Uganda must probe deadly ethnic clashes
From GERALD BUSINGE in Kampala, Uganda
KAMPALA, (CAJ News) – UGANDA must investigate the killings of at least 50 people in the Rwenzori region west of the country between February and April and make the findings public, a human rights organisation demanded.
A Human Rights Watch (HRW) investigation established that members of the Bakonzo and Bamba ethnic groups clashed following contested local elections and political infighting, resulting in at least 30 deaths.
During the subsequent law enforcement operations, the Ugandan police and military reportedly killed at least 17 people.
One police officer and two soldiers were also killed.
Maria Burnett, senior Africa researcher at HRW, said government should account for the deaths so the culprits, whether government security forces or civilian, could be prosecuted and punished.
The Rwenzori region is the site of past violence.
In July 2014, members of the Bakonzo ethnic group attacked police and army posts, resulting in reprisal killings against the civilians.
It is feared over 100 people were killed during that period.
Some of the recent brutality was attributable to unaddressed violence in 2014.
Burnett said the killings of unarmed people had fueled sentiment the government was not a neutral party between ethnic groups in the region.
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