Killings, Looting Reported in Wake of Peace Treaty
KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) _ Relatives said today that a former member of Parliament and a lawyer were shot and killed by men in army uniforms in separate incidents after the signing of a peace treaty to end Uganda’s civil war.
Relatives said Francis Kasuura, a former Democratic Party legislator, and lawyer Joshua Bwanika were killed Wednesday night in Kampala. The relatives and hospital officials said a businessman riding in the car with Bwanika was seriously wounded.
The guerrilla National Resistance Army, which signed the treaty Tuesday with the governing Military Council, frequently has charged the government with failing to halt atrocities by soldiers.
There were unconfirmed reports today of at least two other killings in the Kampala area since Tuesday. Residents of several Kampala neighborhoods and suburbs reported bursts of gunfire and looting by soldiers.
Gen. Tito Okello, the head of state and chairman of the Military Council, addressed about 5,000 people at a rally today in Kampala’s main square, but he did not mention any violence.
He said the government would soon withdraw soldiers from Kampala and turn over security duties to police, as called for in the peace treaty.
A church-backed newspaper, meanwhile, said residents in the Wakiso area 10 miles northwest of Kampala reported that government soldiers have been robbing townspeople since the peace treaty was signed in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Kampala newspaper Munno, which is supported by the Roman Catholic Church, also said troops killed 30 people last week in the Mpigi district, 30 miles west of the capital, during a rampage of looting, raping and arson.
The treaty declared an immediate cease-fire in the war waged by the National Resistance Army since early 1981. But field commanders were given 48 hours, until this morning, to implement the cease-fire.
One provision of the treaty calls for prosecution of soldiers in all factions who committed human rights violations since the military took power in a coup July 27.
Civilian President Milton Obote, who was ousted in the coup, had been accused by the rebels of sanctioning human rights abuses on a broad scale and using the civil war as an excuse for the repression.
Under terms of the peace treaty, Okello will remain head of state and chairman of the Military Council, while guerrilla commander Yoweri Museveni will be the council’s vice chairman.
The treaty gives the rebels seven seats on the council, which is to be expanded from 12 to 20 members and is to help arrange for parliamentary elections ″as soon as practicable.″
A new 8,480-man national army is to be formed, with government forces providing 3,700 men, the National Resistance Army providing 3,580 and four smaller guerrilla groups a total of 1,200. Britain, Kenya, Tanzania and Canada were to be invited to supply observers to help create the new army and demobilize fighters not incorporated into it, but Britain said Wednesday it would not take part.
With more than 30,000 fighters bearing arms during the civil war, there has been concern that some of those not included in the new army will keep their weapons and become outlaws.