GULU – The 4th Division Army Court Martial has sentenced six UPDF soldiers to six months after they pleaded guilty to brutalising 38 residents in Amuru district.
The six soldiers; L/Cpl. Awany Abori Constantine, Pte Makanga Mohammed, Pte Eboku John Mark, Pte Mutenge Robert, Pte Ayo Silvestre and Pte Ahimbisibwe Eria; appeared before the division court martial in Gulu chaired by Col Geoffrey Nambafu.
They were charged with assault causing bodily harm to locals contrary to section 236 of the Penal Code Act.
They pleaded guilty to the charges before they were sentenced.
The soldiers join their 10 colleagues in police who were on Tuesday, April 7, charged with aggravated torture of 38 people at Elegu border in Amuru District.
The group appeared before the Gulu Chief Magistrate who remanded them to PECE prison till 7th. May 2020.
The officers are Richard Balenzi, Musasizi Charles, Odong Jacob, Opado Moses, Rubangakene Kenneth, Okello Bosco, Opio Augustine, Byamukama Gervious, Okello Jusfer and Okello Jimmy.
The police officers together with their colleagues from UPDF brutalised a group of women at Elegu border on Thursday, April 2.
The women were orounded up in a lodge owned by the chairperson of the Cross Border Traders Cooperative, Auma Margaret.
According to Auma, Police, and LDUs in Elegu allegedly pulled out women and some men from their homes, beat, and forced them to roll in the mud after asking them to put off their clothes. Some were allegedly asked to rub the mud in their private parts as the officers, laughed at them.
The group were accused of flouting the presidential directives on containing coronavirus.
Auma told journalists on Saturday
that at around 7 pm on Friday, when everyone was in their houses during the curfew, she heard women crying in the neighborhood. They were Saying, “ why are have you pulled us from our houses, to start beating us. What have we done?” The women cried in vain. Auma added that one by one the number of women crying started increasing.
She said that the officers kept kicking doors and pulling out mainly women. After a while, there was total silence. The women who were forcefully picked subjected to moving the forces, as they patrolled the area till around 1 am.
They ran back via the Auma’s place and stopped at her place, half naked. The reason as to why they were beaten was never given. Auma took the photos at night and day time as evidence to this cruel act. Some of the women were too injured to walk. Among them was an expectant mother.
This happened on the same night the President warned security forces against beating people who are in their homes during a curfew.