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Police move to secure foot pilgrims ahead of Martyrs Day

Police Spokesman Fred Enanga said that police has mapped out security strategies ahead of  Martyrs Day celebrations (PHOTO/File).

KAMPALA – Police have announced plans to provide security to all pilgrims heading to Namugongo martyrs shrine ahead of the Martyrs Day celebrations on June 3.

According to police, every year, more than half a million Christians celebrate the Uganda Martyrs by making the pilgrimage to Namugongo, in what is the country’s biggest annual gathering of worshipers in the country.

“As a result, the number of pilgrims and other faith-based tourists visiting the historical religious shrines is significantly increasing every year. This therefore, is to inform the public that the joint security task team, actively policing the annual event, has, as part of its wider, mapped out security strategies, tasked all territorial commanders and their respective communities to be sensitive to the feelings of the pilgrims, travelling on foot, and ensure they receive maximum security and hospitality, within their jurisdiction,” police spokesman Fred Enanga said in a statement on Monday.

Thousands of pilgrims arrive at the Namugongo shrines last year. (FILE PHOTO)

“We would like to further remind them that amongst the many hundreds, are pilgrims from different parts of Uganda as well as from the immediate neighbouring countries of DRC, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and South Sudan, who trek the long distance in advance, on foot in honour of the Uganda martyrs. It is therefore very essential that their safety and security, along the major highways, is guaranteed and to further provide reassurance, support and advice to the pilgrims,” he added.

Mr. Enanga urged urge all team leaders to the pilgrims walking, for safety purposes to ensure the pilgrims carry warm clothing, avoid late night movements, identify habitable places for sleeping, and to coordinate with the police on how to use the busy traffic roads on their spiritual journey to Namugongo, to help prevent accidents along the way.

“And in addition, they are reminded to be more vigilant while in Kampala city due to the busier traffic and congestion and to guard against criminals who would wish to prey on the unsuspecting pilgrims travelling to Namugongo,” he said.

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