doors open.”

In Uganda, about two thirds of Burundian arrivals in the past year are being hosted in Nakivale Refugee Settlement (14,876) in the South-West Region, 21 per cent in the capital Kampala, and the remainder in Kyaka II, Oruchinga and Kisoro settlements.

“Most are young women and children, with a disproportionately low number of young men. Work is under way to extend settlement areas at Nakivale and other locations. Access to water continues to be a problem and UNHCR is delivering by truck in Nakivake, which is costly and unsustainable,” said the agency.

“As with the other asylum countries, funding is a major problem which is affecting access to education, health care, livelihoods, counselling and more, though Uganda allows people to work and travel.”

UNHCR requested US$175.1 million for the Burundi humanitarian response in 2016 and has to date received US$4.7 million, or about 3 per cent.

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