Police have arrested 55 people they tagged as “key suspects” in the gruesome attack in the Rwenzori region that has claimed 90 lives.
In the swoop in Bundibugyo, Ntoroko and Kasese districts, the deputy prime minister for Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu (OBB), Mr Yeremiya Mutooro, was also arrested.
However, the spokesperson for Obusungha, Mr Joshua Baluku, denied the kingdom’s involvement in the attacks.
Fear engulfed Rwenzori region on Saturday afternoon as coordinated attacks were carried out on government installations, army and police positions plus a bank between 3pm to 4pm in Kasese, Bundibugyo and Ntoroko.
The army, police and intelligence officers that were subsequently deployed, arrested hundreds of suspects, mainly belonging to youth of the Rwenzururu Kingdom - in a cordon-and-search operation.
Among the arrested yesterday was an unnamed woman who is said to have commanded the Bundibugyo squad that among others, attacked the army barracks at Kanyamwirima.
Police also arrested 12 suspects from Ntoroko District who include the chairman for Karugutu Town Council, Mr Ben Muthalinda, and the District Information Officer, Mr Ibrahim Baluku, who is also a lecturer at Uganda Pentecostal University in Fort Portal Town.
“We have started on the paper work. We have screened the suspects and zeroed down to 55 who are at Bundibugyo Police Station,” said Mr Bakari Mugah, the police spokesperson for Rwenzori sub-region.
He said police have so far recovered two guns out of 20 that had gone missing during the attacks.
“Some of the suspects we screened are army deserters, some from Somalia and many youth who were lured into the action. They had witches all around them,” said Mr Mugah.
The updated figure of the dead in Bundibugyo, Kasese and Ntoroko according to Mugah are; 68 attackers, four soldiers, five policemen and three civilians. In the same areas, the number of the injured has been updated to 15 civilians, three soldiers and six policemen who are being treated at Bundibugyo hospital, Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital and at Kilembe Hospital in Kasese district while others are being treated in different clinics.
The LC5 boss Bundibugyo , Mr Jolly Tibemanya, said the attacks were well coordinated in all the three districts. He said an official from the OBB travelled to Bundibugyo in May “and mobilised all the youths to prepare themselves for something big”, adding: “Now you can see what has happened.”
By yesterday, the situation in Bundibugyo Town was creeping to normalcy with some shops and hotels open and taxis that ply the Bundibugyo-Fort Portal road resuming operations. However, several people are still living in fear and are either in hiding or holed up in their houses. “We have asked the teachers to report back on duty. The hospital has resumed operations and I think by Thursday, we shall be fully operational as a district,” said Mr Tibemanya.