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Police officers undergoing crowd management training in Masaka

FILE PHOTO: Ugandans at a political rally.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  | Dozens of policemen in the greater Masaka policing sub-region are undergoing refresher training on crowd management and other policing techniques.

The officers drawn from The Field Force and Anti-Riot Police Units in the nine districts of greater Masaka region are converging at Masaka police primary school playground where they are undergoing rigorous training in public order management.

Greater Masaka regional police spokesperson Paul Kangave says that each of the districts sent-in at least ten officers for the training, which is part of a nationwide programme undertaken by the police leadership to equip their personnel to effectively carry out their policing roles.

He explains that the officers are being trained in handling smoke grenades, black bullets and other non-effective explosives as well as effective use of anti-riot gears. At the different intervals of the day sounds of gunshots are heard in areas around Masaka town as well as smokes rising from the training field.

According to Kangave, the training is in anticipation of extensive demonstrations and riots that may arise ahead of the 2021 general elections. He adds that the political environment ahead of the polls requires police to be well prepared.

Kangave adds that after the training, they will also reach out to the public to sensitize them on how to appropriately enjoy their civil rights especially on procedures of holding peaceful demonstrations.

The training of police officers comes at the time when the force is being criticized for its high handedness in dealing with demonstrations, especially by opposition political players.

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