Journalists who were violently assaulted by military police on Wednesday while covering National Unity Platform-NUP’s Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi's petition submission to the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights on alleged human rights violations will be compensated, the Chief of Defense Forces-CDF Gen. David Muhoozi has said.
Gen. Muhoozi also apologized to the journalists and the entire media fraternity over his forces’ violent attacks.
More than 10 journalists sustained injuries and ended up in hospitals. On Thursday morning, the Gen Muhoozi accompanied by the spokespersons of the UPDF Brig. Flavia Byekwaso and Deo Akiiki said they regret the events and vowed to bring to account the perpetrators.
“On behalf of the UPDF, I ask for forgiveness because what happened yesterday were individual mistakes and we shall do everything to see that those responsible are held to account according to UDF laws. No one sent them. When we deploy our forces, we give them rules of engagement but this time they went beyond these rules” Gen Muhoozi said.
The CDF announced that UPDF will meet the treatment costs of those who sustained injuries. “We cannot reverse what happened but we shall assist them to get treatment. The lessons we learn from this incident and those before it is that when we make a mistake we apologize and then forge a way forward where all of us can do our work without clashing” the CDF added.
According to Gen Muhoozi, UPDF should include modules in the training manual of soldiers to include the role and the way the media should be treated. Adding that they will also start using cameras in their operations to capture what happens in the field where they send their officers. This he said, will help in gathering evidence and also hold accountable their officers who go astray.
He appealed to journalist to also start moving with things that can identify them from non-journalists.