DEFILEMENT, RAPE CASES ON RISE IN NAKIVALI REFUGEE CAMP; JUSTICE GASWAGA DEMANDS SENSITIZATION
By Okoodi Deo
Justice Duncan Gaswaga has tasked government and all refugee humanitarian agencies to sensitise immigrants on the set Ugandan laws more especially on defilement before settling them around different refugee settlement camps within the country.
The high court Judge noted that in most cases stake holders involved in refugee affairs are always concerned on the first priority of settling the fleeing refugees while forgetting that everything they are subjected to as they enter the country are new to them.
He said that this is the reason why refugees innocently find themselves on the wrong side of the law hence suffering much more as compared to citizens due to lack of accessing substantial sureties to bail them out in courts of law.
Justice Gaswaga who was opening mobile high court criminal session for refugees at Nakivale refugee settlement camp in Isingiro district noted that in some countries like DRC, the age of consent for a girl to get involved in a sexual act is 14 years where as in Uganda it is 18 years and this is totally different. He thus called for sensitization to avoid committing sexual crimes in the refugee settlement.
He said all this after realising that out of 30 capital offences listed on the case cause list, sixteen are defilement and nine committed by Congolese nationals staying at Nakivale refugee camp. Other capital offences to be disposed of include rape, murder, theft and kidnap.
The 30 refugees charged of these capital offences have been on remand for close to five years in different prison facilities in south western region.
Source: www.mknewslink.com a greater western Uganda news website
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