UPDF soldiers shoot four people dead in Nwoya

One of the residents who was taken to Pakwach Health Centre IV after being shot. COURTESY PHOTO.  

NWOYA/PAKWACH- At least four people mainly from Nebbi and Pakwach districts have been shot dead by UPDF soldiers over a disputed piece of land.

According to the  Obiru West Village local council chairman in Nwoya District, Mr Collins Okethwengu, the soldiers attacked residents on Thursday accusing them of illegally occupying the disputed land.

The dispute pits Lt Gen Otema Awany against dozens of residents who have lived on the land for decades.

"They [soldiers] who were dressed in army uniform beat people up and ordered them to leave the land. The people mobilised to fight the soldiers who ended up shooting four people dead and injuring several others," he said.

The five injured people are admitted at Pakwach Health Center IV.

Mr Okethwengu said that more than 20 houses were burnt by the soldiers.

"I have heard about the incident but it is not clear whether the UPDF soldiers were involved,” said Mr Swaib Toko, Pakwach Resident District Commissioner.

Pakwach District borders Nwoya District where the incident occurred.

Pakwach District chairman Mr Steen Omito, said: "I counted dead bodies of our people shot in Obira village at Palango by UPDF soldiers who were guarding Otema's farm. Several others are feared dead since the killers denied us to access to search the bushes.”

 According to Dr John Bosco Oryema, who works at Pakwach Health Centre IV, five victims who sustained injuries and fractures are receiving treatment at the health centre.

"We received the injured victims but no dead bodies were brought here," Dr Oryema said.

The Spokesman of the UPDF 4th Division, Maj Ceaser Olweny, said residents who were armed with bows and arrows attacked the detach where the soldiers were stationed.  

"The UPDF [soldiers] retaliated by shooting four people dead. The evidence of their bows and arrows are still there at the scene but we are gathering more information about this," he said.

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