Terror in Panyangara, Uganda

Terror in Panyangara, Uganda

For the last few weeks we have been having some serious security concerns. There have been individuals going round knifing and slaughtering people around Panyangara. Initially these were isolated cases. We helped some of the victims to get medical attention. However, the situation suddenly worsened last Monday and up to now things are very bad and the fear and tension is very high.

On Monday afternoon a young lady from Panyangara was murdered on her way back from Kotido going to Panyangara. Her stomach was cut open and she was left to die there holding her four months old baby. Soon after that the killers went on a rampage knifing and killing people within the Napumpum area. The killing went on until Tuesday morning. The police were alerted and in fact they came but they could not reach Napumpum because the road was flooded.

On Tuesday morning a young man was murdered by a mob in Panyangara, right next to the gate to our mission. He was suspected of being part of the murderous gang that has been terrorising people. He was found with an ‘esuka’  (a cloth for covering the body) and a jug of the woman who had been murdered the previous day. Later that day a group of young men from Napumpum and the police who were tracking the footprints captured a man who is believed to be one of the murderous gang. This man is well known to me. He had once threatened to kill me and I was saved by the late Francis Teitei.  In fact I saw that man that Monday evening while I was driving to Kotido and he tried to stop me. It has since been established that he is the one who murdered the young lady.

On Tuesday evening, with the tension level still too high, a young man was attacked near the Panyangara Kotido Bridge. Fortunately due to the quick response of the police and the Panyangara young men who were patrolling, the assailant was quickly captured. In the night of Tuesday two more people were attacked in Napumpum.

Wednesday was a day of burial and mourning the victims of this murderous gang.  Unfortunately in the evening the youth of Napumpum spurred on by fear and rumours that the murderous gang had come back, went wild searching for suspects. They identified three young men and killed one instantly. The other two were saved by the army and police who had to use several tear gas canisters to disperse the crowd.

Over ten people are dead now with several injured. The situation remains tense. The people are terrorised beyond measure. As I am writing this email I can hear gunfire from the direction of our windmill. I will know later what is going on. Keep us in your prayers

Sylvester Odhiambo mhm

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