The Inspector General of Police Gen Kale Kayihura and the state minister for internal affairs James Baba have rushed to the West Nile district of Arua to calm rising tensions in the Catholic community.
Arua town was a scene of violence through out Wednesday night into Thursday morning when christians of Arua diocese protested against the leadership of the incumbent Bishop Sabino Odoki whom they accuse of neglect.
Dozens were arrested by Police on Thursday morning after protests broke out at the church.
The drama begun at 1:30 am in the night with an eviction of faithful from the Ediofe cathedral where the grave of the former Bishop Frederick Drandua was placed. The eviction quickly escalated into violence and a make-shift structure where mass was occasionally held was razed down. The running battles continued into the morning as Christians sought to walk through the town in protest.
Police used teargas to disperse the protestors and attempt to bring calm to the town. Over 20 people were arrested.
The Arua catholic diocese has been tense since the death of Bishop Emeritus Drandua. There have been simmering tensions for a while now in the diocese between christians and their newly appointed Bishop.
Bishop Odoki Acan’s short reign in Arua has been marked with numerous suspensions of senior priests and shake ups in administration.
The christians accuse the Bishop, formerly the Auxillary bishop of Gulu Archdiocese, of neglect while he in turn says many of the christians dislike him because he does not hail from Arua.
By the time of his death in September, Drandua who was the second bishop of Arua diocese and the first Ugandan to occupy the position cut a very imposing figure.
He had set up several projects for communities in the diocese and even attempted to bring affordable and reliable electricity to the people of West Nile in the 1990s.