Crime

THREE MINISTRY OF ENERGY STAFF , UPDF OFFICERS GUNNED DOWN IN KARAMOJA

By Mathew Abekson

MOROTO: A combination of suspected armed Matheniko –Turkana raiders have murdered three geologists on a mineral mapping mission in Karamoja, the army confirmed on Tuesday evening as the security situation deteriorates in the sub region.

Other three Uganda Peoples’ Defense forces were also killed in the exchange of close fire amidst a seasonal river.

The alleged assailants confronted the team near Lokisilei village at 2.00pm on Monday, some 35 kilometres North of Moroto town before a shoot-out ensued.

The deceased geologists have been identified as Richard Kigwe the team leader, Charles Olweny a community liaisons officer working for EX-CALIBAR, a firm that was charged with conducting the geophysical aerial survey in Karamoja almost a year down the road.

The other woman in her late 20’s, also a geologist, had not been identified. Information available indicates she was doing a geological course at Makerere University.

The 3rd infantry division commander Brig. Joseph Balikudembe briefed journalists at the sidelines of a security crisis meeting that was being chaired by the Moroto Resident District Commissioner James Shilaku.

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Balikudembe said the survivors will help the forces with information on the attack of the team by the bandits.

Earlier reports in the day had indicated four soldiers had been killed and all the guns seized.

He however, said the troops had embarked on the manhunt for the bandits who have now taken refuge in the wilderness for fear of the repercussions from the army.

The attack comes just a few days after the office of the Karamoja affairs held a regional council aimed at addressing the current security situation in the sub region.

The Sub County Chairperson Lotisan Stephanie Adupa when contacted blamed the officials for isolating themselves from the local leaders.

He asked investors or visitors to Karamoja to always consult leaders at the district, sub county and village levels before accessing the bushes.

By press time, the civilian bodies had been evacuated to the Moroto regional referral hospital mortuary while the army had also kept theirs in the Moroto barracks mortuary.

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