3 February 2009

Uganda: Committee Set Up to Deal With Child Sacrifice

Kampala — THE Police have set up a 15-man committee to bolster investigations into the disturbing pattern of child sacrifice.

The committee is headed by detective assistant commissioner of Police, Moses Binoga, deputised by the Police head of child and family protection unit, Christine Nadingi.

It is also composed of members from the gender ministry and other key stakeholders.

"The committee has embarked on its task," Police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba told The New Vision over the phone recently.

The committee, she said, in addition to child sacrifice will also handle cases of missing children and children who have disappeared.

The committee will beef up investigators on the ground and will redirect and give guidance on investigations of particular cases, she said, adding that the committee will cover the entire country but with more interest to areas where cases have been reported.

As part of its duties, Nabakooba said the committee had already visited Mayuge district to probe an incident involving the disappearance of a child.

Early this month Police issued new measures aimed at fighting child sacrifice.

Among the measures, Police was to deploy officers permanently to search vehicles and check out motorcycles carrying children.

About 2,000 anti-trafficking officers have been trained with the support of the US government.

There are also plans to establish special courts to handle child sacrifice cases.

Last year, there were 18 suspected ritual murder cases reported to the Police, of which 15 were investigated and suspects committed to the High Court.

Police findings show that most ritual murders were committed by either parents or relatives of the victims.

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