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UGANDAN POLICE TO PROBE MASS GRAVES IN BUNDIBUGYO

KAMPALA, July 21 — A team of Ugandan security experts is travelling to Kirumya sub-country in Bundibgyo to probe mass graves, says the regional police commander, Thomas Kasimo.

According to him, the regional Police office had submitted a budget for exhuming whatever bodies there may be, to the office of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), because the cost was beyond their budget.

He said it was necessary to exhume the bodies to ascertain their number because they were not buried by the Police or the army.

Residents claim that one of the graves has 14 bodies, while another has 25. Saturday Vision visited the mass grave at Bundimurombi, where five people are alleged to have been buried.

Kasimo said they needed special chemicals, medical experts from Mulago referral hospital and other accessories like gloves and masks to exhume the bodies.

He warned Saturday Vision not to visit the graves without security, saying the place may not be safe, adding that he had asked Police headquarters to send pathologists to exhume the bodies.

“We are not sure if there are five bodies in one of the mass graves or more. There are also reports of more suspected mass graves. We shall identify them and exhume the bodies so that people can identify their relatives and give them a decent burial.”

The district National Resistance Movement (NRM) chairperson, Edward Mumbere, told Saturday Vision that when the Bakonzo were overpowered by the army and Police in Bundibugyo and Kanyamirima army barracks on July 5, they ran for dear life, only to be killed and buried in mass graves in Kirumya sub-county.

It was not clear who killed them, but some people suspect it could have been some Bamba elements.

Bundimurombi Central LCI chairman, Atwooki Batalingaya, said five attackers sustained wounds at the frontline and died at Bundiburombi trading centre.

He added that they were ordered by the resident district commissioner and Major Mawa to bury them in their area since no one turned up to claim their bodies.

“On Sunday, July 6, we found five dead bodies here and we were ordered to bury them. They were not killed by the Bamba, but sustained injuries at the frontline,” he said.

Ugandan police have reported that a total of 93 people were killed, including ten security officers, in tribal attacks in the western part of the country on July 5.

Deputy police spokesperson Polly Namaye said that the July 5 tribal attacks and criminal activities in Kasese, Ntoroko and Bundibugyo districts resulted into the loss of 93 lives and property worth millions of shillings.

Some 122 suspects, including Rwenzururu Kingdom officials, are in police custody in connection with the attacks in the three districts.

The tribal gunmen, armed with machetes, spears and pangas, on July 5 attempted to attack Kanyamirima army barracks in Bundibugyo, killing civilians, military officers, policemen and a wildlife authority warden.

SOURCE: NEW VISION

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