Uganda: Military Deploy in Arua City as Angry Mourners Accuse Museveni regime of role in death of Abiriga, lawmaker from region

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Mourners marched through the streets carrying Abiriga's coffin.

The military deployed 10 truck-loads of soldiers and eight armored vehicles from Bondo barracks and took control of the city of Arua in Uganda after angry civilians chased away police who were meant to control people mourning the assassination of a member of Parliament from the region.

Angry residents who marched through the streets of Arua could be heard denouncing Gen. Yoweri Museveni's regime and accusing the government of responsibility in the murder on Friday of the MP, Ibrahim Abiriga, who was known for wearing flamboyant yellow suits and matching socks and shoes, the colors of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party dictatorship.

The grief-stricken mourners forced open the funeral service van carrying Abiriga's body and hoisted the coffin on their shoulders and marched with it through the main road in Arua city.

Abiriga was gunned down together with his bodyguard in his yellow vehicle in Kampala, Uganda's capital. He was an unabashed supporter of Gen. Museveni's maneuver in Parliament last November to remove from the constitution a clause barring anyone aged 75 and above from running for president. This paves the way for Gen. Museveni to run again in 2021.

But rather than be rewarded with money, a big house and car, Abiriga did not receive what was promised to him, his father said, after he was killed. Abiriga himself in recent interviews said Museveni had stopped taking his calls.

The Economist magazine reported that Museveni bribed MPs $8,000 to support his bid to remove age-limits.

On Sunday, Arua residents destroyed anything that was yellow colored and broke chairs and other furniture near tents that had been set up for mourners for memorial services and Monday's funeral. Some of the marchers could be heard saying they didn't want Gen. Museveni, Uganda's U.S.-backed dictator of 32 years, to attend Abiriga's funeral.

Earlier Sunday thousands of angry mourners marched on the streets and attacked journalists and drove police away from the city after some officers had opened fire.

It's unclear if there were any fatalities or injuries from the police fire. Several journalist from BBS TV were treated at a local area hospital for undisclosed injuries after being attacked by mourners. Some reporters from NBS took shelter in the military barracks.

Some of the protestors said they would meet at 5AM at the local football ground, Arua Hill, to continue their protest with a march.

(The reporting is from Arua. If you're in Arua, including journalists, please contact mallimadi@gmail.com)

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