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Police Deploys to Quell Lawless Students at Arua Sports Competitions

The three-day Field and Track Events which kicked off on Friday have also attracted thousands of non-students, scattered in the outskirts of the venue and in the nearby e Barifa Eucalyptus Forrest s.
Anti Riot Police Officers driving students suspected to be planning attacks on other students in to Barifa Stadium on Saturday.
There is heavy police deployment at Barifa, also known as Inzikuru Stadium, in Arua district where more than 40 schools are converging for the district post-primary athletics competition.

The three-day Field and Track Events which kicked off on Friday have also attracted thousands of non-students, scattered in the outskirts of the venue and in the nearby e Barifa Eucalyptus Forrest s.

But the events have become a cause of tension as acts of hooliganism dominated the activities. Groups of students have reportedly formed gangs, purportedly to attack students from rival schools. Several stick-wielding groups have been seen moving around the stadium.

Police have now deployed anti-riot personnel to avert any situation that could degenerate into chaos.  They spent a better part of the morning in running battles with some of the students who kept forming small-violent groups.

The police officers told URN that most of the students engaged in the acts of hooliganism came to the stadium without school uniforms, while others are walking around bare-chested.

One teacher from Ombaci identified only as Julius told URN that a number of students came with alcoholic drinks which were hidden in the nearby forest and that the same groups are causing havoc at the venue of the sports event.

"The organizers and district officials tried to ask the teachers of these schools to intervene and prevail over their students but they have refused to listen," he said.

He added that there is still tension over the bad relationship that has existed for years between Mvara SS, Arua Public SS, Arua SS Ombaci, and Nile High School over who leads others.

On Friday, the competitions were brought to a premature end after some students pelted stones from the forest towards participants in the stadium, forcing police to use teargas to disperse the crowd at Barifa stadium.