By Watchdog reporter
Human Rights Watch has offered a stinging criticism to the manner the government of Uganda handled last November’s Kasese Massacres. The Human Rights watchdog has demanded that government investigates the matter to its conclusion.
“Killings by Ugandan military and police during joint operations in Kasese, western Uganda on November 26-27, 2016, warrant an independent, impartial fact-finding mission with international expertise”, Human Rights Watch said today. On the bloodiest day, scores of people, including children, were killed during a military assault on the palace compound of the region’s cultural institution.
Uganda Military spokesman Brig. Richard Karemire addressed the media on Wednesday afternoon denying the accusations raised by the Human Rights Watch.
Karemire says “The report lacks depth, especially on the genesis of the near break down of law and order.”
“It deliberately omits the incidents that led to the security forces responding not only to defend,” he adds.
Whereas Police puts the death toll over the two days as 87, including 16 police, Human Rights Watch says it independently found the actual number to be much higher.
“At least 55 people, including at least 14 police, (were) killed on November 26, and more than 100, including at least 15 children, during the attack on the palace compound on November 27.”
The HRW report therefore places the Kasese killings to over 150 people, and it says this is a single day most Ugandans have ever been killed in a single day since the war in northern Uganda ended.
“The assault on the palace in Kasese, which killed more people than any single event since the height of the war in Northern Uganda over a decade ago, should not be swept under the carpet,” said Maria Burnett, associate Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “People in Kasese are still looking for their family members, including children, and they deserve answers and justice for these gruesome killings.”
During the Kasese operations, the government has arrested and charged more than 180 people, including the cultural institution’s king, known as the Omusinga Wesley Mumbeere with murder, treason, and terrorism, among other charges. None of the 180 are members of the police or military and no one has been charged for the killing of the civilians, including children.
Full Human Rights Watch article can be read in full here; https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/03/15/uganda-ensure-independent-investigation-kasese-killings