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Army, Police Maintain Deployment at Kotido School

There is still army and police deployment at Kotido Senior Secondary School in Kotido district, a month after students staged a violent strike that left property of the school vandalised.

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There is still army and police deployment at Kotido Senior Secondary School in Kotido district, a month after students staged a violent strike that left property of the school vandalised.

The Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) has deployed more than six soldiers to help the police at school since July 24th, the day of the strike. 

The school head teacher, Jackson Matsanga, says they cannot take any chances given last month's experience.

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The Resident District Commissioner, Peter Logiro, justifies the UPDF deployment saying it is due to the thin numbers of police officers in Kotido. Logiro says the UPDF soldiers will stay at the school until authorities deem the situation fit for their withdrawal.

The District Education Officer, Romano Kapel, says the deployment is for safety of both students and teachers and their property.

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However, some students who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of being reprimanded expressed fear over the military presence at the school. They note that armed men scare them especially at night making them to answer nature's calls in baskets.

On Friday evening gunshots were heard at the school when one of the students in the Girls' Dormitory reportedly tried to burn a generator. The student is allegedly unhappy over a fine of 100,000 shillings levied on her as one of the ring leaders of the  strike, which left window glass panes for the science laboratory and some classrooms destroyed. 

The students went on strike in protest against the poor state of the latrines, lack of chemistry reagents, poor quality food and congestion.

Kotido is a mixed boarding school with over 2600 students, making it the one of the most populated secondary schools in the region.

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