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Minister Tables List of 177 Missing Ugandans

The Minister of Internal Affairs Gen. Jeje Odongo on Thursday tabled before Parliament a list of 177 names of arrested Ugandans.
Gen Jeje Odongo

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  The Minister of Internal Affairs Gen. Jeje Odongo on Thursday tabled before Parliament a list of 177 missing Ugandans.

Last month, Odongo was directed by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga to present the list of people in state custody following their abduction by security personnel.

Odongo told Parliament chaired by Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah that he needed information on the matter before making a presentation to Parliament. The development comes after Kadaga recently allowed individual Members of Parliament to present lists of missing people from their constituencies after the Minister failed to respect her set deadline.

Odongo told Parliament that the list of 177 people identifies the person, the day they were arrested, place, the reason for arrest and case management history. He said that a section of these was arrested for possession of military stores while others were involved in meetings to plan for post-election violence. Odongo says that only 6 have been released on police bond.

However, the Minister’s breakdown of the 177 people indicates a bigger number.

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The Minister said that the copy of the list is at the Police Head Quarters and that relatives should contact the office of the Chief Political Commissar, who will permit them to visit them in custody.

According to the list, the majority of the arrested Ugandans are remanded to Makindye Military Barracks.

Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, the Kiira Municipality MP said that the presentation of the list is an admission from the government that Ugandans were kidnapped.

He questioned whether the Minister is not bothered that agencies that are not mandated to arrest Ugandans are doing so and only presenting lists to Police. Ssemujju also noted that to date, his constituents are still being abducted with their whereabouts not known.

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Mathias Mpuuga, the Masaka Municipality MP contested the numbers indicated on the Minister’s list saying that he had his list of people who disappeared totalling 423. He sought parliament’s guidance on what they would do with lists of other Ugandans that are missing and are not presented to parliament by the Minister.

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Mpuuga who is the Vice President of the National Unity Platform -NUP in-charge of the Central region tabled the list of 423 people before Parliament. He said that families of these missing people are crying out demanding the whereabouts of their people.

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Manjiya County MP John Baptist Nambeshe also raised concern saying that the list tabled by the Minister had names for people from the Central region only yet there are many other Ugandans whose whereabouts are still unknown in other parts of the country, especially the Eastern region.

“There is no way we can allow political differences to end in military courts. It is sad to note that abductions are continuing,” said Lwemiyaga County MP Theodore Ssekikubo who also presented a list of 18 missing people from his Constituency.

Equally, Mawokota South MP John Bosco Lubyayi presented a list of 9 people who he said are missing in his Constituency.

Kilak County MP Gilbert Olanya told Parliament that during a recent security brief to the country, by President Yoweri Museveni, the country was told about 318 missing persons with only 55 in security custody and the rest not accounted for. Olanya demanded more answers from the government regarding the disparities.

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Betty Aol Ocan, the Leader of Opposition demanded the government to ensure that the abductions of Ugandans are stopped.

Odongo said that he would study the lists presented by MPs saying that more investigations are still going on. He appealed to anyone with a concern about a missing person to report to the police so that investigations can be carried out.

Deputy Speaker Oulanyah also guided that the Minister takes up the additional names provided by the MPs.  

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