Eight people are confirmed dead in a military operation against armed youths in the Rwenzori Mountains. Brigadier Peter Elwelu, the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces UPDF Second Division Commander, told URN that his forces raided training camps for a group that calls itself Esyomango syObusinga, a youth group associated with Rwenzururu Kingdom.
Brigadier Peter Elwelu, the Uganda People's Defence Forces - UPDF Second Division Commander, told URN that his forces raided training camps for a group that calls itself Esyomango sy'Obusinga, a youth group associated with Rwenzururu Kingdom.
Brig Elwelu says the youths have been operating training camps at Nyabuswa village in Karangura Sub county, Kabarole district. The camps are located some 47km from Fort Portal town.
At least four of the youths have been arrested and are currently being detained at a UPDF camp near Nyabuswa Health Centre III
During the attack today, the UPDF recovered 10 machetes, two clubs, one police baton, gumboots, two catapults and improvised explosives.
A local council official in the area who declined to go on record told reporters that the youth group has been running patrols and collecting taxes in form of chicken, goats, money and food items. Some of the items such as matooke were found in the camp during the attack.
Our reporter in the area says homes are still abandoned as people ran away when the fighting started.
Earlier, Lydia Tumushabe, the Rwenzori Region Police Spokesperson said that they received information that the group had planned to attack residents of Nyabuswa and Kamabale, but the army and police acted fast to prevent any attacks.
The UPDF had given a one-week ultimatum to the group to surrender and denounce what the army called criminal activities.
The ultimatum followed a series of attacks targeting security officers in Kasese and Kabarole districts.
Captain Arthur Timbaganya, the UPDF 2nd Division Spokesperson, said that the group consists of mainly Bakonzo youth.
Timbaganya said the group had been conducting training and planning to attack both security installations and the local communities.
According to Timbaganya, four training camps, each consisting of 100 youths, have been established in Karangura, Katebwa and Kabonero Sub Counties in Kabarole district.
On Monday, security officials in the region met local leaders from the Rwenzori region and asked them to convince members of the group to surrender.
In a telephone interview, Christopher Kibazanga, the State Minister for Trade and Industry and brother of Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere, said that some of the youth are just misled by individuals who want to cause insecurity in the region.
Last week, during President Museveni's visit in Kabarole, Richard Rwabuhinga the district chairperson requested Museveni to deploy soldiers in the mountains to wipe out the group.
In the past two months, there have been attacks in Kabarole and Kasese districts. In September two police officers from the Field Force Unit were killed in Kabonero Sub County, while conducting community policing in the area.
Last week, two police officers attached to the Tourism police in Kasese district were killed and their guns taken while guarding Simba Safari Camp located in Kikorongo. Security officials believe the attacks were carried out by the Kirumira Mutima gang.