No Need for Investigations; Gov’t Disregards HRW Report on Kasese Killings

Government has come out to criticize the report released on Wednesday by Human Rights Watch which recommended among other interventions an international independent investigation into the November 2016 clashes in Kasese and suspension of commandants of the military operation.

At a news conference summoned shortly after the report was published, adiposity the Police and the army have reverted describing the report as ‘inconsistent’ and ‘lacking depth on the genesis’ on events that occurred in Kasese.

Brigadier Richard Karemire the UPDF spokesperson who addressed the press along with police spokesperson AIGP Andrew Feli Kawesi and government Spokesperson Ofwono Opondo disregarded the findings of Human Rights Watch.

He said the report downplayed the magnitude of lawlessness in Kasese which nearly culminated into a genocide adding that there’s no need for any investigation so far.

“Uganda doesn’t lack independent investigative capacity if there’s need. The call by HRW to suspend our officers is uncalled for and unacceptable because we didn’t find them at fault, thumb ” the government said.

Brig. Karemire gave an account of 13 coordinated attacks between June and November last year by militia and youth belonging to the Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu on police officers, soldiers and police posts. He said during the attacks, security forces were killed, guns stolen and several civilians killed.

“Guns recovered from the Omusinga’s palace on November 27 when the army conducted a raid after the Rwenzururu King refused to have the militias disbanded were the same guns stolen from police.”

“The report ignores deaths of security officers and civilians that succumbed to these attacks. It also promotes militia in the region by referring to matchetes that were used as weapons as agricultural tools,” the statement further read.


Regarding the alleged deaths of children during the Kasese clashes, government said that HRW lacks evidence to back the claims.

“UPDF has a good record of protecting children and women. Why doesn’t the report mention the names of the families affected and the children that HRW claims are missing?” the UPDF Spokesperson wondered.

The figures provided in the government rebuttal places the death toll at 103 including 16 police officers and states that 51 bodies were unclaimed and consequently buried.

The government maintains that all dead bodies were recorded and that those claiming that persons are missing ought to cross check with the records.

Responding to whether the officers involved in the attacks will be investigated or brought to book, Police publicist Andrew Kaweesi said “The shooting at the Omusinga’s palace was lawful under the circumstances because our officers were acting in self-defense and they used necessary force.”

“We can’t be prosecuted for carrying out a lawful operation,” he added.

Government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo attacked the HRW saying “the report is a pointer to mischief and pandering. We don’t want groups like HRW to take us for granted.”

“At no point did government obstruct HRW from gathering their evidence. If they had the facts, they would have include the names of the people they claim to be missing in the report,” Opondo said.

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