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I will not stop militarising police - Kayihura

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Police officers show off their skills at the pass-out in Masindi on Friday last week. Gen Kayihura says the current violence in some parts of Uganda calls for a militaristic police. PHOTO BY ANDREW BAGALA. 

By ANDREW BAGALA

Posted  Sunday, March 9   2014 at  19:18

In Summary

At least 700 Special Field Force Police Unit officers are currently undergoing special training in the police training school in Masindi to deal with violent crimes and civil disobedience in Kampala. A group of North Koreans are training them

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KAMPALA.

The Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, has vowed to continue with what has been termed as militarisation of the force, saying the situation demands so because people confront police in a militaristic nature.

Gen Kayihura, who was passing out narcotic and scene of crime officers at Police Training School Kabalye, Masindi District on Friday, said several groups are now using civil disobedience and violence in a bid to take power.

Will not apologise
“Some people have been complaining that I am militarising the police but I am not going to apologise. I am militarising the police because the situation we are dealing with is militarised,” Gen Kayihura said on Friday.

The opposition and some activists have over the years complained of a well-intentioned plan to militarise the police, characterised by wanton abuse of human rights.

They say the manner in which the police handle civil disobedience, which is characterised by violence, is illegal.

However, Gen Kayihura said the current environment demands that he militarises the police, citing the September 2009 Buganda riots, which were characterised by violence.

He also said the recent Walk-to-Work campaign that he said was well coordinated had an agenda to take power illegally from an elected government.

However, Gen Kayihura said incidents of terrorism and riots across the world have changed style of policing, which calls for a revision of tactics in order to manage such violent and illegal activities.
He said during the Buganda riots, suspected rioters had tried to take over main junction like Busega, Nateete and others in order to neutralise security officers.

“I am training a force to handle Kampala. If there is anything I will do for Uganda, it is to have a safe Kampala,” he said. Kampala has been the scene of most of the violent riots.