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UPDF conducting own investigations into November riot killings

Army and Defence Spokesperson, Brig Flavia Byekwaso

Kampala, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT | In a bid to understand who shot and killed 54 people during the sporadic protests that followed the arrest of presidential candidate, Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine, Uganda People Defence Forces –UPDF is also conducting own investigations.

Protests which in some areas turned into riots started when police commanded by former Kampala police commander, Frank Mwesigwa, arrested Kyagulanyi at his campaign venue in Luuka District.

Brig Flavia Byekwaso, Army and Defence Spokesperson, said the public will be updated once the investigations are concluded. The probe, according to Brig Byekwaso, is intended to establish if any of their personnel deployed that day was responsible for the innocently killed people.

President Yoweri Museveni, quoting a partial report availed to him by director Criminal Investigations Directorate, AIGP Grace Akullo, said out of the 54 people killed in the protests, 20 of the killed people were innocent.

Brig Byekwaso said for that reason, UPDF has to ensure investigations are done thoroughly by viewing all footages and gathering information on who was responsible for 20 people who lost their life in the November 18 and 19 riots.

“The investigations are going on, and we are talking about every person who was innocently killed and others” Brig Byekwaso said.  But when it is ready we shall come out.”

Various police sources who spoke to Uganda Radio Network –URN after the shocking killings attributed to them to uncoordinated operations by various security agencies. Some police officers said they saw plain clothed security personnel from Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence –CMI, Internal Security Organisation –ISO, Crime Intelligence shooting at people who were standing by roadside and verandas on Arcades.

Videos were also shared on social media showing Military Police and other UPDF soldiers shooting inside buildings. Plain clothed men were also seen firing randomly in crowds in places like Nasser Road, Kampala Road, Mukono, Usafi and Banda.

Police Spokesperson, Fred Enanga, last week told journalist that ballistic and forensic experts had picked some guns of security personnel captured firing at crowds with the view of connecting them to casings picked from the ground and and to bullets retrieved from bodies to their guns.

Since the protests ended, a number of people have been grabbed and bundled in numberless vehicles by plain clothed men. Various security personnel have claimed that the plain clothed men arresting people are from CMI.

However, Brig Byekwaso said she had not been informed about people arrested by CMI. “Unfortunately, I don’t have this information that CMI is picking people. From my institutional point of view, I do not think that this is CMI. I spoke to them and they said they do not have them,” Brig Byekwaso said.

A senior police officer told URN that they are receiving people coming to their police stations searching for their people allegedly arrested for orchestrating protests but they have not appeared in court and they do not know where the missing persons are. 

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URN

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