- Updated by Faith Barbara Namagembe at 1634 EAT on Friday 27th May 2022.
Former presidential Joseph Kabuleta has claimed there is a silent genocide being perpetrated by the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) in Karamoja under the guise of fighting cattle rustlers.
He said this on May 23 during a press conference organised by his pressure group National Economic Empowerment Dialogue (NEED) in Bugolobi.
“We want you to know that there is a silent genocide happening in Karamoja. Today, we are not just here to talk, but to show you evidence that away from the cameras, the situation in Karamoja is bad yet it is part of Uganda,” he said.
Kabuleta’s assertion followed claims by Emmanuel Chero, the NEED coordinator for Karamoja sub-region, that the army used helicopters to bomb the villages of Nakabaat and Lotisan that killed about 400 people.
The UPDF intensified military operations in March following the killing of three geologists and their two military personnel were killed by gunmen suspected to be Turkana from Kenya.
Codenamed Usalama kwa wote, the operation intends aims to restore peace in the sub-region by disarming Karimojon warriors.
However, Chero said that after the killing of the geologists, soldiers were sent to arrest the killers but instead started dropping bombs on the villages.
“There are more than 462 people, including children and adults, who have died. Those are the ones we have tried to record,” he said.
However, the army has distanced itself from the allegations and Brig Felix Kulayigye, the UPDF spokesperson, said those killed in the operation are rustlers and criminals.
“Our records show there 385 have been put out of action since the beginning of this operation in July last year and these are warriors and thieves shot in the operation,” he said.