Karamoja | 15-25 August 2022: A team of OHCHR, Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) jointly carried out detach-to-detach training activities involving 851 UPDF personnel (811 men and 41 women) consisting of 42 officers and 809 soldiers deployed to 3rd UPDF Infantry Division based in Karamoja.
The joint team conducted sensitization in 18 military facilities including: 403 and 407 Brigades; 53, 49, 41, 39 and 37 Battalions; and Camp-Salaba, Lokapel junction, Acherer/Nabilatuk, Achorichor junction, Karita, Loroo, Nabilatuk, Naoi/Lotome, Acherer/Moroto, Nadunget and Lopei UPDF detaches. The sensitization sessions imparted skills and knowledge of mitigation measures against human rights violations which have been widely reported because of the intensified disarmament operations since 16 May 2022.
Major Isaac Oware – the 3rd Division Public Relations Officer, Major Amuya Moses - the 3rd Division Civil-Military Coordinator, and Major Mukhama Charles Wasirwa - the 3rd Division Political Commissar reminded the trainees on the UPDF code of conduct, Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) for Cordon and Search Operations, the role of the media in the promotion of human rights and in military operations, and consequences of failure to observe human rights, Code of Conduct and SoPs.
The Uganda Human Rights Commission staff imparted skills and knowledge on applicable human rights standards and rights of vulnerable groups including detainees, women, and children during the disarmament process, while OHCHR sensitized trainees on the concept of human rights and why human rights matter and imparted knowledge and skills on the use of force and firearms.
The UPDF officers emphasized to the trainees on the aspect of accountability and personal liability for human rights violations committed by UPDF soldiers, and observance of lawful versus unlawful orders from superiors.
The trainees asked questions related to the use of lethal force for self-defense versus strict observance of human rights during the disarmament or cattle recovery operations, especially against individuals armed with bow and arrow or unarmed individuals moving with and among armed ones. They requested for additional IEC materials and continued sensitization to reach all UPDF soldiers across the region.