Anger At Uganda Plan To Name Road After Slain Tourists

Anger At Uganda Plan To Name Road After Slain Tourists

Uganda’s decision to name a road after the two foreign tourists tragically killed during their honeymoon has ignited controversy within the country. David Barlow, a British citizen, and his South African wife, Emmaretia Geyer, were shot dead in a violent attack on October 17, during which their car was also set ablaze.

Criticism has arisen as some Ugandans question the government’s choice to honor the foreign couple while not extending the same recognition to Eric Alyai, the Ugandan guide who lost his life alongside them.

The couple, hailing from Berkshire in the UK, had been visiting the Queen Elizabeth National Park to observe gorillas and primates when they fell victim to an attack by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an Islamic State-linked rebel group known for operating primarily in the eastern part of the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.

The decision to name a road after the tourists was confirmed by Uganda’s Minister for ICT and National Guidance, Chris Baryomunsi. While the road’s name remains undisclosed, the government has pledged support for Mr. Alyai’s family, who mentioned that he leaves behind a widow and a one-year-old child.

However, there is growing sentiment among Ugandans that a road should also be named in memory of Mr. Alyai, given his role and tragic loss in the incident. Criticism has been directed at the perceived inferiority complex displayed by the government, particularly regarding the naming of the park after a British Queen.

Furthermore, the government has faced reproach for planning a memorial for the foreign tourists without taking similar action to honor the many Ugandans who have been victims of ADF attacks in the past. One such incident involved an ADF attack on a Ugandan school in June, resulting in the tragic loss of 41 children.

This controversy isn’t the first time that Ugandan authorities have faced criticism for their handling of the deaths of the couple and their guide. Recently, the Uganda Wildlife Authority was admonished for posting a photo promoting the Queen Elizabeth National Park shortly after the deaths of the couple and their guide. The insensitivity of this promotion, which included a caption about tourists enjoying a game viewing, was met with public outrage and described as a failure of humanity by Ugandan human rights activist Daniel Kawuma.

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