Pader LC5 Chairman to Sue Police for Tear Gas Incident

Audio 2

The Pader LC5 chairperson, Peter Odok, has threatened to sue the police and the National Forestry Authority, following a scuffle between residents of Lawi-adul Internally Displaced Persons Camp and the authorities.

Odok says that last week the police fired tear gas at the IDPs in Lawi-adul during an operation to stop illegal logging in Pader. He says the police action was harsh and uncalled for and that several people were injured in the ensuing scuffle.

The district chairperson claims that the IDPs, who were mainly young men, were transporting 60 pieces of timber to Atanga sub-county headquarters on truck when the police and forestry officials charged at them with accusations of illegal activity.

Phinehas Arinaitwe, the Northern Uganda Regional Police Commander, says a legal suit against the police is inappropriate and will not solve anything. He says the incident was merely a poorly coordinated mission and that those involved in firing the teargas will be disciplined in accordance with police regulations.

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Jimmy Ouna, the National Forestry Authority manager for the Aswa Range in Pader, says he has lodged a complaint with the police against some of the IDPs and district leaders. He accuses them of obstructing the work of the forestry authority.