Missing Persons: Minister Highlights Challenges in Investigations

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Abduction VAN - The abductors purportedly stated that they needed to question Mr. Bwambale at the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) in Kireka. They encircled him, subsequently forcibly moving him into a silver Toyota Hiace, commonly known as a drone, where the remaining men in UPDF uniforms waited.
The abductors purportedly stated that they needed to question Mr. Bwambale at the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) in Kireka. They encircled him, subsequently forcibly moving him into a silver Toyota Hiace, commonly known as a drone, where the remaining men in UPDF uniforms waited.
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Gen. David Muhoozi, the Minister of State for Internal Affairs, informed Parliament about challenges in investigating alleged cases of missing persons, stating that most of these individuals have not been reported to the police. The minister’s statement, presented on November 29, 2023, responded to concerns raised by the Leader of the Opposition, Mathias Mpuuga, regarding enforced disappearances and the shrinking civic space.

Key points from the minister’s statement:

  1. Reporting Missing Persons: Muhoozi emphasized that, according to law and official practice, individuals must be reported as missing persons to the police. However, in many cases, missing person reports were not filed, and attempts to approach people for cooperation have been resisted.
  2. Unwitnessed Disappearances: The minister noted that some cases attributed to security operatives, such as Kasumba George and Kisembo Godfrey, were reported earlier by relatives as unwitnessed disappearances. For example, Kibalama John Bosco’s vehicle was found abandoned along the road with all belongings intact.
  3. Inconsistencies in Reports: Muhoozi highlighted inconsistencies in the numbers and testimonies presented by various sources, including the Uganda Human Rights Commission, the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights, and the Leader of the Opposition.
  4. Lack of Cooperation: Alleged missing persons’ next of kin have reportedly declined to provide statements to the police, making it challenging for the government to conclude investigations. The minister cited instances where family members did not cooperate and even referred to instructions from political parties not to meet investigators.
  5. Refutation of Victimisation Claims: Muhoozi refuted accusations of victimization against Muslims, providing statistics from the Uganda Prisons Service indicating that Muslims constitute 16.4 percent of inmates, behind Catholics (41.3 percent) and Protestants (29.5 percent).

Mathias Mpuuga requested time for a rejoinder, and Speaker Anita Among stated that Parliament would make a decision on the report after considering the Leader of the Opposition’s response.





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