Masaka Peaceful after Two Days of Election-Related Clashes

Calm has returned to Masaka this morning after two days of running battles between anti-riot police and a group of youth.

Fighting erupted between supporters of Isaac Ssejjoba, the MP of Bukoto Midwest and those behind Joseph Muyomba Kasozi, the Central Uganda youth MP. Kasozi recently launched his campaign to replace Ssejjoba in parliament.

The clashes begun on Wednesday night at about 10 p.m. ahead of celebrations to welcome Kasozi to Bukoto Midwest.

Witnesses claim that Ssejjoba's supporters gate crashed the party and started to beat up Kasozi's supporters, accusing them of organizing an illegal assembly. 10 people were seriously injured in the fight.

Yesterday afternoon, the clashes continued when Isaac Ssejjoba's supporters erected several roadblocks to Joseph Kasozi's planned campaign venue in Kiryankuyege trading center.

Titus Byaruhanga, the Masaka District Police Commander, says the police had to use force to break up the fighting crowds in Kiryankuyege. He says the youth were found with pangas, hoes and the clubs, which they planned to use against each other.

The police boosted security in Kiryankuyege and around Lwengo, the sub-county in which it is located.

Both MPs have denied any part in fueling the clashes.

Isaac Ssejjoba says he was in Kampala at the time and had no knowledge of what his supporters plan. His rival, Joseph Kasozi, hasn't commented on the fracas.

This isn't the first time supporters of the two MPs have been involved in public brawls. Last month, during a wedding party in Katosi village, the two groups exchanged blows over a disagreement as to which MP should address the revelers first.