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Missionaries concerned by hasty executions after Irish priest's murder

The Mill Hill Missionaries have expressed their concern at the way two soldiers were tried and executed in Uganda on Monday, for the murder of Fr Declan O'Toole and two parishioners days before.

In a statement, the Missionaries expressed their fear that the soldiers had been scapegoated and "the real perpetrators will go free".

They backed the comments of local people in The Monitor newspaper on Tuesday, which called for the naming of the officers who sanctioned the execution.

During the five years he served in the Karamoja region, Fr O'Toole got increasingly involved in promoting peace and reconciliation in this violent region. It is clear from his communications both to his family in Ireland and to the Mill Hill Missionaries in London, how passionately involved he was in this ministry and acutely aware of the risks involved.

When recently he witnessed a glaring example of army brutality in the village of Nakapelimoru - part of the parish of the area where served - he himself was beaten by one soldier and ridiculed by others. This prompted him to lodge a strong protest with the local commander and to inform the Irish Embassy in Kampala.

The Missionaries' statement urged the Government of Uganda to order a full investigation, "to lay to rest the lingering suspicion that Fr Declan O'Toole may have been the victim of a pernicious form of army revenge".

Irish missionary killed by Uganda terrorist faction (25/3/02)


28 Mar 2002