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Uganda police bows to pressure, approves demonstration against killings of women

Uganda police bows to pressure, approves demonstration against killings of women

Uganda

Uganda’s police seem to have avoided a potential showdown with women activists, after the country’s internal affairs ministry approved Saturday’s demonstration to protest the ineffective response to the kidnap, sexual abuse and murder of over 30 women in the past one year.

The inspector general of Police (IGP), Martin Okoth Ochola had earlier denied the activists the required permission to demonstrate, arguing that the issues of insecurity had been adequately addressed in public fora by the country’s president, Yoweri Museveni and different security agencies.

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But as more and more people vowed to take part in the demonstration to highlight the plight of women, the ministry of internal affairs which supervises the police and other security agencies intervened.

The march is on and together we shall overcome violence against women and children.

Police approves Women’s march

Asan Kasingye, a high ranking Assistant Inspector General of Police tweeted that he would personally participate in the #WomensMarchUG.

‘‘I will be there. The march is on and together we shall overcome violence against women and children’‘ read Kasingye’s tweet.

The Women’s Protest Working Group who are organising the demonstration describe themselves as a non-partisan movement of citizens who ‘plan, strategize, organise, conduct and account for non-violent protest actions against oppression in Uganda’.

The issues raised by women activists

Some of the issues they raised in an earlier protest seeking audience with the IGP include:

  • Inconclusive investigations into the kidnaps and murders of women and children in the country
  • Police shaming of families who have been victims of ransom demands after their relatives are kidnapped
  • The mistreatment of women by members of the police force, and lack of sufficient numbers of women in leadership positions at Uganda Police
  • The team wants police to set up a dedicated team that will regularly report to the public on the status of police efforts to protect women and hold criminals accountable

At the height of the kidnapping and killing of women, the president of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni proposed that palm prints and DNA records of all Ugandans should be captured to facilitate the police in apprehending criminals.

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