(Xinhua) -- At least 22 people have
been confirmed dead in a Sunday evening fuel tanker explosion in
the western Ugandan district of Rubirizi, a police spokesperson
said on Monday.
Marshal Tumusiime, Great Bushenyi
regional police spokesperson, told Xinhua by telephone that the
joint rescue teams recovered 17 bodies burnt beyond recognition
and 5 others who were identified from the scene of the accident
at Kyambura trading center along the Mbarara-Kasese highway.
"The operation is done.
"We have retrieved 22 bodies.
"We don’t expect more bodies at the scene of the accident,"
"We are not certain of the number of those people still alive
since they were taken to different hospitals for treatment," he
The police spokesperson said the 17 severely burnt bodies
have been transported to the capital, Kampala for DNA tests to
help in the identification process before being handed to
relatives for burial.
The five identified deceased have been handed to their
relatives for burial.
The accident occurred after the petrol tanker from the
western town of Mbarara lost control and rammed into two
commuter taxis and a saloon car.
The tanker burst into flames, killing several people
Police said a stream of liquid fire from the fuel also burnt
about 25 small shops over a stretch of more than 30 meters.
Nine Congolese militiamen
arrested in North West Uganda
KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) --
Nine Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) militiamen have been
arrested by Ugandan security forces on Lake Albert which is
shared by the two countries.
Shuaib Toko, Resident District Commissioner for Pakwach told
Xinhua by telephone on Monday that the militiamen who were
arrested on Saturday were found with guns and army uniforms.
"The militias have been harassing our fishermen on Lake
Albert for long.
"They claim the lake belongs to them, which is not the case,"
He added that the militia confiscate boat engines and fishing
nets from the Ugandan fishermen and later ask for ransom of
about 200 U.S. dollars per person.
"What they have been doing is really dangerous.
"They take the engines and leave the occupants of the boats
at the mercy of the wind.
"As we speak one boat has disappeared and we don’t know yet
where it was blown by the wind," Toko said.
He said so far four boat engines and a number of nets
belonging to Ugandans were recovered from the militiamen who
come from the Congolese territory of Mahagi.
Josephine Angucia, West Nile regional police spokesperson
told Xinhua by telephone that this was not the first time the
militia were attacking Ugandans.
"They have been robbing our people and even killing them.
"We want their case file taken to court and charged with
theft and other related crimes," she said.
She noted that they were set to hold discussions with
Congolese authorities over security concerns on the lake.
East African bloc urges
responsible journalism following misleading report
ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) --
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)
on Monday urged responsible journalism following a recent
"misleading report" about Uganda.
The East African bloc made the urgent call following the
report that quoted the IGAD Secretariat and IGAD South Sudan
Office in a report that asserts Uganda as the "real threat to
peace in South Sudan."
"The attention of IGAD Secretariat and IGAD South Sudan
Office has been drawn to a report in the South Sudan News Agency
website. Headed "Leaked memo: Uganda is the real threat to
peace in South Sudan" IGAD said in a statement issued on
The contents of the report are attributed to an alleged IGAD
Secretariat internal memo leaked to the South Sudan News Agency,
while the location and date are indicated as Addis Ababa on
IGAD, which underscored the vital importance of maintaining
the essence of responsible journalism before broadcasting such
"unverified" contents to the public at large, also urged media
outlets to refrain from publishing inaccurate contents without
establishing the authenticity from its Secretariat.
"Responsible journalism, regardless of the medium-airwaves,
electronic or print-requires bearing full responsibility for the
accuracy, credibility, and verification of the information
sought to be conveyed before broadcasting the same to the target
audience and public at large," IGAD said.
The regional bloc, which described the report as a
"misleading report," also urged all media outlets both across
the region and beyond to verify such sensitive contents
"IGAD Secretariat and IGAD South Sudan Office are not aware
of any efforts whatsoever by the South Sudan News Agency to
establish the authenticity of the purported leaked Internal
Memo," the statement read.
"Had this been done, it would have been very clear that IGAD
Secretariat and IGAD South Sudan Office do not engage in the
typology of activity and innuendos mentioned and suggested in
Report," IGAD said, adding "the motive of the publisher would
have been called to question."
IGAD is an eight-member regional organization comprised of
Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan
IGAD also stressed that the report portrays against its
mission towards "promoting regional cooperation and integration
to enhance efforts by the member States to achieve peace,
security, and prosperity throughout the region."
It also emphasized its mandate of promoting peace and
stability in the region and creating mechanisms for the
prevention, management, and resolution of inter-state and
intra-state conflicts within the region through dialogue.
Condemning the recent report that stated Uganda as "the real
threat to peace in South Sudan," IGAD also stressed that "Uganda
unwaveringly adheres to IGAD’s mission and mandate, as do all
the other seven member states and in this regard continues to
play a crucial role in the peaceful resolution of the conflict
in South Sudan."
"Therefore, against the above background IGAD Secretariat and
IGAD South Sudan Office are dismayed by the report by South
Sudan News Agency, more so at this time when the focus should be
on implementation of outstanding critical activities of the
Pre-Transition Period," the statement read.
Noting that the approaching deadline for the extension of the
Pre-Transition Period of November 12 this year, the East African
bloc also stressed that "the support of all well-wishers of the
people of South Sudan, including the media, can never be more
vital at this time."
Chinese envoy to Uganda
dispels smear campaign against Chinese companies
KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) --
Chinese Ambassador to Uganda Zheng Zhuqiang on
Tuesday said a smear campaign against Chinese enterprises must
be seriously opposed.
Zheng was speaking at a competition event where local
employees of Chinese enterprises exhibited their skill set.
The ambassador was speaking in reference to a Wall Street
Journal article published earlier this month, alleging that
Chinese telecom Huawei aided the Uganda and Zambia intelligence
officers in spying on the opposition politicians.
"I must reiterate that the fake news from the Wall Street
Journal recently, full of ridiculously fabricated stories,
is utterly groundless, whose ulterior schemes are highly
"Such irresponsible smearing must be seriously opposed,"
He said the Chinese government has always insisted on the
principle of non-interference in each other’s internal affairs,
and urges Chinese enterprises to abide by laws and regulations
when doing business overseas.
Zheng said China and Uganda have a long history of deep
political mutual trust and fast-growing business cooperation.
He said over the years, China has supported Uganda to
construct major infrastructure projects, such as Karuma Hydro
Power Plant, Kampala-Entebbe Expressway, among others.
He noted that Chinese enterprises have fully engaged in the
infrastructure projects, employing more than 80,000 local staff.
"Among them are not only the employees doing construction
work, but also in the position of middle and top management.
"The industrial parks invested by Chinese entrepreneurs and
enterprises also create tens of thousands of jobs in Uganda and
will employ more local staff," he said.
Regarding the Wall Street Journal report, both the Ugandan
and Zambian government have dismissed them as "malicious" and
Huawei also refuted the report as unfounded, with inaccurate
allegations against its business operations in Africa.
The multinational company said its code of business conduct
prohibits any employees from undertaking activities that would
compromise its customers or end users’ data or privacy or that
would breach any laws.