What you need to know:
- Gen Muhoozi said Openjuru Howard was arrested in Uganda by the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) operatives in “a carefully planned operation that took many months.”
The alleged leader of Uganda Homeland Liberation Force (UHLF), one of the rebel outfits blamed for the recent attacks on Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) detaches in northern Uganda has been arrested, the commander of Land Forces, Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba said Saturday.
In a statement posted on his twitter handle, Gen Muhoozi said Openjuru Howard was arrested in Uganda by the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) operatives in “a carefully planned operation that took many months.”
“Ugandan intelligence has arrested the leader of the so called Uganda Homeland Liberation Force, Openjuru Howard, inside the country. It was a carefully planned operation that took many months. CMI is proving that it is a truly excellent intelligence service. Uganda ni hatari!” he tweeted.
In July this year, one of the alleged members of the rebel group, Mr Patrick Oryema, 60, surrendered to the security team in Nebbi District, reportedly confessing that he participated in the attack days before.
The development came after Gen Muhoozi blamed this year’s attack on UPDF detach in Zombo District on another rebel outfit, Co-operative for the Development of Congo (CODECO).
Mr Oryema, a resident of Ndhew Sub-county in Nebbi, said he joined UHLM a year ago in DR Congo.
According to Facebook posts by Mr Openjuru, the rebel outfit was formed to destabilise peace and security in the country and topple the government.
Mr Andrew Kajoyingi, the Zomb Resident District Commissioner, during last year’s March attack said: “These youth were secretly picked from here, that they were going to work in some coffee plantation in Kiryadongo [District] and little did we knew that there would be such a subversive movement in the district. Our intelligence report indicates that it is led by Howard Openjuru of UHLM.”
The army refuted the statement then.
However, Mr Oryema said he was lured by a witchdoctor but ended up at a rebel camp in DR Congo.
“[After] drinking the water mixed with some bitter fruit served by the witch doctor, I joined Uganda Homeland Liberation Movement rebel group unknowingly in DR Congo and when I realised it, I escaped because life was hard in the bush,” he said.
Mr Oryema said he had no military background to bear such conditions.
Earlier, the UPDF arrested the alleged witch doctor. Another leader of CODECO, a one Mr Athocon surrendered to the UPDF two weeks ago.
After the first attack, Mr Openjuru, posted on Facebook, saying: “These people who brought very senseless and unnecessary attack in Zombo District must be condemned for the stupidity. You start a war you can’t defend and think you are serious. Worst still it is your home place where your family, friends and relatives are. That is committing suicide.”
He added: “We are well prepared, organised and God is with us we shall be very successful and liberate Uganda from the hands of the wolves, looters, killers, self-centred, greedy, power hungry lunatics.”
Rebel group lacks ideology - govt
The Nebbi Resident District Commissioner, Mr Robert Abak, said the that UHLM doesn’t have clear motive and ideology to fight the government.
“The movement are luring youths who are with good developmental ideas with charms to attack the military detach in order to grab guns to fight the government. Government is ready to forgive those who renounce the rebel group since they were lured to join the rebel group,” he said at the time.