Reliefweb.int 'reports' below.
Didn't say why they rounded up the people to begin with.
No satellite photo, of course.
Source: Deutsche Presse
Date: 3 Feb 2004
Fire burns huts, displaces 30,000 in
Uganda refugee camp
The fires began during a military operation in Pabbo camp, about 400 kilometres north of Kampala, when a soldier threw a lit match on a heap of dry grass, according to a statement by the Italian Comboni Missionaries.
The missionaries said that government forces arrested 6,000 people from the camp Sunday. Some of them were injured when they tried to escape from the soldiers and save their huts and belongings from the fires.
Pabbo, home to 62,000 displaced people, is the largest of the numerous makeshift camps sheltering civilians fleeing the rebellion in the region.
The 17-year long civil war pitting government forces against Lords Resistance Army (LRA) guerillas has displaced over a million people in northern Uganda.
"Around two thousand huts have gone up in flames in Pabbo displaced camp (Gulu) between Sunday and Monday. The fire started Sunday during a round-up operation by the UPDF in which about 6,000 men were arrested,'' the Comboni Fathers said in a press release.
"Some (witnesses) said that a soldier started the fire when he started smoking and carelessly threw the fire away and it fell on a heap of dry grass,'' the missionaries said in the statement signed by Comboni Fathers press officer, father Carlos Rodriguez.
The region's army spokesman Lieutenant Paddy Ankunda denied that a government soldier started the fire, but confirmed that at least 4,000 grass-thatched huts had been burnt displacing 30,000 people.
The army official also said that arrests had not been made during the operation. But Sudanese army uniforms and 800 rounds of ammunition were recovered from an abandoned house in the camp.
According to the Comboni Fathers: "By midday (Sunday) thousands of men were kept in Pabbo market when smoke rose as huts began to burn. The detainees asked the army to allow them to go and save their belongings, but the soldiers refused.''
"Some men then began running away and soldiers fired shots and threw stones at them. Some of the detainees responded with stones. Three men were injured, one of them seriously, and one is admitted in Lacor hospital,'' the statement added.
dpa hw pb sc
exception of public UN sources, reproduction or redistribution of the above
text, in whole, part or in any form, requires the prior consent of the original