A total of Forty (40) Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) officers and Militants of Third Division have successfully completed training on human rights.
The three-day training, held in Kotido district, equipped participants with knowledge and skills on: human Rights and need for disarmament, human rights and women/children, observation of human rights standards, standard operation procedures and code of conduct for UPDF soldiers during operations, and human Rights instruments, among others.
In his remarks as he closed the training, UPDF Third Division commander, Brig Gen Joseph Balikuddembe noted that the training comes at a time when there’s need to respect human rights in the pursuit of cattle rustlers who are destabilising the sub-region.
“As state actors, we commit ourselves to line obligations of protection, respect and fulfillment as regards human rights aspects,” he emphasised.
He called upon troops to always subject offenders to the rule of law before pronouncing judgement.
He urged soldiers to work alongside other civil authorities and key partners to build cordial working relationships that aim at mitigating human rights violations.
“As human rights ambassadors, we shall give you audience to sensitive, share and pass knowledge to other others as we mitigate some allegations,” said Balikuddembe.
The division commander also reminded participants that UPDF will remain committed, accountable, observe and promote all the desired human rights standards.
He cited Article 208 and 209 of the Constitution, which stipulate the roles and responsibilities of UPDF as a pro-people force.
The UN Country Deputy Representative, Grace Pelly expressed her gratitude for closely working with the UPDF in building sustainable peace and stability initiatives across the country.
“Such fruitful engagements have helped the UPDF to promote human rights standards before, during and after operations. We like to see it move to greater heights,” she said.