MOROTO – A security team compromising, the Uganda People’s Defence Forces – UPDF and police’s Anti-Stock Theft Unit – ASTU have recaptured 41 of the inmates who had escaped from Moroto Prison, two years, ago.
At least 224 inmates escaped from the Moroto government prison in September 2020, disappearing with 14 guns belonging to prison warders and wardresses. The inmates included military deserters, warriors, and other armed suspects, who were on remand at the facility.
But the on-going forceful disarmament exercise in Karamoja, Sebei, and other parts of Northern Uganda has led to the arrest of the escapees, who had since joined warriors terrorising the locals, stealing their livestock.
Frank Baine, the Uganda Prisons Service – UPS Spokesperson said the lasted arrests had brought the number of recaptured escapees to 134, meaning that 77 prisoners were still on the run. Baine confirmed that 13 of the escapees were shot and killed by joint forces during the operations to recapture them.
He added that forces in the Karamoja area have also helped the Prisons Service to recover nine out of the 14 guns that the escapees had varnished with. Baine was optimistic that even those still on the run would be recaptured to face the law.
Meanwhile, UPDF Spokesperson, Brig Gen Felix Kulayigye said that 654 warriors have been shot and killed in the last 17 months; 21,751 arrests of cattle rustlers recorded in addition to the recovery 652 guns.
“We have recovered 4,097 bullets, charged and prosecuted 686 warriors and recovered 29,270 animals including cattle, goats, sheep, and donkeys. This operation Usalama Kwa Wote has been a success,” said Brig Gen Kulayigye.
Baine explained that the third mastermind of the escape Solomon Egau was arrested a few days ago in a fire exchange in Soroti. He said the inmate was injured in the process but was stable in hospital.
Related in Ntoroko, an indeterminate number of gunmen suspected to be ADF rebels have attacked Kayanja village in Bweramule sub-county in Ntoroko District, a week after a similar attack in the same area.
Steven Asaba the Bweramule Sub county LC III Chairperson has told URN that the rebels attacked Kayanja village at around 7 AM on Tuesday, which they had attacked last week. The village is at the border of Uganda and DRC.
Asaba says that UPDF is in the area engaging the rebels and according to him, UPDF has already captured two gunmen. He says that so far, no resident has been harmed and people are still in their homes.
Edward Jones Mugairwe, the Ntoroko Resident District Commissioner –RDC confirmed the attack and said that UPDF intercepted the rebels as they were trying to cross to Uganda and engaged them. However, he could not divulge more details, saying that they’re still engaging the rebels.
The attack comes just days after residents had returned to their homes following last week’s UPDF – ADF. On Tuesday last week, when rebels attacked Kyobe and Kayanja villages, over 800 locals fled from their homes and pitched camp at Karugutu Primary school.
According to Maj Gen Dick Olumu, the commander of Mountain Division and Operation Shujja said that in the fire exchange last week UPDF was able to kill 17 rebels, capture 13 and recover over 17 firearms.
Elsewhere, the UPDF is set to redeploy its detachments along the Uganda – South Sudan Border following the recent invasion by armed assailants from South Sudan into Oraba Town council in Koboko district.
The bandits who are suspected to be members of the National Salvation Front NAS, a South Sudanese militant group, on Tuesday and Thursday last week raided Delambience trading centre in Kinyibuli village, Oraba town council and looted locals’ properties.
The looted items include two head of cattle, clothes, bags of rice, groundnuts solar panels, TV screens, grinding machine engines and cash over UGX 3.5 million stolen from the locals and made way back to South Sudan.
Tom Olinga, the Koboko Resident District Commissioner explains that they resolved during a joint security meeting between Uganda and South Sudanese Officials held at Koboko district headquarters on Monday that the UPDF moves to redeploy along the border as one of the interventions to prevent further bandit incursions into Uganda.
He further noted that they will also explore the possibilities of joint operations between two countries to ensure that the common borders remain peacefully.
Additional reporting by URN