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Five Arms Dealers Escape Military Custody in Karamoja

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Suspects in military custody

Five people arrested on suspicion of trafficking firearms from Kenya to Uganda have escaped from the 407 UPDF brigade in Nakapiripirit district under unclear circumstances.

The five suspects were arrested in Bukwo district on Thursday last week. They were handed over to the army, which transferred them to Nakapiripirit district for safe custody.

Samuel Hashaka Mpimbaza, the Bukwo Resident District Commissioner who also doubles as the District Security Chairperson, says that he was shocked to learn that the suspects had escaped from the military custody and returned to their homes in Bukwo district.

“I am the one together with police who launched the operation and arrested these suspects and we recovered one gun. So we handed them to the army for proper management but it’s unfortunate that they again escaped under unclear reason, “he said.

According to Hashaka, the community members lynched one of the suspects when they saw him loitering around the village on Friday while another suspect was rearrested on Sunday and is in police custody.

Major Isaac Oware, the UPDF 3rd Division spokesperson confirmed the escape of the suspects but hastened to add that some have since been rearrested. He said they are investigating to establish whether there was foul play in their escape.

“This is the first incident to happen so we are investigating to establish whether there was some foul or neglect of duty,“ he said. The escape of the suspects has not gone down well with the public.

Moses Mudong, a resident of Kakomogole sub-county in Nakapiripirit wondered how the five suspects could escape from a military detachment. “This shows how relaxed our security forces are. How can you handle people who smuggle guns in a soft way, “he asked?

Peter Lokol, another resident said the same way army uniforms, bullets and guns get into the hands of the cattle rustlers is the same way the five suspects escaped.

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