Uganda cracks down on fresh protests

2011-10-17 21:26

Kampala - Ugandan police on Monday cracked down on demonstrators in Kampala protesting against rising inflation and the cost of living, using tear gas and rubber bullets to dispel the activists.

"We have [been] trying to restore order, but people were throwing stones and other objects at us. These were hooligans," police spokesperson Iddi Senkumbi told dpa.

Shops have been closed in several parts of the city as hundreds of anti-riot security personnel were deployed to contain any unrest.

Ten students at Kampala High School were rushed to hospital after a tear gas canister exploded in their classroom as they were sitting for end-of-year examinations, the Kampala-based Radio One reported.

Political demonstrations and riots over the high cost of living have been periodically rocking the East African nation since President Yoweri Museveni was re-elected this year. The demonstrations are often struck down by security forces.

Prices of essential items including fuel and foodstuffs have more than tripled. The inflation rate stands at a whopping 28 per cent.

According to the Daily Monitor newspaper, 10 leaders of the pressure group Action for Change, which organized the latest demonstrations, have been arrested.

Over the weekend, Museveni, who has been in power for over 25 years, warned the activists not to stage new protests.