Kaabong Authorities Want 2 Soldiers Arrested for Defilement

Authorities in Kaabong district are demanding the immediate arrest of two UPDF soldiers who allegedly defiled the two minors.

The two different incidents were committed in the month of October and November this year in the military detachments in the sub-counties of Kaabong East and Morungole.

The first case was registered in October where a UPDF soldier defiled a 15-year-old girl in Logurekori army detach and in November involved another soldier from Lokwangamoe army detach.

Kaabong officials claimed that the case was reported to the police but since then no soldier has been apprehended and the suspects have already been transferred to unknown destinations.

Mathew Kubal, the senior probation and welfare officer for Kaabong district said they have registered two cases of defilement against the security forces but no action is taken against the perpetrators.

According to him, the two cases were reported to the police station but the suspects were not arrested on the grounds that police do not have a right to arrest a UPDF officer.

Kubal said he tried engaging the top leadership of UPDF to help apprehend the suspects but they also started dodging by turning off all their known telephone numbers.

‘’As a district we shall not sit and watch this happening, we want action taken against the security personnel who continue to violate the rights of our young girls,’’ Kubal said.

Kubal also revealed that the defilement cases and early marriages have shot up as the district registers at least 20 cases monthly. He added that all these cases are still under inquiry at the police station and the victims are patiently waiting for justice.

Meanwhile in Karenga district, there are several defilement cases reported against UPDF but apparently, the parents tend to connive with perpetrators to cover up the case and this frustrates the effort to apprehend the suspects.

Rebecca Abura Onyang, the Acting District Community Development Officer says most of the cases reported to their office are as a result of the perpetrator failing to negotiate with the parents of the victim.

Abura said that even after reporting, they do not provide the details of the perpetrator because they still want to engage him for financial support.

‘’The parents of the victims are the ones failing our work, they report cases to us but at the same time engage the perpetrator on the payments, when they are sorted, they disappear and the case is abandoned,’’ Abura explained.

She said they are stuck with several cases in which the complainants have abandoned after receiving money from the suspects and they cannot follow these cases because there isn’t enough information.

However, Moses Amuya, the civil-military coordination officer at UPDF’s 3rd division, says police are their sister forces and they cannot deny them access to a suspect who has conflicted with the law.

Amuya said if the commanders on the ground do not take action against the perpetrators, the authorities should report to the above leadership for further action.

‘’We cannot allow an undisciplined personnel to jeopardize the relationship between security forces and the civilians,’’ he said.

Amuya urged the district authorities to provide the cases with reference to the details about the perpetrators so that they can follow up and be arrested.

Albert Lokol, one of the parents in Kaabong Town council observed that police would have acted immediately if it was a common person but since it is security personnel, the law is seeming to be bent in the matter.

He said the community is now beginning to lose trust in the police because of the incidents where the same security officers who were supposed to protect them turn against minors and defile them.

Lokol said that sometimes the parents accept to negotiate with the perpetrator to get money because when they report the case to the police, the suspects are transferred to an unknown destination instead of being arrested, and they thus end up with no gain.

‘’They even assure us that ‘you either accept the little I can offer you or you report the case and you lose everything because I am a government worker and they don’t arrest us, so it is your choice,’ those are their words’’ Lokol lamented.

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