Ugandan police have announced heightened security measures in anticipation of Martyrs Day celebrations on Monday, June 3, to ensure the safety of pilgrims making the journey to Namugongo township (Kampala) to visit historical religious shrines. Local authorities have advised the pilgrims to avoid late night movements, coordinate with the police on how to use the busy traffic roads, and remain particularly vigilant while in Kampala, due to busier traffic and congestion, as well as heightened criminal activity.
A heightened security presence, large crowds, and associated traffic disruptions are likely over the coming weeks.
Nearly a million pilgrims worldwide come to Uganda for Martyrs Day celebrations every June 3, to pay homage to a group of 45 Anglican and Catholic martyrs who were executed during the persecution of Christians under Kabaka (King) Mwanga II of Buganda kingdom, between 1885 and 1887. A shrine was erected in Namugongo in their memory. Many of these pilgrims hail from neighboring countries, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, and South Sudan, trekking long distances on foot to participate in the commemoration.
Individuals in Uganda, and particularly those in Kampala, are advised to monitor developments, anticipate heightened security measures and traffic disruptions, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
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