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Opposition Launches Fresh Initiative to Locate 18 Missing Supporters

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The Office of the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament (LOP) has initiated an independent investigation to trace 18 National Unity Platform (NUP) supporters allegedly abducted by security forces before, during, and after the 2021 elections.

Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Mathias Mpuuga, has confirmed the beginning of a process where they are visiting the families of the 18 missing persons to gather information about their disappearance over the past four years.

This decision comes after a Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) report released in October indicated that while 12 out of 30 missing individuals were located, the whereabouts of the remaining 18 could not be determined, resulting in the closure of their cases.

One family visited by the LOP’s team is that of John Ddamulira in Mukono District, who went missing in November 2020. An anonymous source within the family expressed shock at the UHRC report, stating that the designation of the 18 missing persons as non-existing was disturbing.

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A local leader in the area detailed their struggles in reporting a missing person case at a police station, indicating their efforts were futile as officers deliberately refused to register the complaint, leading them to seek assistance at Mukono Central Police Station.

Mpuuga affirmed that their focus is on reaching out to the families of all 18 missing individuals, intending to compile a series of reports named “The Missing 18” based on their findings.

The Leader of the Opposition also raised concerns about reported intimidation faced by other affected families from law enforcement and security agencies, alleging attempts to hide or obscure the truth.

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In response to these allegations, Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga dismissed claims of missing individuals, referencing the UHRC report, which discredited opposition assertions, highlighting the lack of factual evidence to aid further investigations by relevant government bodies.

Among the missing individuals, apart from Ddamulira, are Joseph Baguma, Godfrey Kisembo, Moses Mbabazi, Peter Kirya, Shafiq Wangolo, John Bosco Kibalama, and others. The opposition demands justice, transparency, and accountability regarding these disappearances and calls for the immediate release of political prisoners, asserting the Government’s disregard for constitutional provisions. The plight of the missing individuals has been a subject of heated debates in Parliament, leading to opposition members walking out during sessions to protest the Government’s stance on democratic principles.

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