Meanwhile, several women fainted and collapsed on the ground as the crowd became uncontrollably, overwhelming the Red Cross team that had staged a first aid camp at the airport. Groups of youth overpowered security, forcibly opened the ambulances and seized the two caskets.
Although Abiriga is not a Lugbara but a Madi-Okollo, he represented a mainly Lugbara people of Arua municipality. The Lugbara and Madi-Okollo are also culturally and linguistically similar, all belonging to the Sudanic stock.
Joel Chakua, a Lugbara and graduate teacher, says the chaos at Abiriga's funeral "looks strange and a surprise but originally that's how people mourned in our culture, however natural the death was".
According to Chakua, head of Entebbe Adult Education Centre and now in his mid 40s, during his childhood "all funerals were chaotic and destructive", concluding that once they have vented their anger "it will cool down!"
Aldo Candia, another Lugbara, says such chaotic scenes at a funeral, like Abiriga's, is "true and normal". Candia says "in our culture that (chaos) is normal but others see it unique".
Being cultural, its likely the local organisers took that in stride, but never imagined the magnitude. Chakua says in Lugbra culture, especially in the olden days, "granaries would be pulled down, crops destroyed in the garden, and so forth, as a sign of outpouring of grief".
In Abiriga's case, explains Chakua, "the violence should even be worse, we should be seeing bows and arrows".
According to Chakua, if the security forces are not informed of this cultural aspect, they may overreact, and as he puts it, "this will make matters worse".
Chaos at Ibrahim #Abiriga funeral "looks strange and a surprise but originally that's how people mourned in our [Madi-Okollo] culture, however natural the death was," says Joel Chakua, a Lugbara and graduate teacher. "The violence should even be worse" #AbirigaShooting pic.twitter.com/crZFYWKPiS— The Observer (@observerug) June 10, 2018