Monday, February 15, 2016

The Violence Has Begun

News travels very fast here in this Third World Nation of Uganda!

We were delivering a set of drums to the Dove Voice Band in Kampala Monday afternoon (and hoping that my iPhone replacement had arrived from France) when Ezra received a phone call from a friend advising him to stay away from the heart of Kampala.

Why? ... we asked.

Kizza Besigye, one of seven presidential candidates, had been detained for a brief period by police.  The police communicated that Mr. Besigye was not under arrest, but had been held because he had disobeyed orders not to disrupt city traffic.

Dr. Besigye is in the white shirt
Besigye supporters, however, reacted to their candidate's brief detainment.  Though unconfirmed, we heard that tear gas was used and even one person died from the riot that resulted.

With just three days remaining before votes are casts on Election Day, February 18, the violence has begun.  Though it is not a good sign, those of us in Uganda are still hoping for the best and assuring one another that the election and its consequences will be carried out without civil war.

This past Saturday, the final Presidential Debate was conducted with all candidates (including the current President who boycotted the first debate) resulting in a mostly civil discussion of issues for more than three hours. After the national anthem was sung, religious leaders mounted the platform and led the event in prayer ... after requesting that ALL candidates join hands for prayer.

The events of Monday in the center of Kampala seemed to have no memory of that act of solidarity.

Evidence of tear gas being used
There is so much history, so many past riots, so much tension, that the nation is unsettled and unsure of what the next several days will yield.  Many are hoping that a safe navigation will be made through this election without bloodshed, a military takeover, or even an attempted coup.

God have mercy.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing, you all and the nation is in our prayer!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Praying for courage and safety in uncertain times and places. May God's plans prevail for Uganda!

    ReplyDelete

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