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Tension In Northern Uganda After Two Indians Charged With Murder

In Uganda, two Indian men have been charged with the murder of a boy in the northern town of Lira.

Anger flared up in the area over the case leading to violent protests on Saturday.

A local radio station, Unity FM, was closed and five members of staff arrested for what the authorities said was inciting violence against Indians and Pakistanis.

The station manager denies this and says they were simply reporting on the unfolding story.

The two Indian nationals appeared in court to face charges of murdering Dickens Okello an 11-year-old boy living 15km (25 miles) from the town.

The incident happened just over a week ago but it sparked anger following allegations of a cover up by authorities, who said the boy died of a heart attack.

The two suspects are being held in remand outside the district to avoid further tensions.

Saturday’s violence came after Dickens’ funeral as crowds attacked police officers and property belonging to Indians and Pakistanis.

Most of these business owners migrated to Uganda in recent years.

Asian-owned businesses remain closed in Lira.

Security forces have stepped up deployments in the town and meetings have been planned to calm the situation.

A representative from the Indian Association of Uganda told the BBC that repairing relations between the two communities will take time and would include dealing with economic inequalities.

-BBC

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