UHRC faults army on torture of fishermen

Wednesday November 20 2019
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Operation. People assemble illegal fishing gear that was confiscated by soldiers at Kibuye Landing Site in Lwampanga Sub-county, Nakasongola District, on May 26. FILE PHOTO

The Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) has faulted the UPDF Fisheries Protection Unit (FPU) in Nakasongola District over human rights violations.
The UHRC remarks come after two fishermen were killed during an operation against illegal fishing on Lake Kyoga recently. Six others were also injured.
The UHRC central region office conducted an impromptu investigation and found that the duo died during the FPU operations.

“The UHRC impromptu investigations confirmed the death of Justine Nayiga, a resident of Buruli quarters in Nakasongola Town Council and Noah Erume, a resident of Kabasonbwa in Nakasongola Town Council. Six people had been admitted to Nakasongola Health Centre IV after sustaining injuries as a result of the FPU operations,” Mr Medi Kaggwa (RIP), the UHRC chairperson, told journalists at Luweero District headquarters on Tuesday.
“UHRC intervened by opening a complaints’ file for the surviving victims and commencement of the investigations,” Kaggwa added.
Mr Sam Kigula, the Nakasongola District chairperson, said his office was aware of the investigations.

“It is unfortunate that the incidents cost life but we have left the respective offices to handle the matter,” Mr Kigula said in a telephone interview on Tuesday.
The Lake Kyoga Fisheries Protection Unit spokesperson, Capt Rugumayo Araali, in an interview last month, said the UPDF was aware of the death of Nayiga who was part of the mob that assaulted a UPDF soldier. He added that they were waiting for a postmortem report to confirm the cause of death.

Last month, the State Minister for Defence, Col Charles Engola, told a stakeholders’ meeting at Kasambya Fish Landing Site that President Museveni had ordered the UPDF to investigate acts of torture of civilians and ensure that culprits are brought to book.