Residents flee as poachers, rangers fight

Wednesday March 10 2010

By Warom Felix Okello

People residing around Zoka Game Reserve in Adjumani District fled from their homes for safety as poachers and rangers exchanged gunfire for half an hour.

The rangers, who were on a routine operation, were attacked on Monday by hunters armed with rifles. In the exchange, one of the poachers was shot dead.

The north western region police spokesperson, Mr Henry Alyang, said the safety of residents in the region is at stake due to the many guns that are in the hands of wrong people.

“We are trying our best to trace people who possess guns, but our efforts are being frustrated because they are using hit-and- run methods,” he said.
Mr Alyang said two rifles were recovered from the poachers while others fled into thick areas of the forest. No arrests have yet been made.

“We shall trace them because people know some of them,” Mr Alyang said.
The District Police Commander, Mr Fredrick Segirinya, told Daily Monitor yesterday that this was the first incident where hunters were poaching using guns.

He urged residents to desist from the activity, saying it is illegal.
Residents around the game reserves still practice poaching since some of them use the game meat as a source of income.