The Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) has denied that there is no relation between an attack at Mbuya barracks early this week and shootings early Saturday that killed ten people including five soldiers near Bombo military barracks.
Felix Kulayigye, the army spokesperson, said that while both incidents are criminal they are not related. He explained that they are investigating both cases and would prosecute those found to be responsible. He added that three suspects are awaiting prosecution for the Mbuya incident while investigations are yet to provide details for the Bombo incident.
On Monday, a group of gunmen invaded Mbuya barracks in an apparent attempt to raid arms while early today, a UPDF soldiers shot and killed ten people including five soldiers at a bar near Bombo military barracks and police station.
Kulayigye explained that a soldier identified as Private Okot Patrick Odoch escaped from his post armed with a gun and thirty rounds of ammunition, which he used to shot at and kill ten people at a bar among them five of his colleagues.
He said investigations to gather more information and a search for the suspect were still underway. He however said preliminary probe indicates that Odoch was previously arrested, cautioned and released on charges of consuming bhangi, an intoxicating drug adding that they were speculating that he could have been under the influence of the drug when he shot at the ten people.
Kulayigye added that the army was meeting with residents of Pakele and Gogonya, the villages where the shootings occurred to establish the next of kin of the deceased civilians to help in planning fir their funeral, which he said the army would undertake. Gogonya village is located one and half kilometres north of the UPDF Land Forces headquarters.
The army has identified the dead soldiers as Francis Musana, a Warrant Officer attached to the Directorate of Culture, Sergeant Joel Obote, Sergeant Onesmus Odule attached to the Chieftaincy of Personnel and Administration, Corporal Ozele Isaac attached to the Directorate of Culture and Namatovu Teddy, a Private attached to the Directorate of Sports.
Meanwhile the civilians killed in the shooting include Wilber Odiba, Aseru Amina, the owner of the bar, Akullu Florence, the wife of Sergeant Onesmus Odule, Akole Sarah wife of one of the soldiers and David Komakech.
Kulayigye said two other civilians are in critical condition nursing wounds they sustained from the gunshots. He explained that Okot who is currently on the run also reportedly grabbed two hand bags and cell phones before fleeing.
He said the army expects to rely on the findings of the investigations to determine how to handle disciplinary measures in the force considering the increasing cases of shootings by soldiers.