Global Politics


Over 1500 civilians in Karamoja Sub Region faced Human Rights torture

 Bridge Commander 501 Col. Benard Kashemeza Robaine, the Uganda People Defense Forces UPDF, in-charge of Apaa has been arrested implicated in Apaa killing, President Museveni ordered for his arrest following 80 people killed fought night ago in Trabal clash between Acholi and Madi community.
Brig. Kashemeza Robani grabbed one squar kilometer of land in Apaa enclaved forcefully, the African Center for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims reported that the Human Righs violation arose from different cause, for instance, the land conflicts in Lamwo and Amuru districts, Gender based Violence, the disarmament exercise in the Karamoja Sub Region such the Apaa land conflict and search and Condon operation in the Karamoja Sub Region.
The recent Trabal clash between Acholi and Madi communities in Apaa enclaved, the disputed areas in Northern Uganda has opened a pandora box. The dark part of human violation in West Acholi Civil Society Organization CSO (WACISO) in communique reveals.
Alfred Okettayot, the Monitoering Officer while addressing Northern Uganda Media Club, at Uganda Human Rights Commission office in Gulu City, says torture, inhumane and degrading treatment of suspects by community, the police, army and prision are common phenomenon in our region.
“Violent land conflicts in Apaa where innocent people continue to lose their lives, property destroyed and land grabbed not only in Apaa, but other areas government agents and institutions distort facts and expand boundaries into community’s land such as in most areas around game parks and reserves, National Forest Authority, the Aswa ranch, Acol-pii5Division and Labwor-dwong military barrack, Lapono, among others remain unresolved beyond CSOs efforts alone.
Citing in Apaa, fought night ago, over 800 grass thatch hurts alone was set on fire, and scores of about 300 people have been killed since 2011 to 2023.
He accused the community that they are fun of beating, undressing and photographing suspects, witchdoctors too, police do theirs during arrests. While, also lump Gulu UPDF 4th Division vulnerable streets kids called Aguu are complaining that Army arrest and take them to barrack torture them up and later send them back on the streets.
“Similarly, Prison officers in Nwoya district, northern Uganda tortured attempted escapees who later died in the hospital.” Okettayot argued.
He further revealed that in Patiko, Sub County another cadet Prison officer tortured a man and now the victim appears mentally unstable as a result. In these, the perpetrators are yet to be brought to account for their actions.
Alfead Okettayot decries to the CSOs, therefore appeal to Uganda Human Rights Commission and Commissioner General of Prisons to prevail and ensure justice for the victims to the clearly known by name,rank, even where they live by the authority, but they seem disinterested.
Francis Odongyoo, Executive Director for CSOs representative at the commemoration of International Human Rights day in Pakwelo, Unyama Sub County, Gulu City on December 12,th 023, noted that Gender based violence and discrimination is slowing the progress of development. Women rights and control over customary land remains fair only for the married, but leaving out mostly single, separated, formerly abducted women.
The formerly abducted in particular are being denied Prish Development Model ODM, the government empowerment funds as part of social security protection to vulnerable needy people resources. insisting that many human rights violations are not capter in their reports.
Odongyoo further appeals to the Uganda government to consider including former abducted Lord Resistance Army LRA returnees (Formerly women and their children) for special treatment in access to development programmes like PDM.
Thus, appeals to the Uganda Judiciary to expedite the justice process to ensure justice is done and not delayed.
adds, he appeals to the President Museveni to expedite the resolution of Apaa land crisis and immediately end the banditry activities claiming the life of the people there.
Odonyoo warns that despites these, the Human Rights situation in our region present the contrary with examples that include among others, disallowing protest against human rights violations in the community, whereas, public protest is constitutionally permissible as a means to express dissatisfaction with human rights violations and abuse.
“Today in our region demonstrations against any human rights violations and abuse can only be sanctioned by the police. and with the police among top perpetrators of human rights violation in Uganda especially tortures and corruption, they will never sanction any protest consequently, the perpetrators of human rights violations are sealed to violate rights with impunity.
For example, the recent stopping of Acholi former Paramount chief Rwot David Onen Acana II cultural institutions from demonstrating against lack of protection and killing of innocent people in Apaa.
And the right to free, fair and speedy trial. (Article 28 (1). There are more suspects on long detention without trial in Acholi than being tried. In fact, interactions with some suspects on remand show that many of them go for plea bargains not because they are guilty.
However, because they are already convicted without trial, citing an example in Gulu Prison where a suspect went for a plea bargain only to find that he has never been accused of anything. But, he is on remand till now.
In another, discourage of justice, a young man from Pader was arrested on suspicion of abducting and killing his cousin brother and subsequently sentenced to 17 years, but after two year later, the alleged killed cousin reappeared alive. but it has now taken 5 years, still serving his sentence.
Jordan Mego-lonyo, the legal officer with Human Rights and Torture in Northern Uganda explored member of Northern Uganda Media Club while elaborating that without their input, as the African for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (ACTV) which is working together with Human Rights Non-Governmental Organization inclined to fighting torture in Uganda.
Thus, Further warns that ACTVs is power by the vision of realizing a “Aworld free from torture”. with priorities in provision of holistic services which includes medical treatment, legal services, socio-economic intervention and mental health services.
Insisting that ACTV also major in the prevention of torture shop center for comprehensive rehabilitation. ACTV also major in the prevention of torture though advocacy where different stake holders and partners are engaged in a bid to raise awareness on torture and human rights in general.
“ACTV works in ten dem with different partners such as the Uganda Human Commission, the Uganda Police, the Office of the Director of Public Proscutions and Civil Society Organization, in the year 2023 alone, ACTV has recieved and registered 1,323 human rights complaints on torture. out of the entire sum, 65% of the complaints were from males survivors of torture, while 35% of th complaints were from female survivors of torture.
the complaints received originated from both Northern Uganda and the Karamoja Sub Region, and many other causes. the perpertroators in the torture cases are brad, including both state and non-state actors.
In the report, records of the torture victims indicate that new cases for male 527, for frmale 341 in total new cases for torture victims in Northern Uganda is 878 torture victins. whie reviews cases for male 270, for females stand at 148 in total the reviews cases for tortures victims is 418.
Mefo-Lonyo explained that fmale torture victims their number are higher compared to females, because in Northern Uganda for the case of Apaa, th epic center of conflict, is because during the attack, the perpertrators tortur men because of land conflict as men also defend their t=rights to protection of land.
nd also in Karamoja Sub Region where the numbers of torture for men are higher than for female, because as the disarmement of guns it taking place, men hide their guns, by tortureing them, they will produced guns.
“The females numbers for torture victims also shoot up and women hide where about their Husaband , and Apaa famales number is also gigher because when the attackers comes for their men, the women also suffered because, they hide infromation.”

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