Home National Military boss arrested over Makerere university protests

Military boss arrested over Makerere university protests

by Odongo Christopher

The Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) has arrested one of its senior officers over the Military Police’s conduct during its deployment to quell the riots at Makerere University.

The officer in custody has been identified has Capt. Ronald Lubeera, who is in command of the Military Police Detach.

He is being detained at the Military Police Headquarters in Makindye.

UPDF spokesman Brig Richard Karemire confirmed the arrest, saying investigations into the officer are underway.

“A Board of Inquiry led by Lt Col Richard Ochen Okum has been established to look into what exactly happened,” Karemire said.

The Army was initially deployed last week to support the police in handling the Makerere riots as students protested a controversial fees hike.

The forces however, came under intense scrutiny for using excessive force on students.

Footage of military and police officers beating students, forcing them to roll on the ground half naked, storming and firing teargas in their rooms in hostels and halls of residence, all attracted widespread condemnation from local and international groups.

The Commander in Chief, President Yoweri Museveni amid the growing scrutiny, early this week ordered the army to be withdrawn from the university.

The use of excessive force was condemned by a number of bodies including the US Embassy, Parliament, the Uganda Human Rights Commission among others.

The Uganda Journalists Association yesterday announced a boycott on all police events after it emerged that several journalists were targeted by police officers and injured, as they lawfully covered the protests at Makerere.

The European Union yesterday morning issued a statement, calling on both the police and the Military to “refrain from acts of violence and to respect freedom of assembly and expression”

“We are also alarmed by the use of force against and unwarranted arrests of journalists attempting to cover recent events at Makerere,” the Commission said.

The UPDF Spokesman nonetheless, while speaking to this website, said the army was “committed to maintaining its high standards and pro-people stance.”

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