Uganda Police Force has run out of rubber bullets forcing officers to resort to live ammunition to disperse protesters. This contravenes the standard operating procedures and Anti-riot training. Rubber bullets are used by police for crowd control with intentions of inflicting a superficial injury.
Apart from quelling riots and demonstration, rubber bullets are acceptable internationally as the best bullets for target shooting and self-defense. Once fired at close range, rubber bullets have capacity to break a bone or even kill.
Unlike in the past when police used rubber bullets, teargas and water cannons to disperse crowds, police have been using live bullets over the past one month, which has so far claimed four people and injured several others.
A reliable source within the force told this publication that ‘the police Anti-riot armory is lacking rubber bullets hence the use of the live bullets to quell riots.’
Police spokesperson, Emilian Kayima could neither deny nor confirm the lack of rubber bullets. He however, said the use of live bullets is not about what is in the armory but rather the intelligence at hand.
The worst demonstrations to be handled by Police since 2010 were the ‘Walk to Walk’ protests led by Retired Colonel. Dr. Kizza Besigye, the former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party president shortly after the 2011 general elections.
Both police and the army used rubber bullets to disperse the crowds apart from the day of swearing in president, Yoweri Museveni. One of the rubber bullets fired by soldiers who rushed to back up police on Gayaza road hit Besigye’s finger.