Uganda: Nine Injured As UPDF Soldiers Beat Up Residents in Luweero

At least nine civilians and two UPDF soldiers have been injured in clashes between the soldiers and civilians at Mabuye village in Luweero District.

It is reported that the clashes started after a group residents mistook UPDF soldiers to be cattle thieves and attacked them with pangas and other rudimentary weapons.

The soldiers attached to Nakasongola Army Barracks were reportedly on military training in the village hills.

The civilians who were beaten up by the soldiers are Mr Steven Kuteesa, the Mabuye Village Local Council 1 Chairperson, Mr Allan Jjumba, Mr Francois Makobero, Mr Vincent Mukumbya, Mr Steven Kiraga, Mr Brian Ssemujju, Mr Muhamadi Masolo, Mr Ronald Kamoga and Mr Steven Katuluba.

The two UPDF soldiers who allegedly sustained injuries in the fight and are reportedly receiving treatment at Nakasongola Military Hospital, were not readily identified.

Mr Kuteesa said he received a call from one of the residents informing him that some armed men were loitering in the village at midnight and could be plotting to steal their cattle.

This, he said, prompted him to mobilise residents who started a hunt for the strangers.

However, to their shock, the strangers turned out to be heavily-armed UPDF soldiers.

The soldiers reportedly disarmed and undressed the residents before embarking on beating and torturing them.

Mr Kuteesa said their pleas for clemency fell on deaf ears.

Mr Katuluba, one of the residents who tested the wrath of the soldiers said he sustained injuries on the chest and the head.

It's not clear how the two soldiers who are reportedly admitted to Nakasongola Military Hospital, got the injuries.

Mr Edward Ssenyonyi, the Kamira Sub-county chairman criticised the soldiers for conducting military training in the villages without notifying local leaders.

He asked UPDF to transfer the injured civilians to hospital.

Neither Luweeero District Police Commander, Ms Rebecca Ayeta nor Savannah Regional Police Spokesman, Mr Bosco Otim, were willing to comment on the incident since they were not aware of any military training in the area.

Maj Isaac Oware, the spokesperson of Nakasongola Army Barracks confirmed the incident saying the soldiers acted in self-defence after being attacked by the residents.

Maj Oware said that local leaders were notified about the training and this is a normal procedure but the residents only preferred to provoke the soldiers.

He advised the injured civilians to seek private medical attention because the army cannot meet medical bills of people who provoked them.

He, however, said police and UPDF officers are investigating the matter.

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