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Friday,November 27,2020 17:56 PM

Coronavirus: UPDF closes markets, border

By Robert Ariaka

Added 25th March 2020 06:46 PM

Josephine Angucia, the Police spokesperson for West Nile, said the reason the markets are closed is that they attract vendors and buyers from Congo, South Sudan and other parts of the West Nile region and Acholi and Lango sub-regions.

Coronavirus: UPDF closes markets, border

Josephine Angucia, the Police spokesperson for West Nile, said the reason the markets are closed is that they attract vendors and buyers from Congo, South Sudan and other parts of the West Nile region and Acholi and Lango sub-regions.

Vendors selling food items in Arua main road near the Office of the Prime Minister. Photo by Robert Ariaka

CORONAVIRUS

Security operatives in Arua have closed four markets that attracted crowds ranging from vendors and buyers.

The markets are Ejupala in Vurra Sub County, Kubala in Terego, Kampala in Logiri Sub County and Odramachaku Adumi Sub County that attracts vendors and buyers from different parts of South Sudan, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, part northern Uganda and the entire West Nile region.

One driver only identified as Robert said when he reached Ejupala market, soldiers and police arrived and started beating people and pouring food items.

Many people who have beaten sustained injuries and those who bought items from homes went into hiding. He said the business people operating shops in Ejupala trading center closed.

This forced drivers who took vendors and buyers to the market to flee with their vehicles without passengers.

 

Meanwhile, Felix Eyoma Awua, the tenderer for Ejupala market said, he got reports from the LC3 chairman Vurra Sub County that markets that attract crowed from different places should close and obeyed the directive but vendors and buyers flooded the market forcing security operative to beat up people.

He said UPDF officers have been heavily deployed along the border points to block Congolese from crossing to Uganda via porous routes to access the markets.

Eyoma commended the government for taking swift action to close borders and markets because the Coronavirus pandemic is real and deadly.

Josephine Angucia, the Police spokesperson for West Nile, said the reason the markets are closed is that they attract vendors and buyers from Congo, South Sudan and other parts of the West Nile region and Acholi and Lango sub-regions.

She said those who will not adhere to the directives will be arrested for disobeying the directives.

Angucia says markets that operate in town centers and do not attract many people will be allowed to operate but those that attract people from across borders and villages will not be allowed.

She said police will continue with the operations and ensure the border markets and those in the villages that attract people are non-operational till the Coronavirus cases are under control.

Meanwhile business came to standstill at Vurra border post after the President announced the closure of the border to control the movement of people from neighbouring countries.

 
Vurra customs border in Arua district was closed immediately when the President made a directive affecting business.

Trucks are stranded at the Vurra custom border that is heavily guarded by the UPDF soldiers to block from crossing from either side of Uganda and Congo.

Lucy Opinia a businesswoman who deals in sealing of cassava flour in the Ejupala market says they were chased from the market by the police. Opinia complained that the cost of salt has remained at Sh2500 and Sh3000 in some places as opposed to the President's directive on hiking prices on food items and goods.

Opinia says the closure of the border has also affected the Boda Boda business along with the border point.

Bars have all been closed in Arua and the Police continue with patrols to beat up people who hide to drink in some bars at night.

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