Police Scales Up Community Policing Campaign To Quell Tribal Tensions

1419 Views Ntoroko, Uganda

In short
Bernard Mugisa, the LC3 chairperson Itojo town council says community policing is timely since it will enable the different tribes in the area to mix freely and look at each other as brothers and sisters.

Police have embarked on community policing to avert further ethnic clashes in Rwenzori region. The campaign comes in the wake of attacks in Kasese, Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts, which led to the loss of 90 people. 50 suspects were arrested in connection with the attacks believed to be connected to tribal tension.

As a result, police have launched a community policing drive in Ntoroko district, which is home to the Bakonzo, Batuku and Batooro.  In Itojo and Karugutu town council, where there are many Batuku and Bakonzo, the campaign is targeting local leaders and community members.

Bernard Mugisa, the LC3 chairperson Itojo town council says community policing is timely since it will enable the different tribes in the area to mix freely and look at each other as brothers and sisters. Mugisa says since the attacks, the Bakonzo and Batuku now view each other with suspicion to the extent that some of the residents have stopped purchasing food from traders of a different ethnic group.

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Bosco Bakashaba, the Ntoroko district police commander says the campaign which has never been implemented in the district is aimed at ensuring the peaceful co-existence among the different ethnic communities. Bakashaba says although the Batuku and the Bakonzo live together, a minimal degree of tension still exists between the two ethnic groups.

According to Bakashaba, through community policing, they are also educating the communities on how to be vigilant all the time for other forms of crime or insecurity and not to be lured to join the groups. Bakashaba adds that another strategy is public engagement, which seeks to get communities to be more proactive in detecting and reporting potential criminals.

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Gilbert Mugume, a resident of Karugutu welcomes the community policing campaign but says government should provide employment opportunities to the youth so that they aren’t lured into criminal activities. 
Last week, during a meeting with members of the district security committees in the region, Kale Kayihura, the Inspector General of Police said community policing should be scaled up in all the districts.

He also said government should give priority to youths under the Luwero-Rwenzori development programme to enable them engage in income generating activities, which will keep them occupied.

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.