stronBUNDIBUGYO-stron A total of 157 attackers in the July 5 violent clashes in Rwenzori region that left at least 90 people dead have so far surrendered to the Uganda People Defence Forces (UPDF) and police in the Rwenzori region.
The army spokesperson for the 2nd Division, Maj Ronald Kakurungu, said the attackers, who had been hiding especially in the Rwenzori mountains, turned themselves in at the different reception centres in Kasese and Bundigugyo districts, the nucleus of the clashes.
“The number has now shot up to 157 from 115 yesterday (Thursday), 154 people have surrendered in Kasese and three from Bundibugyo,” Maj Kakurungu said on Friday.
More than 130 people, including top Rwenzururu kingdom officials, were arrested after the attacks and are undergoing trial in the army court.
The government says the accused had arms and grabbed 20 guns and ammunitions from security bases they attacked. Since the attacks were of military nature, the state says the suspects must be tried in the military court martial. The government pledged amnesty to those who surrendered willingly and centres were set up in Kasese and Bundibugyo to receive them or the guns they would hand over. Thirteen guns have been recovered so far.
On Thursday, the army court martial remanded 40 suspects.
The army general court martial started the trials on Tuesday in Bundibugyo with 125 suspects appearing in the dock.
By Thursday evening, 43 suspects had pleaded to the charges and were remanded to Katojo prison. All the accused denied the charges.
The court is chaired by Maj Gen Levi Karuhanga with Capt Fredrick Kangwamu as the lead prosecutor and Capt Ronald Iduli as defence counsel.
Meeting MuseveniMeanwhile, a delegation from the Opposition in Kasese District visited President Museveni’s home in Rwakitura in Kiruhura District to tell him that the attackers should be held liable as individuals, not the community they come from.
Former FDC district secretary Johnson Kamalha said Mr Museveni agreed with them that it was not the whole Bakonzo tribe that carried out the attacks but a few “wrong elements”, who should be held individually accountable.
stronHOW IT STARTEDstron
On July 5, six people were killed in two surprise and separate attacks in Kasese and Bundibugyo towns by unknown armed people in the afternoon. One group attacked Bigando village in Kitswamba sub-county in Kasese and killed five people, including a UPDF soldier with his three children before they set his house ablaze.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor