Parliament Suspends UPDF Operations On Uganda’s Waters Over Human Rights Abuses

Parliament Suspends UPDF Operations On Uganda’s Waters Over Human Rights Abuses

By Spy Uganda

Kampala: The  Parliament of Uganda on Thursday  passed a resolution to suspend  activities of the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) Fisheries Protection Unit on all water bodies in the country, following rampant cases of human rights violations.

The resolution was carried following a motion moved by Buvuma Member of Parliament Hon. Jennifer Nantume and seconded by Hon Maurice Kibalya.

The legislators decided that  they want president Yoweri Museveni to address the House on this  Matter.

Kadaga’s directive stemmed from a heated debate in parliament on the conduct of the UPDF Fisheries Protection unit on Thursday.

Legislators noted that officers attached to the UPDF Fisheries Protection Unit have time and again been implicated for harassing, torturing and intimidating fishing communities.

It should be noted that the Speaker of Parliament has severally tasked the Security Minister Gen. Elly  Tumwine, Internal Affairs Minister Gen. Jejje Ondongo to explain why the UPDF soldiers deployed on Uganda’s water bodies have turned into rapists, pirates and monsters unleashing terror unto innocent Ugandans but the Ministers have since snubbed her calls.

Matters worsened last week when Kadaga revealed that she was getting death threats from unknown people because of discussing in Parliament the gross human rights abuses being perpetrated by the UPDF Fisheries Protection Unit.

However, suffice it to recall that President Museveni, instead of castigating the UPDF for the heinous crimes committed against Ugandans, has often showered praises on them for doing a ‘good job’!

In September this year several fishermen and their families that have best n victims of this brutal torture and gross abuse by UPDF soldiers sued government and are demanding over Shs1.2 Trillion in compensation.

Through their lawyer, Abwang Otim of M/S Abwang Otim, Opok and Co Advocates, the over 68 fishermen submitted before the High Court in Lira District horrifying images of their colleagues being tortured on the shores of Lake Kyoga, Amolatar District.

The landing sites where fishermen were allegedly tortured are Bangladesh, Namasale, Mbiko, Kayago, Nalubwoyo, Abeja, Amai and Muntu, all in Amolatar District.

“The plaintiffs, at diverse landing sites, were brutalised and tortured with maximum deadly force,” the law suit reads, in part.

The suit was instituted against the Attorney General James Byaruhanga, Lt. Col. James Nuwagaba, and the commanders of Fisheries Protection Unit (FPU), Capt .Wilson Kandiho, and Lt. Julius Ankunda.

There are however several other cases of torture by UPDF soldiers on Lake Victoria, L. Kyoga, and other water bodies in the country.

Despite all the above, the UPDF spokesperson Brig. Gen. Richard Karemire is yet to issue a statement about this impasse and whether the UPDF will halt their operations on Uganda’s waters or not. an accessible web community

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