JINJA: Thirty legal officers from both the Uganda Peoples’ Defense Forces (UPDF) and the Uganda Police Force concluded on Saturday a five-day course in the observance of human rights during their joint internal security operations.
The training was conducted at the Jinja-based UPDF Legal Training Center (LTC) and attracted instructors from both UPDF and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Participants were tipped on the relevance of being mindful of the well-being of the civilian population during security-led operations.
The LTC commandant, Lt. Col. Savy Tumuhimbise, says that the trainees are legal officers mandated with the cardinal role of coordinating with various unit commanders to expedite the tracing of human rights violations in the course of executing internal security operations.
Tumuhimbise stresses that the trainees were further equipped with the primary roles of police and UPDF during law enforcement, the relationship between humanitarian law and international law, the applicability of force and firearms without committing criminal activities while ensuring internal security, and the process of advising commanders ahead of internal security operations.
D/SP Farouk Matovu, attached to the Uganda police force’s legal department, says that the training with their counterparts from the UPDF has equipped them with knowledge of the essence of joint operability while executing their respective state duties.
Yossouf Traore, the ICRC’s regional delegate with armed and security forces, challenged officers to be mindful of the legal frameworks governing their respective communities, which will enable them to selflessly protect the human rights and values of the civilian population throughout the course of their deployments within different units and departments.
Brig. Godard Busingye, the UPDF’s chief of legal services, notes that such legal tips allow both officers and militants to gain exclusive knowledge on the coordination of their operations, with well-streamlined safeguards aimed at ensuring the protection of media personnel during security-led operations.
Busingye further commissioned the 19-student capacity dormitories, which were refurbished by the UPDF’s engineering brigade, to ensure the safe accommodation of legal officers during their training.
The LTC was commissioned in 2014 with the aim of equipping legal officers attached to the UPDF, police, prison services, and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) with refresher courses in military law, humanitarian law, and international human rights law.