Tension engulfed the people of West Nile, after reports of an attack on a UPDF military detach in Zombo district last week, with many people seen deserting their homes fearing for their lives.
There erupted fierce fighting last Friday as the UPDF responded with open fire to an attack by a group of over 200 militias on their detach. Armed with machetes, bows, arrows and stones, they killed 3 officers and injured many. The army killed 15 of the attackers in the process and captured another 16 alive. The attackers , who were successfully repulsed, were reportedly from Atyak, Paidha, Warr, Alangi as well as some Lendu from the neighboring DRC.
The UPDF spokesman, Brig Richard Karemire, described the attack as suicidal, adding that the army was working with the local leadership to hunt the assailants down.
Although the report by Daniel Kavuma, the UPDF spokesperson for West Nile had optimistically asked the public to be calm, saying that the situation had been arrested, resultant discoveries about the attack have fear gripped the locals with looming uncertainties about their safety.
Residents report that the attack on the army detach was a planned one and the motive could have been getting guns from the army to destablise the area.
Charles Jeplem, a resident of Zombo town council said that the assailants had been meeting at the home of a one Ovoyo to plan their mission.
Ovoyo, one of the ring leaders of the group is said to have been a member of the West Nile Bank Front rebel group. He was arrested and imprisoned on similar charges in Luzira, before he was offered amnesty in 2014.
Before the attack, the group had been carrying out surveillance on the security forces for at least one month according to reports .
According to Joseph Ogen, the chairman of Zombo town council, the assailants were seen moving in the direction of the detach in different groups around 11pm but there were no efforts to intercept them.
Many of the residents have since left their homes especially those from Jongoro and Zombo Sub counties, heading to Paidha district for their safety as gun fire smoke blur the district due to heavy fighting between the army and the attackers.
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