Ugandan Rebel Priestess Flees Refugee Camp After Riots
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) _ Ugandan warrior-priestess Alice Lakwena and more than 100 other people rioted and then fled a United Nations refugee camp in central Kenya, a newspaper reported Tuesday.
Camp manager J.M. Wambugu said the refugees damaged a government vehicle, broke doors and beat up the camp’s storekeeper Monday before they fled over a fence into surrounding bush, the Daily Nation reported.
The camp holds more than 750 refugees, two-thirds from Kenya’s western neighbor, Uganda, and the remainder from Ethiopia to the north and Somalia to the east.
District Commissioner Fred Mwango said refugees who ran away will be arrested if found, charged in the violence, and repatriated.
The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees granted Ms. Lakwena refugee status last year after she completed a four-month prison term for crossing into Kenya illegally, according to the Nation.
Ms. Lakwena, 28, who called herself a medium of God, fled to Kenya in December 1987 after Ugandan government forces defeated her yearlong suicidal crusade to wrest power from President Yoweri Museveni.
She inspired her fighters to go into battle singing hymns, their chests smeared with oil they believed would repel bullets and armed with stones she said would explode like grenades. Thousands died before Museveni’s army crushed her campaign.