Moroto prison break: What we know so far

Thursday September 17 2020
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A picture released by UPDF shows prisoners running to the bushes after breaking Singila prison in Moroto District on Wednesday evening

By Job Bwire

At least one Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) soldier was reportedly shot dead in a fire exchange with inmates who broke out of Singila prison in Moroto District.

By the time of filing this story on Wednesday night, authorities said one inmate had been put out of action while three others had been recaptured.

Security officials who did not want to be named in this story because they are not authorised to speak to the press, told this reporter that the inmates who numbered about 219, grabbed guns from prison warders before they escaped and ran towards Mt Moroto.

The commissioner general Uganda Prisons, Johnson Byabashaija, confirmed the development on Wednesday and said the inmates overpowered prison staff before accessing the armory that had about 15 riffles.

“There has been a break out from the Prison after inmates overpowering staff and accessing the armory where there were about 15 rifles. They are on the loose now. Heavy exchange of fire ensued. They have run towards Mt Moroto,” Mr Byabashaija said on Wednesday.


Police and locals pursue the armed fugitives, who robbed 15 guns from prison wardens before they escaped from Moroto Prisons yesterday. PHOTO | StEVEN ARIONG


The army later called for calm and said they were in pursuit of the escapees.

“The operation by UPDF in pursuit of escapees from Singila prison in Moroto to rearrest them and recover the stolen guns continues. The population therefore is advised to stay calm,” the UPDF spokesperson, Brig Gen Flavia Byekwaso tweeted on Wednesday night.

 The prison break happened at around 4.30pm.

Business in Moroto Municipality was brought to a standstill as a joint force of police, army and prison warders engaged the escapees, majorly hardcore criminals and warriors who were arrested and appeared before the Division Court Martial.

Residents were seen watching in shock as security operatives pursued the inmates