Sunday July 27 2014

Rwenzori attacks: Govt to probe brutal arrests

The Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale

The Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura (C), talks to one of the police officers attached to Bundibugyo police station who was one of the eye witnesses of the attack. PHOTO BY Colleb Mugume 

By Ruth Katusabe


Government plans to set up an inquiry into the alleged brutality of security officers who arrested and tortured suspects of the Rwenzori attacks.
Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, said police is going to start up a special investigations committee to investigate the officers who used excessive force during the arrest of suspected attackers.
“Anybody in security found guilty of using excessive force during the arrest of suspected attackers will be held accountable as an individual,” Gen Kayihura said.
During a press briefing on Thursday evening at Bundibugyo Police station, Gen Kayihura, who had come to monitor police operations in the district, said a thorough investigation against the suspected security officials will be conducted.
Meanwhile, police pathologists and detectives on Wednesday exhumed bodies in mass graves located in Bundimulombi village in Bundikeki parish in Kirumya Sub-county Bundibugyo District.
Gen Kayihura said police sent a team of experts to investigate allegations that some of the survivors of attacks were killed and buried in mass graves. “I had to move to this district to establish and find out the success of the work,” Gen Kayihura said.
He said the exhuming exercise was done successfully and nine bodies had been discovered from four different mass graves.
“We want to establish how these people were killed and who killed them,” he added.
He said bodies retrieved from the graves were in tracksuits which was a uniform for suspected attackers.
Dr Moses Byaruhanga, a pathologist and head of health unit Uganda Police Force, said bodies were dressed in blue tracksuits with white strips.
“We are going to carry out postmortem and treat the bodies for preservation and make a report about the cause of death,” Dr Byaruhanga said. He said some samples will be taken for DNA tests in Kampala, adding that police was waiting for relatives of the deceased to claim the bodies.
“In case these bodies are not claimed, we shall pack them in preservation bags and bury them in a decent way,” he said.
The Rwenzori regional police commander, Mr Thomas Kasimo, said when police got information that there are more mass graves in Bumdimulombi village, they deployed security operatives to guard the graves.