08 February 2006 :the army has executed 26 soldiers in northern Uganda over the last three years for murdering civilians in the region, the 2003-2005 report on action taken against human rights violations by the UPDF in northern Uganda revealed. The Chief of Defence Forces, Gen. Aronda Nyakarima, while launching the report on February 3, said the soldiers had either been shot or hanged. The report indicated that in 2003, 11 soldiers were executed in northern Uganda. In 2004 seven were executed, while another eight were killed in 2005. In the same period, the report indicated that the army court martial in the region tried and convicted: seven soldiers for rape, 10 for robbery and another four for defilement. “At times, we have had to go on full stretch and put on firing squad our soldiers for murdering civilians. A number of them have been hanged or executed. Such examples include the hanging of Private Joel Lubangakene for murdering civilian Ojok Ojara of Lalogi IDP camp on December 5, 2005,” the report said. The report also cited the conviction of Lt. John Aburin and nine others who assaulted Members of Parliament at Acholi-bur in Pader District.
The report acknowledged that because of the conflict in northern Uganda, a number of human rights violations like displacement and loss of life had taken place. Aronda said the report was an assessment of the role of the UPDF in the protection and promotion of human rights. “These report points to the action the army has taken in disciplining its troops who have committed human rights violations in the north,” he said. The report acknowledged that civil-military relations in the north had tremendously improved through monthly mobilisation and joint security meetings.