05 May 2011

Uganda's Riots

Between the headlines of Japan, Libya, the Royal Wedding and Osama... you probably haven't heard 30 seconds about riots in Uganda and the chaos that is escalating each day...

I have resisted writing for weeks but at this point it affects just about every moment of our day...
Is it safe to drive into town?
Is it safe to take the boys to school?
Is it safe for Christine to go into town without me?

What is it all about?

A simple protest... 3 weeks ago opposition leaders decided to walk-to-work until the President could explain the rapid inflation in Uganda... Unfortunately the protesters weren't allowed to walk and immediately the city came under military rule... so now daily we pass crowds of militia wearing vests of bullets and AK-47s, riot trucks for spraying tear gas and military tanks ready to crack down on anyone appearing to oppose the government...

Then last Friday the town of Kampala erupted as video footage leaked of police beating and unarmed former presidential candidate who was simply driving to the bank... they smashed his windows... filled the car with tear gas until he ran out and then senselessly beat him...

It seems power has even blinded the President's wife... formerly known for being outspoken about her Christian faith... into defending her husbands Idi Amin-like actions... 

So with the news now reporting on this... why am I bothering to write?

1) I agree with the protesters - power is a drug.... it is addicting, intoxicating and blinding to men who start out with the best of intentions... I believe that it is right for the people to call out for accountability... so if it means that my is interrupted with rocks pelting my car, tear gas fills my eyes or having to sit for hours locked down until there is quiet... I believe that what the people are crying for is a righteous cause. Every leader needs accountability!

2) I am frustrated tired of the constant worry... Daily I have to worry about my wife and sons and any movement they make. Christine and I daily have to decide whether or not to send the boys to school and I have arranged my schedule to ensure that they don't have to go in town or to school without me.

3) We want people to pray for our safety and wisdom in the daily decisions we make. This morning we did decide to send Christine and the boys to California at the end of the month for a physical, spiritual and emotional rest. There are many reasons not to go home: finances, the riots could end any day and there is much to do here... but at the end of the day living with constant fear and worry takes its toll and at this point the relief we feel with the decision is all the confirmation we needed...

1 comment:

Melinda said...

Thank you for letting us know what is really going on. It's difficult to get any info other than on Al Jazeera, and even that is spotty. I will be praying for you guys.