Lawyers under the Legal Aid Services Providers Network (LASPNET) have asked government to disband the Local Defence Unit (LDU) which has often been singled out in abuse of human rights.
The cases of LDU personnel brutalizing and even killing civilians peaked during their recent deployment to support the rest of the armed forces in enforcing COVID19 prevention guidelines.
Addressing the press in Kampala yesterday, Dr. Sylvia Namubiru the Executive Director LASPNET asked Parliament, Human Rights Commission and heads of security agencies to put an end to this abuse.
“Parliament has powers while working with the Ministry of Internal affairs to disband the LDU force which has become more dangerous than Coronavirus in the country. COVID 19 has not yet killed any person in Uganda but many have died during enforcement of the preventive guidelines,” she said.
However, while responding to these calls, UPDF Spokesperson Brig Richard Karemire said disbanding the LDU wouldn’t be necessary.
“Regarding calls to disband LDUs by some groups, there is no reason for that,” Karemire said last evening.
“They have over a long time, while working with other forces, contributed tremendously to peace by fighting crime. The few who commit operational mistakes are always corrected and/or punished. This is on record.”
Meanwhile, the lawyers called on Parliament to pressure the Executive to find a substantive Chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission.
Ever since the passing of Hajji Medi Kaggwa, the Commission was left without a chairman, which according to LASPNET has limited the human rights watchdog to a few activities.
On the side of administration of justice, Namubiru asked the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Jane Frances Abodo to facilitate timely prosecution of human rights violations with evidence so that they can be convicted and serve as example for other would be offenders.