Kayihura: “If Officers Run Away from Kasese Scuffle, We’d Have Charged Them”

IGP Kale Kayihura

The Inspector General of Police Gen Edward Kale Kayihura has added his voice to government’s defense of the police officers who on Thursday and Friday shot at killed six civilians in Kasese and Kabarole districts in western Uganda.

The Police boss who rushed to the Rwenzori region on Saturday evening, drug approved reiterated police’s commitment to restore sanity in the region, but warned that attacks on police and army officers on duty would never be treated lightly.

Following a Thursday attack on police and army officers in Kikonzo cell, Hima Town Council, Kabarole District on Thursday where two out of 20 attackers were shot dead, Kayihura revealed that the clash at Kasenyi town in Kasese district on Friday afternoon where four more were gunned down was simply a follow-up of the previous attack.

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The IGP identified the attackers as members of a militia linked to Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu who call themselves Kirumiramutima

The team of officers led by SPC Opolot according to the IGP was accosted by the attackers as they went “to assess the situation in Kisenyi and not to arrest anybody as had earlier been reported.” Opolot was reportedly stabbed in the scuffle and a pistol of one of his officers taken.

“Now if you say that these people were innocent, why did they grab an officer’s gun? Were they taking it to a museum?” wondered the IGP during a press conference he held on Sunday evening in Kasese.

“Opolot told us in a meeting that when he reached there he found that the town had been deserted. He tried to speak to some of the people and that’s when the attackers came after him, stabbed him and disarmed his junior,one Joel Mbusa.”

Kayihura sounded a warning that police would not stand and watch when such insecurity is taking place. He added that the officers that shot the civilians had no other choice.

“Even in the United Nations Convention on the use of fire arms, police officers are allowed to shoot, if they feel threatened of if they have to defend a section of innocent and unarmed people,” he said.

“You cannot attack me, when I am fully armed and doing patrol. This was not a case of police officers attacking a place. They were attacked. What other means should they have used?”

When a video appeared of the shooting at the Kisenyi town, police came under furious attack from sections of the population, who held that the officers should have had a better option when attacked by people armed only with sticks.

But the IGP dismissed this possibility at the press conference.

He noted, “If those officers dared ran away from the scuffle, we would have charged them with cowardice in action. Besides, even if they decided to back off, the attackers would have come after them.”

“The Police force has been reinforced and no one should expect it to sit back and fold arms. I want to warn those that have similar plans of attacking our officers that they will have themselves to blame. You cannot chance a way police from Kasese district. That is a dream.”

A total of three people have been arrested following the incident. Kayihura revealed that these will be charged with cases ranging from attempted murder, aggravated assault on security officers and causing bodily harm.

Meanwhile the situation remains tense in Kisenyi trading center and neighboring towns which have been deserted after hundreds of residents fled their homes in fear.

The IGP appealed to the locals to return to their homes promising that police and the army will maintain security and guarantee their safety.


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