Gunfire Rocks Arua Diocese Top story

3398 Views Arua, Uganda

In short
James Okuni, a parishioner of Ediofe Parish, says police picked up 16 suspects, prompting Christians to ring the church bells attracting more people.

There was gunfire at Ediofe Cathedral after an angry mob attempted to raid the home of Rt. Rev. Sabino Ocan Odoki, the Bishop of Arua Diocese. 

Chaos is said to have started when police moved in to arrest Christians who were guarding the grave of the late Bishop Fredrick Drandua inside the cathedral. Bishop Drandua, the retired Ordinary of the same diocese, died on September 1st and was buried a week later inside the cathedral.
 
James Okuni, a parishioner of Ediofe Parish, says police picked up 16 suspects, prompting Christians to ring the church bells attracting more people. As a result, the residents moved in and smashed the window panes of the Parish block, burnt documents and destroyed the temporary prayer structure as the cathedral is still under renovation.
 
 
They tried to raid the Bishop's house, prompting his military and police guards to open fire leading to running battles.  By Thursday morning, more officers from the police and army had deployed at the cathedral to contain the situation. 

This morning, a group of Christians armed with placards calling for the removal of Bishop Odoki attempted to march to Arua Central Police Station to demand the unconditional release of their colleagues but were blocked by the army and police. 

Monsigor Casto Adetmi, the Ediofe parish priest has called for dialogue with the warring parties to address their concerns.
 
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Haji Ibrahim Saiga, the West Nile Region Police Commander and Arua District Police Commander, Jonathan Musinguzi declined to comment on the attack, saying are still busy coordinating the operations to protect church property from further destruction.
 
Today's chaos, comes a few days after Saiga penned a letter to the Inspector General of Police, saying there is need for the Vatican and the Catholic church in Uganda to consider moving Bishop Odoki. 

He also asked the authorities to neutralise Martin Andua, the leader of the group opposed to the Bishop if the tension in the diocese is to be addressed,