• Jul 21, 2021 . 2 min Read
  • Army deploys more personnel in Zombo

Recently, one of the rebel commanders, commonly known as Col Athochon, reportedly surrendered to the security operatives of DR Congo, who later handed him over to the Ugandan security team.
Benedict Okethwengu
Journalist @New Vision

UPDF | ZOMBO | DETACH 

ZOMBO - The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has stepped up security in Zombo district by deploying more personnel.

This comes days after fighters of Co-operation for the Development of Congo (CODECO) group were killed during an attack on an army detach in Zeu sub-county in Zombo. 

The UPDF spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Flavia Byekwaso, said the army lost one soldier when about 20 men under the guise of forest workers entered the district through Zeu forest and attacked the detach.

Byekwaso said the army repulsed the attack, killing six of the attackers. 

She also disclosed that three UPDF soldiers sustained injuries and were airlifted to Bombo Military Hospital.

Byekwaso also said one SMG gun, 11 rounds of ammunition, 12 bows and arrows and three machetes were recovered.

Two of the dead attackers were identified as Ugandans, and the four, who were Congolese nationals, are said to have crossed into Uganda via Ayurpa and Miabi trading centres in Muhangi territory.

Since the attack, the army has been deploying massively according to eyewitnesses. On Saturday morning, the UPDF deployed more soldiers in the district, according to security sources. 

Some of the soldiers deployed are from the 409 Brigade and the Special Forces Command commando unit, according to the source. 

“They are deploying soldiers and powerful weapons. I did not know we had so much in the stocks,” the source said.

Col. Jackson Mayanja, the 409 Brigade commander, confirmed to New Vision the developments.

Mayanja said more soldiers have been deployed to deal with any revenge attacks and ensure that what happened to their military installation never reoccurs.

Mayanja said the attackers have suffered more casualties following the offensive to repulse them. He said after the attack, the  UPDF launched an offensive against the group, arresting some attackers, while others fled into DR Congo.

The Friday attack was the second on an army detach in  Zombo in less than two years.  In June last year, five soldiers were killed and several huts burnt following a similar attack on an army detach in Zombo town council. 

The 2020 attack was linked to the Uganda Homeland  Liberation Force, a rebel outfit that has launched operations to destabilise the country,  according to security. 

It is allegedly headed by Howard Jakernga Openjuru, a Ugandan national from  Zombo.  Openjuru battled charges of treason in the army court-martial.

He was released on bail, which he skipped and his whereabouts remain unknown.  It is alleged that Openjuru on  May 26, 2016, attacked Gulu  Central Police Station and killed several policemen.  Sources, however, say he could be commanding his team from either Angola or the United Kingdom. 

Recently, one of the rebel commanders, commonly known as Col Athochon, reportedly surrendered to the security operatives of DR Congo, who later handed him over to the Ugandan security team. 

The commander of the Land  Forces, Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, also recently confirmed the “arrest” of Col Athochon, saying he commanded the rebel group that attacked UPDF troops in  Zombo district last year.

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