Police blamed for attack on refugees

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The Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) has blamed the armed attack at Nakivale Refugee camp two weeks ago on the police, saying it was caused by the laxity in security at the camp.

On 28th October 2017, a group of mysterious gunmen attacked the settlement camp located in Isingiro district and opened fire that led to the killing of a 14- year old boy identified as Deo Ishime Kijuji and injuring more than seven refugees.

The gunmen reportedly entered their vehicle after the attack, a Toyota Premio whose registration plate number was not seen by any of the eye witnesses and ran away.

In the latest report of the UHRC titled "Human Rights Concerns arising from arrest of police officers and killing of refugees in Nakivale Refugee settlement" , the police is faulted for failing to establish enough police posts to respond to security concerns in time.

The commission has asked police to take serious caution while dealing with the security of refugees.

"We call upon government through its implementing arms such as police and the office of the Prime Minister to fulfill it's obligations under the 1951 UN Convention, the UDHR and the regional instruments that provide for the protection of refugees, all of which Uganda has ratified," reads the report in part.

The deputy police spokesperson, Polly Namaye said there are still gaps that need to be worked on to ensure maximum refugee security in the settlement camps.

The gaps include proper checking of refugees entering through the boarders and into the settlement as well as crime preventers within the settlement.

"It is true it's our responsibility to ensure security of refugees and we are doing everything to our best. We are now working on developing a proper crime prevention network within and outside the settlements," Namaye said..

A few months ago, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kale Kayihura informed the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) that police management is working on upgrading all the police posts at settlement camps into full-fledged Divisional police stations with more manpower from all units and operational directorates of the police force.

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