The Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) has attributed last week’s deadly attack on its detachment in Zombo district to a group of armed elements operating in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.
The army says the gang of attackers totaling 80, which on Friday morning invaded the Bombo base was mobilized from areas of Paidha, Nyapea, Zeu, Zaale, Songoli, Atyak and a few from Warr in Uganda.
The in a statement last night, UPDF disputed media reports that these were trained in Kiryandongo forest, and clarified that they were facilitated by a Congolese militia.
According to the army deputy spokesman Lt Col Deo Akiiki, the attackers were “misled by some Congolese elements seeking guns for use for criminal activities in Eastern Congo.”
“The assailants were mobilized by some group who were recently given amnesty by government including one Ovoya a witchdoctor and other ringleaders like Atochon, Oketcha, Openji Openjuru and a UPDF veteran Corporal Tonifa Bosco.”
“The claim… that these people were trained in Kiryandongo forest is unauthentic. Investigations are ongoing to establish more details about the matter,” Akiiki said.
Of the 80 attackers who were armed with bows, arrows, pangas and spears, 17 were killed while 26 were captured, mostly injured.
Three UPDF soldiers were killed by hacking with pangas and arrows.
Many more, Akiiki says, are being arrested by civilians in Konga, Jangukuru, Awasi, Ageri, Konga Kona Angwen and Adhosi.
“Our forces in collaboration with Congolese Forces and authorities are still pursuing those that went to Congo. Some have been already arrested,” he said.
“UPDF will continue with the operation to ensure the group is wiped out and the leaders both in Uganda and Congo are brought to book. We have increased our boarder operations across the entire frontier with DRC in this area and call upon the wanainchi to continue working with Security forces to keep our boarders and our people safe and secure.”