South Sudan

UPDF Brigadier wants army disarmed, blames S.Sudan for Gulu attacks


UPDF Brigadier Kasirye Gwanga [Bukedde online photo]

UPDF one-star general Brig. Gen. Kasirye Gwanga has spoken out on Gulu attacks that left two officers dead and others hospitalised early in the month.

Police has so far arrested 10 suspects in both attacks; on Opit LDU detach and the Sunday night attack on Gulu Police Station, which left two Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) soldiers, a police officer and a toddler dead.

Ggwanga who says after all these years of service he is not expected to go on the front-line blamed Gulu attacks on the young warring neighbour, South Sudan.

“Gulu attack is a South Sudan issue,” Ggwanga said while appearing on NBS TV morning breeze on Friday.

In May, more than 20 Ugandans were kidnapped by unknown assailants in a raid along the Uganda-South Sudan borders.

The victims were abducted by a group of gunmen from Uganda’s north-western district of Yumbe during a raid in Lewa village, a farmland in Kochi parish.

The Yumbe District chairman Taban Yasiin said the abductees were taken to Africa’s youngest country, South Sudan.

“They [South Sudanese] are trying to create another nation,” Ggwanga revealed.

Gwanga said some attackers are former Lord’s Resistance Army [LRA] fighters, concurring with UPDF 4th division commander Brig Muhanga Kayanja.

Meanwhile, government says Olara Otunnu, former Uganda People’s Congress [UPC] has been named in the two Gulu attacks after some suspects confessed to working with a one Olara Otunnu.

According to him, the said Olara Otunnu is alleged to have been supporting the attackers financially.

“Some of the suspects we arrested confessed to working for Olara Otunnu. We are yet to find out who this Olara Otunnu is. Because they claim he has been giving them financial support,” said Opondo recently while appearing on Capital Gang, a political total show on Capital FM, a local radio station.

In the same vein, Otunnu filed an application before Gulu High Court seeking to enforce the rights of Dan Oola Odiya, the deputy UPC spokesperson.

Odiya was arrested about two weeks ago in connection to the attack at Opit army detach in Gulu district, was charged together with Kenneth Otto and Sam Oboma with treason, two counts of Murder, aggravated robbery and three counts of attempted murder before Paul Owino, the Gulu Grade one magistrate and was remanded to Gulu Central Prison.

UPDF shootings

On recent shootings by UPDF soldiers, Gwanga said giving all these officers guns was a mistake.

“They are killing weapons. Give them shotguns with pellets.”

On June 19, Private Jimmy Oryema attached to Rubongi military barracks in Tororo district shot himself after a quarrel with barmaid over Shs 20,000 in Majanji in Busia district.

A week before, Cpl Fred Kugonza attached to Bombo Headquarters, Band Section shot dead his sister-in-law Maureen Nyangoma, a resident of Kigumba Town Council, Kiryandongo District.

Earlier, Sgt Obua Isaac attached to Makindye Barracks in Kampala went on rampage with his gun killing seven people before he was also put out of action.

“Why do these soldiers sleep with a gun in the house? What are they defending while in the barracks?” the Brigadier wondered.


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