Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Uneasy Calm After Kampala Riots

The city centre is a virtually deserted save for the Red Tops (Military Police) and their less formidable, but quite scary cousins, the anti riot-police. The scenario reminds me of images of Baghdad presently or of Belfast a few years ago. Its like there is an armed person for every five civilians moving about.

Besigye is now at Buganda road court and the whole place around there is a no-go area.

Earlier this morning, I tried to walk down towards Pioneer Mall from the City Square but I soon changed my mind after witnessing a bunch of mean looking Red Tops prodding the ribs of anybody who was stationery or looked to be up to no good (according to them) and urging them to move on. They don't want anybody idling around today. I wonder where all those to whom the city square is a day-time address, office and siesta venue have relocated to.

It’s a pity how these riots have turned Kampala’s CBD from a vibrant, if somewhat chaotic place, into a near ghost town. Everybody is on edge, a backfiring car would probably send everybody diving for cover.

Thankfully there are no riots today-yet. I will only feel safe after Besigye has left the courthouse and he is out of town. I get the feeling that the rioters are just waiting in the shadows for the slightest to wreck further havoc on the city.

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