Ediofe Rioters Face Charges

Josephine Angucia, the North Western Region Police Spokesperson, says the suspects have been charged under Arua CRB 2586/2016.
Ediofe Cathedral that has been blocked by police and army as they man security of the premises
Police has slapped charges of malicious damage to property and criminal trespass against 23 Christians accused of raiding Ediofe Cathedral in Arua district. The suspects were picked up in the wee hours of this morning when they stormed Ediofe Cathedral where they vandalized property before attempting to raid the house of Rt. Rev. Sabino Ocan Odoki, the Bishop of Arua Diocese.

Josephine Angucia, the North Western Region Police Spokesperson, says the suspects have been charged under Arua CRB 2586/2016. By the time of filing this story, the suspects were expected to appear before Arua Chief Magistrate, Robinson Kumaketch. According to Angucia, prior to the raid on the cathedral, police opened a general inquiry file 19/2016 after Bishop Sabino Ocan Odoki filed a case of threatening violence.

She also discloses that the Inspector General of Police, Kale Kayihura is on his way to Arua to try and mediate between the Bishop and those opposed to his leadership. The conflict between the Bishop and Christians escalated on September 12th when he handed a letter to President Yoweri Museveni accusing some members of his flock for attempting to kill him.

“I was almost killed on September 5, 2016 by some terrorist group in Arua. I was going to die together with John Baptist Odama and the vicar general Premus Asega,” read the Bishop's letter. He particularly accused Martin Andua, the Chief Administrative Officer, Arua District and Patrick Pariyo, a parishioner at Christ King parish in Arua of masterminding the plot to hound him.

"Your Excellency if this group is not contained, they will disrupt peace in Arua and the whole of Northern Uganda, they are promoting tribalism, they want the wealth and resources of Arua diocese, your intervention is very important your Excellency" reads the last paragraph of the letter.

Upon receiving the letter, President Museveni directed police to investigate the matter. Following the investigations, Ibrahim Saiga, the West Nile Region Police Commander penned a letter to the Inspector General of Police confirming the threats against the Bishop and deployed two officers to guard him.

He also recommended dialogue as the most suitable means of resolving the conflict in Arua diocese and advised, that the Vatican and Catholic Church considers transferring the Bishop elsewhere. Saiga also recommended that being a government employee, Martin Andua, the said leader of the group, should be neutralized and guided to respect government's standing orders regarding his violent behavior.

When asked to comment on the allegations, Andua said he will give a formal response to the allegations when the group names him as their leader.

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