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Fights at Taxi Stands Because of Fuel Shortage

December 21, 1987

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) _ Fights and scuffles broke out at bus and taxi stands Monday as people fought for places in the few available vehicles because of a fuel crisis caused by the closure of the border with Kenya.

At Kampala’s main bus and taxi stand, groups of up to 30 people struggled to get into one car even though fares have been tripled and more by the fuel shortage.

Queues of more than 300 cars grew outside gas stations where drivers waited eight to 10 hours for rations of 5.2 gallons of gasoline per car. Many stations had no fuel.

″My car has been here since last Friday. We were told that at any time they would get delivery, but up to now there is nothing,″ said farmer Daniel Kato.

Buses and taxis are the most common form of transport in Uganda.

Fuel rationing in this landlocked state was introduced Wednesday, the third day of a four-day border shootout between Ugandan soldiers and Kenyan paramilitary police that has closed the frontier between the East African neighbors. It is the most serious flare-up in a year-long diplomatic row between the two countries.

More than 60 percent of Uganda’s fuel is transported by road from Kenya’s Indian Ocean port of Mombasa.

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