Lynch Mob Besieges Gulu Police Station

2516 Views Gulu, Uganda

In short
Gulu residents and motorbike (boda boda) cyclists today morning stormed Gulu central police station demanding the handover of two suspected thugs.

Gulu residents and motorbike (boda boda) cyclists today morning stormed Gulu Central Police Station demanding the handover of two suspected thugs.
 
The angry residents and boda boda riders wanted police to hand over the suspects who were arrested this morning. The suspects stand accused of robbery.
 
The growing mob claimed that police would later release the suspects without charge.
 
But Patrick Jimmy Okema, the Aswa regional police spokesperson, declined to hand them over. He explained to the sceptical crowd that police needed the suspects to help identify their accomplices.
 
The crowd wanted to lynch the two suspects who they believe are part of a gang responsible for the murder of three boda boda riders in Gulu this month.
 
//Cue in: "Whatever is happening....
Cue out:....we have to stop here"//
 
When the mob threatened to vandalise the Land Rover to be used to transport the suspects, Police fired tear gas, rubber and live bullets to disperse them.
 
The two suspects were apprehended by boda boda riders as they allegedly tried to con a woman who had withdrawn money from Crane Bank. They were saved from instant mob justice by a local councillor who rang up police to rescue them.
 
Recently the police and the Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) in Gulu teamed up to fight crime.  This follows a spate of robberies and deaths related to armed robbers. Today's arrest brings the number of suspected robbers arrested to 17 in the last 2 months. Four guns have been recovered in Acholi subregion.
 
Meanwhile Innocent Aloyo, a Mega FM journalist and two other people are nursing serious injuries after they were knocked by a speeding police vehicle this morning. The journalist is being treated at Gulu referral hospital.

 

About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.