Clan leaders and elders have been warned against handling cases related to rape and defilement, a practice that has been common in refugee settlement camps in Uganda.
This was reached at during a six day capacity building training involving police, refugees and their host communities in the west Nile region.
The training funded by European Union in collaboration with police have have been running in districts of Yumbe, Madi-Okollo, Koboko, Obongi and Moyo.
While sensitising the community at Bidibidi settlement camp, Anatoli Muleterwa, the head of community policing pointed out that although local leaders and elders are mandated to prevent crimes such as gender based violence, they are not allowed to handle capital offences.
“Offences like defilement and rape are capital in nature and are to be handled by police at the police Stations, not clan leaders or elders as commonly preferred by the victims at the camps,” he said.
He encouraged them to report such cases to police saying that police community liaison officers in refugee camps have been equipped with knowledge and practical skills in investigating and preventing cases of gender based violence such as domestic violence, defilement and rape.
Police have trained and empowered 86 officers, who were drawn from the departments of community policing, child and family protection unit, sexual and children related offences under Criminal Investigations Directorate Kibuli, Kampala.
Muleterwa further noted that this training will help officers reduce on cases related to family conflict and domestic violence which are high in the region according to the annual crime report.