Forestry Officials, 3 Soldiers Arrested for Assaulting Women in Akokoro

3 of the arrested soldiers

Police in Akokoro is holding two officials of the National Forestry Authority (NFA) and 3 soldiers for allegedly assaulting two women during routine operations in Akokoro Forest Reserve.

It is reported that on Saturday 4, April, NFA officials led by the District Forestry Officer, Judith Aber and Lilian Akot plus 3 soldiers beat up the two women accusing them of illegal tree cutting and charcoal burning in the Forest Reserve.

The soldiers were identified as Privates, Obwana Frederick, Bwiire Benson Ouma and Olwa Benmos.

Those assaulted have since been identified as Harriet Akello, 34 and Dilish Awor, 40 both of Kayei village, Akokoro subcounty in Apac district.

It is reported that Aber went with the soldiers to the forest in Akokoro on Saturday and found the women gathering firewood. Aber then ordered for the beating of the women and the soldiers complied.

It is noted further that after beating them severely, they were put in a vehicle which Aber was using and taken uphill where they were found by a cattle keeper who later on alerted members of the community.

On Sunday, authorities mobilized an ambulance from Akokoro health center III, picked and took them to Apac hospital where they are currently receiving treatment.

A case under CRB 194/2020 was reported at Akokoro Police Station on Monday 6th April, 2020 and Police has since arrested the two NFA officials as well as the soldiers who are now detained at Central Police Station in Apac.

The authorities have since revealed that the four Police officers who were on the team are currently on enforcement of curfew directives but they shall be arrested and detained as well.

Commenting on the matter, the Defence spokesperson, Brig. Richard Karemire said that the incident is not associated with the measures to fight COVID-19.

“The incident has nothing to do with the curfew which is one of the measures in the campaign against COVID-19. It will be investigated and action will be taken,” Brig Karemire said.

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