Vivian and I started our morning with a bowl of cheerios and a video chat with Scott and Theophilus. They were sitting at 1000 Cups, an awesome Ugandan coffee house in the city. "By the way," Scott said casually, "there is rioting in town."
"What's that supposed to mean?" I asked.
"People are upset about something concerning the king of Buganda (tribal king of the Bugandan people). There were lots of policemen armed with shields and tear gas. Pray for us because we're about to drive home."
Scott told me on the phone that some cars were being burned due to the riot...
Ugandan police head out to face crowds. I have passed this building many times...
By and large Uganda is a quiet and peaceful nation. Disturbances and violence are relatively low compared to other African countries. But as many Ugandans are aware, peace in a developing nation is not always a secure thing. Idi Amin's reign of terror 30 years ago still reigns in their memories. Under the placid surface lie tensions that if provoked and manipulated could rupture.
The heart of the rioting is occurring near the Buganda palace, the residency of the King. This is blocks from Mark and Martha Kamara's school. Many roads were shut down and barricaded in the area, but thankfully, they were able to fetch the children and bring them home before anything more serious occurred.
I do not think these particular riots are a very serious threat. But I DO think they reveal that political tensions and unrest are actively present in the Pearl. Upcoming elections and possible shifts in power create many possible story lines that plague the imagination. All we can do is pray and trust God, that He will protect this tiny nation where SO MANY faithfully call upon His name.
For more details on the current rioting visit the BBC News Africa page or click the following http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4438090.stm
Also visit New Vision's online site, http://www.newvision.co.ug/ New Vision is the leading newspaper in Uganda.
It seems that city life will be shutting down for the next couple of days. This alters Scott's plans some. He sounds completely fine, and not too worried about the unrest, but Sarah is nervous. Mutungo, where Ranch on Jesus is based, is just 13 km from Kampala. It is unlikely that the rioting will spread to our area, nevertheless pray that the disturbances are quickly and calmly contained and that peace would reign in the hearts of those at Ranch.