The Joint Chief of Staff of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF), Maj Gen Leopold Kyanda has said the culture of the national army doesn’t accept any kind of impunity.
Gen Kyanda made the revelation while speaking in Gulu at the book launch: “War in Northern Uganda-A Journalist’s Account” written by John Muto-Ono P’lajur.
“If somebody is pointed out as having committed crime, there is no way the UPDF will let the person go!” Gen Kyanda said.
He noted that it is important to always listen to both sides of the story so as to have an objective engagement and make an informed judgement.
This was in response to the remarks made by the Retired Bishop of Kitgum Diocese Rt. Rev MacBaker Ochola II who alleged that the UPDF deliberately instituted IDP camps where children were abducted, evacuation of National Resistance Council members to deny them witnessing the activities of the then NRA during operation North.
Gen Kyanda further explained that the IDP camps were not concentration camps as portrayed by some but were safe havens for the people to be protected, treated, fed and organized. He said that individuals may have made mistakes but these were never sanctioned by the then NRA (now UPDF).
Rt. Rev MacBaker Ochola II who is a survivor of the war where we lost his wife and daughter, was also the key Note speaker of the day. He said that after the revenge attacks by the LRA in Lokum, Padibe and Palabek, different religious leaders came together to speak with one voice due to the unprecedented situation and formed a Religious Peace initiative which was supported by the President, His Excellency Yoweri Museveni and the Co-ordinator of Operation Wealth Creation, General Salim Saleh.
Different speakers made calls for Truth and Reconciliation, telling stories of the unsung heroes and encouraging the actors and survivors of war to write their own stories.
The launch was attended by the Chief Political Commissar, Hon Maj Gen Henry Masiko, the Defence Spokesperson, Brig Gen Flavia Byekwaso, the 4th Division Second in Command Brig Gen Anthony Lukwago Mbusi, different religious and political leaders.
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