Group: Uganda reprisal attacks after tribal killings

2014-11-05 14:43


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kampala - Ugandan security forces committed "reprisal killings" in a remote mountain region earlier this year to crush tribal clashes, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday, highlighting reports of torture and mass graves.

Around 100 people were killed, possibly more, in days of violence in the far western Rwenzori mountain range in July, when gangs armed with machetes, spears and guns launched a series of surprise raids to massacre neighbouring rivals, as well as raiding police and army posts.

The army later sent in extra troops to hunt down the fighters.

But HRW said the killings continued after the first wave of attacks had been stopped.

Witnesses interviewed by HRW said that "some security officials were involved in reprisal killings and beatings and that numerous victims of the violence had been buried in mass graves".

Unmarked graves

Police said violence erupted when organised armed gangs from Bakonzo people launched co-ordinated attacks to kill rival Basongora and Bamba groups.

HRW, in a report based on over 50 interviews with those involved, said it had credible reports of subsequent reprisal attacks against the Bakonzo people, who were "attacked, detained in private homes, mutilated, tortured, killed, and burned or buried in mass and unmarked graves".

One man, ordered to help bury corpses in a mass grave, told HRW he had "picked up the bodies from inside the barracks," and that "some of the bodies had no heads and hands, others had bullet wounds on the head and chest".

But government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo dismissed the criticism, saying they "don't need HRW to direct the government on how to proceed" and praised the operation to stop the fighting.

"Uganda's government is happy that the security forces expeditiously brought the uncalled-for violent ethnic conflict to an end," he told AFP.

"We repeat, no one will attack a government installation, especially police or military barracks, and expect soft gloves."

Opondo added that trials had started off some of the alleged ringleaders while "reconciliation efforts among communities continue".

Read more on:    hrw  |  uganda  |  east africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.