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11 injured as residents attack UPDF soldiers in Luweero

Some of the beaten residents show the bruises

Some of the beaten residents show the bruises

At least nine residents and two Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) soldiers have been injured in clashes at Mabuye village in Luweero district.

It is alleged that the clashes started after the residents mistook the UPDF soldiers for cattle thieves and attacked the soldiers with machetes. The soldiers attached to Nakasongola army barracks were allegedly on military training in the nearby hills.

The injured have been identified as Steven Kuteesa, the LC I chairperson, Allan Jjumba, Francois Makobero, Vincent Mukumbya, Steven Kiraga, Brian Ssemujju, Muhamadi Masolo, Ronald Kamoga and Steven Katuluba.

The two UPDF men injured are not yet identified, but have reportedly been rushed to Nakasongola army hospital for treatment. Kuteesa, the LC I chairperson of Mabuye in Kamira sub-county explains that he received a phone call from a resident informing him that there were armed men loitering in the village at around midnight and could be planning to steal their cattle.
 
Kuteesa explains that he mobilized the residents who turned up to look for the men and arrested them only to find out that they are UPDF soldiers. He adds that the UPDF soldiers disarmed and undressed the residents before they were thoroughly beaten and many left nursing injuries. Kuteesa says they pleaded to the soldiers to let them go but in vain.

Steven Katuluba, another resident said they sustained severe injuries on the chest, head and other body parts. Edward Ssenyonyi, the LC III chairperson of Kamira sub-county has criticized the UPDF men for conducting military training in the villages without notifying local leaders. 

Ssenyonyi has asked UPDF to transfer the injured to the hospital for treatment since they are the ones who erred leading to the scuffle.

Neither Luweeero district police commander Rebecca Ayeta nor Savannah regional police commander Bosco Otim were willing to comment on the incident saying they were not aware of the training being conducted in the area.

Maj Isaac Oware, the spokesperson of Nakasongola army barracks confirmed the incident saying the soldiers acted in self defence after they were attacked by armed residents. Oware insists that the local leaders were notified about the training and this is normal procedure but the residents only wanted to provoke the soldiers.

He advised those injured to seek medical treatment because as UPDF they have no plan to do so since the residents are the ones who attacked them leaving some of their officers also injured. 
 
© 2016 Observer Media Ltd