Uganda: police close Catholic radio station

 A Catholic radio station in Uganda went off the air during a religious broadcast last Wednesday, when Ugandan police raided the premises and took away equipment. Staff now say they are "under seige". The station, Radio Kyoga Veritas FM, housed within the compound of the Soroti Catholic Diocese Integrated Development Organization (SCDIO), was overrun by police led by district police commander Patrick Awai, News Without Borders reports. Claiming they were carrying out a security search, the police confiscated the station's news scripts and 25 tapes of testimonies by people affected by the fighting in the region between rebels and government forces, recently broadcast by the station. Fr Athanasius Mubiru, the station director, said: "They have been saying that we have been putting on air sensational news. But we have not." He said the station had recently broadcast news and interviews about attacks by LRA rebels in Katakwi - but these were done to alert people for their own safety. "What the people of Teso need is the truth, it is only the truth which will solve this war situation," he said. Fr Mubiru said security officials have warned that they intend to make a further inspection of the station. Fr Mubiru said he has held meetings with the Army Commander, Maj Gen Aronda Nyakairima and other security officials. Bishop Erasmus Wandera has held discussions with the Minister of State for Defence, Ruth Nankabirwa, in Soroti. Veritas FM reaches about 14 districts, including those affected by the rebel insurgency. The LRA rose up against the Ugandan government in 1988, ostensibly to replace it with a regime based on the Bible's Ten Commandments. But the campaign has been marked by abductions and killings of civilians. Four Catholic missions have been attacked and dispensaries and convents vandalized in the region since the LRA made incursions into northeast Uganda. Source: AFP/NWB

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