The Chief of Defence Forces has pledged to ensure the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) respect human rights.
Gen David Muhoozi made the commitment on Thursday while meeting the Executive Director of Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda, Robert Ssempala.
“UPDF, as our normal culture, respect and cherish the strong strategic partnership with the media in the course of executing its functions as it’s stipulated in our constitution. However, both of us should improve on our channels of communication,” said Gen. Muhoozi at the Ministry of Defence and Veterans Affairs headquarters.
The CDF added that there is a need to create a strong and friendly relationship between media and security forces since they are the faces of the country.
“Currently, we are concentrating on improving our original relationship that has been built over time. This will largely be through persistent efforts to create an environment through which people can realize their full rights,” he said.
He further added that there are no genuine cases of offences or abuses by soldiers which get reported and go unpunished.
In order to fulfil his pledge, Muhoozi and other UPDF top leaders are to establish a fully-fledged human rights directorate that will work with different organizations in order to enhance UPDF’s capacity to promote human rights.
Ssempala, together with his team appreciated UPDF for their continuous work towards ensuring peace, security and stability of the country.
“This kind of devotion has a lot to do with hard work, discipline and sacrifice on your part and every member of your team, this has not only given people the confidence to associate with you but also to create further collaboration and partnerships in working towards ensuring our community,” said Ssempala.
Gen. Muhoozi’s commitment follows a report by the Uganda Human Right Commission last year which indicated police and army as the leading agents of torture in Uganda.
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