By Keefa Nuwahereza
The Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) has finally spoken out about the Prison break at Singila Government Prison in Moroto District that happened on Wednesday, reassuring Ugandans to remain calm because all the escapees will be arrested.
A total of 219 prisoners escaped from Singila prisons with guns and fled into Mt. Moroto, prompting a joint force of UPDF, Uganda Prisons Services and Uganda police to pursue them.
However, during the pursuit, one of the UPDF soldiers, whose identity is yet to be revealed by the army, was shot dead by one of the escapees who had fled with guns.
It is said that three escapees were also shot dead by security forces before arresting some of them, while others fled into the mountains and are still being hunted.
In a statement released by the UPDF deputy Spokesperson Lt. Col. Deo Akiiki, the army revealed that they have since deployed ground and air forces to hunt down all the escapees. The UPDF statement reads in part thus;
“MINISTRY OF DEFENCE as VETERANS AFFAIRS UGANDA PEOPLES’ DEFENCE FORCES OFFICE OF THE DEFENCE SPOKESPERSON MoDVA
OPERATION TO PURSUE ESCAPEES FROM SINGILA GOVERNMENT PRISON IN MOROTO
Yesterday, 16th September 2020 at around 4:30pm prisoners at Singila Government Prison in Moroto District broke through the prison gates after overpowering the guards.
Two hundred nineteen (219) prisoners escaped. UPDF under the direct command of the 3Division Commander Brig Joseph Balikudembe was called upon to support the efforts of UPF and UPS. Employing both Infantry and air power UPDF pursued the escapees who had climbed towards Mountain Moroto in areas of Tapach. Seven (7) of the escapees were captured.
In hot pursuit an exchange of fire ensued leaving three (3) escapees dead and one (1) of our soldiers gunned down.
His struggle was not in vain as he died fighting to restore peace and justice in his motherland. We celebrate his life and heroism.
Fifteen (15) riffles were grabbed from the prison and are not yet recovered. The pursuit to re-arrest the escapees and recovering the guns is still ongoing.
UPDF calls for calmness as we pursue these escapees. The people in general areas of Moroto, Napak, Matany and neighboring districts are called upon to be vigilant and inform leaders, police or the military of anybody they suspect to be alien in their area.
Some escapees are armed and have fused with the community abandoning the prison uniforms. Security calls upon collaboration with the public in this effort. UPDF and sister security agencies will continue the search to rearrest the prisoners.”