KAMPALA- The death toll in the on-going tribal clashes in Rwenzori region has hit 90, with the number expected to rise as armed men threaten with more reprisal attacks in Bundibugyo District.
A total of 125 suspects have been detained in connection with the attacks. Deputy police spokesperson Polly Namaye says 75 deaths are of suspected attackers, 11 are civilians, five police officers and five soldiers. Another four police officers and 11 civilians were injured.
Police said the soldiers were killed when the assailants attacked a military facility in Kanyamwirima in Bundibugyo District.
At least 22 rifles are missing from police, Uganda Wildlife Authority, UPDF and private security facilities in districts of Kasese and Bundibugyo, police said.
Local leaders accused
Ms Namaye says the attackers were coordinated by local leaders and politicians, who are yet to be summoned for interrogation. “Investigations are pointing to area politicians and a witchdoctor who hails from the Democratic Republic of Congo who helped them attack out stations,” Ms Namaye said.
The gunmen carried out attackers in three districts of Kasese, Bundibugyo and Ntoroko, all near the border of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Security officers in Bundibugyo told the Daily Monitor that the attackers wanted to carry out more raids yesterday morning, forcing hundreds of residents to flee to urban areas.
Officers told residents to remain in their homes to avoid being shot at in case of crossfire.
But more soldiers were deployed to foil their attacks. By press time, the situation in Bundibugyo was still liquid.
The police spokesman, Mr Fred Enanga, said the army and police leadership were meeting to forge a way to protect the civilians.
Police sources told the Daily Monitor yesterday that security agencies were in contact with the suspected leader of the attackers in order to resolve the matter without causing more damage. It is alleged that the negotiations were delayed until for further consultations.
POLICEMAN SHOOTS BUNDIBUGYO RDC
Security officials are investigating the circumstances under which the Bundibugyo Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Mr Pius Mujuzi, was shot by a police officer.
Mr Mujuzi, the President’s representative in the district and chairperson of the district security committee, told the journalists that he was shot on his way from home to the office.
His home is behind the Bundibugyo main police station which was attacked by an unidentified group of mainly Bakonzo youth. He reportedly used the shortcut behind the police station as he walked towards office.
“While on my way to office, I met a police officer who was taking cover. I had not yet established his identity. He shot me twice in my left leg,” said Mr Mujuzi.
He also added that on reaching Bundibugyo Hospital he was referred to Kampala for further treatment. “I don’t know the reason why the police officer shot me,” Mr Mujuzi said as he awaited a helicopter which was supposed to evacuate him to Kampala.
The UPDF’s Rwenzori region spokesperson, Lt Ninsima Rwemijuma, confirmed the incident. He said security officials got intelligence that the attackers were planning another raid.
“When the security operatives were taking their positions, the RDC came from behind and he was putting on civilian clothes and accidentally the police officer shot him in the leg,” Lt Rwemijuma said, adding that preliminary investigations revealed that the shooting was not intended.