Operatives from the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence, the intelligence wing of the UPDF have been equipped with knowledge and skills in human rights observation.
Speaking to the soldiers during the opening of a three- day training in human rights at the Ministry of defence headquarters in Mbuya on Monday, Nicole Bjerler, the representative of United Nations on Human Rights in Uganda urged the soldiers to always exhibit respect and discipline in their day to day work.
She also urged UPDF to act under human rights laws in order to remain relevant both locally and internationally.
“UPDF has greatly improved in preserving human rights but this should continue and if possible you need to perform better in human rights protection,”Bjerler observed,
Col.Sserunjoji Ddamulira, the Assistant Deputy CMI in charge of Counter Intelligence who represented the CMI Chief Brig Gen Abel Kandiho commended the human rights commission for the partnership in training soldiers.
He urged trainees to observe respect and diligence in order to build professionalism based on discipline amongst themselves.
“It is our responsibility to make sure that human rights are observed because we are a people’s army,” he cautioned.
Nowe Kakono Monalisa, the head of the human rights desk at CMI urged the operatives to observe respect and concentrate on their duties in order to benefit from the training.
She said the main objective of the training was to boost their understanding on what observing human rights is all about and also gain knowledge of how to perform military activities/duties.
During the training, several modules will be covered, mainly reflecting on human rights with main emphasis on practical aspects of human rights in law enforcement operations, distinguishing human rights violations, abuse and crimes in Uganda among others.
The intelligence wing of the UPDF was in bad light last year after a video went viral showing five of their members armed with guns beating Yusuf Kawooya, a businessman near Christ the King church in Kampala.
“Twagala mmotoka( we want the vehicle),”the four officers said as they hit the suspect with gun buts repeatedly all over his body including the kidney area as a number of people gathered to watch the proceedings.
The army received condemnation from members of the public for the brutal acts by the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence operatives.
However, the Chief of Defence Forces, Gen.David Muhoozi said despite a few incidents of indiscipline by some of their officers including in CMI, the UPDF is still on the right track.
“Though there are some mistakes, it is not our standard operating procedure. What happened was a one off and you can’t judge us by a few incidents,”Gen.Muhoozi told the Nile Post in an interview.
“We condemn in the strongest terms what happened but I cannot guarantee that it won’t happen again because we are also humans like others liable to make mistakes.