Arua arrests, torture planned by SFC Commando Unit – Kizza Besigye

Arua arrests, torture planned by Special Forces Command (SFC) Commando Unit – Kizza Besigye
Dr. Kizza Besigye, the former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Party President addresses Journalists

The former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party President Dr Kizza Besigye has said that the infamous attack on opposition supporters in Arua Municipality was orchestrated by the Commando Unit, operating under the Special Forces Command (SFC).

Besigye said that the Unit trained by experts from Israel and North Korea is mainly targeting opposition leaders and that the same unit masterminded the attack on the Rwenzururu Palace in Kasese district in November 2016.

Besigye made the allegations in a press conference held Saturday 18th morning in Kampala, in the wake of the detention of key opposition figures and supporters arrested in Arua district on Monday. Those arrested include, among others, Four MPs; Robert Sentamu Kyagulanyi, Gerald Karuhanga, Francis Zaake and Paul Mwiru, former MP Micheal Mabikke and the Arua Municipality MP-elect Kassiano Wadri

The Special Forces Command (SFC) is a specialized component of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) tasked with carrying out specialized missions or operations at a moment’s notice, according to its website.

Besigye called for an urgent inquiry into the unit by Parliament and other international agencies to see that the Commander of the Arua operation is brought to book and charged under the law.

He added that Ugandans should equally not sit back but should rise up and condemn the violence orchestrated against key opposition figures in Uganda.

But Captain Jimmy Omara, a spokesman of the Special Forces Command (SFC), refuted allegations by Dr Kizza Besigye as mere speculation. Omara said that Besigye’s statements shows that he is detached from the operations of the Army.

This is the second time in two days that Besigye is addressing the media on Arua events that saw more than 30 people arrested in Arua district and later charged with treason.

Those charged were arrested on Monday following the chaos that dominated the last day of campaigns in the West Nile district. According to Charges presented to them before Gulu Chief Magistrate Francis Dawa Matenga, the group is alleged that they commanded a team of youths that obstructed the president’s motorcade and pelted stones that smashed the windscreen of one of the vehicles in the convoy.

Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi was separately charged with illegal possession of firearms before the General Court Martial and remanded to Makindye Military Barracks. Reports from his family, lawyers, Asuman Basalirwa and Medard Lubega Seggona and the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) have since revealed that he was tortured and in bad shape.

The other legislator, Francis Zaake is now admitted at Lubaga Hospital, reportedly due to injuries sustained as a result of torture while under police custody.