Lira Protests: Dozens Injured as Police Use Tear Gas

Tear gas infront of the Yahweh procession in Lira. PHOTO URN

Lira City | THE BLACK EXAMINER | A considerable number of people were injured on Wednesday as the police employed tear gas to disperse hundreds of Christians affiliated with Yahweh Pentecostal Mission. The group was participating in a procession to deliver a petition to the Resident City Commissioner.

Members of the breakaway faction of the PAG Mission initiated the procession from their church at LPC in Lira City East Division, holding placards with various messages. They made their way along Oyam Road and reached the main street, where they encountered the police.

Despite police instructions to return to their church, the demonstrators refused, leading to a back-and-forth exchange. Eventually, the police resorted to tear gas to compel the group to return to their place of worship.

Although many believers later retreated to their headquarters at LPC, their leaders had already proceeded to deliver the petition to Lawrence Egole, the Lira Resident City Commissioner, who promised to ensure it reached the President’s office.

Jimmy Patrick Okema, the North Kyoga Police spokesperson, stated that the procession was illegal, and the police intervened to prevent disorder and disruption of business in the city. He cautioned the church leadership to convey the truth to their followers.

The ongoing dispute between Yahweh and the PAG Mission, following their separation, has centered on the ownership of churches and properties in the Lango Sub-region. PAG recently obtained a court order to reclaim over 200 properties, a decision contested by Yahweh.

Sam Omara, a Senior Pastor of Akia Assembly Yahweh Pentecostal Mission, accused the police of taking sides in property seizures. The conflict between the two factions has led to several confrontations and counterattacks, particularly on Sundays.

Many Christians in village churches are known for carrying pangas and other dangerous weapons to defend themselves in case of an attack.

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