A Uganda People’s Defence Forces—UPDF soldier committed suicide on Saturday after killing a mistaken identity in Nakapiripirit district.
The incident occurred at Komuriet detachment, 101 kilometres South of Moroto town.
Private Sam Odongakara Olok, whose army service number is RA 223061, shot himself after he allegedly killed one James Wandudu, a shop aide at Komuriet trading centre. The soldier is attached to 5th battalion at Komuriet village in Moruita Sub County.
The UPDF 3rd Division Spokesperson Lt. Jimmy Omara explained that on the fateful day, Olok had a misunderstanding that may have led to a fight at a shop belonging to one Fred.
He later ran to his nearby detachment and picked his gun. However, he adds that on arrival he found the shop owner missing and pumped a dozen bullets into Wandudu, killing him instantly.
Omara suspects that after realizing that he had shot an innocent person, he took off to the detachment where he shot himself dead in his makeshift structure commonly known as “mama ingia pole.”
Omara appeals to soldiers to always solve misunderstandings amicably through their commanders or local leaders to minimize death.
Omara also said the soldier wouldn’t be accorded a decent burial by the army because committing suicide is a crime. Olok’s death comes hardly two months after two other soldiers, Private Cornelius Jakuma and Private Michael Kilama also committed suicide at a UPDF detachment in Rupa Sub County in Moroto district.
Cases of UPDF soldiers killing civilians are not new. In December 2010, Private Herbert Rwakihembo, who had just returned from duty in Somalia, shot dead three people including his wife after a domestic disagreement. He is serving a 30-year jail sentence at Luzira Prison.
On March 9 this year, Private Patrick Okot Odoch killed 10 people after a quarrel in a bar near Bombo Military Barracks. He was in June sentenced to 90 years in jail by the Military Court Martial.