Joseph Ogen, the chairperson Zombo Town council was seen moving in different shifts at around 11:00pm in the direction of the detach, only that no one suspected them.
Some of the suspected attackers after UPDF arrested them. Photos by Benedict Okethwengu
ATTACK UPDF ZOMBO
On Friday, UPDF lost three of there soldiers attached to Zombo Town council in Zombo district to a group of men wielding machetes, pangas, bows, and arrows.
During the attack, five of the attackers, whose number was estimated to be over 200, were gunned down in fire exchange.
The UPDF Spokesperson Brig. Richard Karemire would later describe the attack as "suicidal", adding that security forces were working with the local leaders in hunting for the assailants.
Daniel Kavuma, the UPDF spokesperson in West Nile would also note that the attackers have been repulsed and that calm has been restored
But many locals in Zombo who shared their experiences with the Radio Rupiny on Friday, the group had been mobilising for there mission.
According to Charles Japiem, a resident of Karombo village in Zombo Town council, members of the group have been meeting at the home of a one Charles Ovoya to plan their mission, adding that they would be mixing different local herbs that they use to give them courage and protection in their mission.
Ovoya who is considered to be one of the group leaders is a former rebel with West Nile Bank Front who was granted amnesty around 2000.
He also served in Luzira Prison up to 2014 over alleged similar allegations.
"They are just a rebel group; these people have been spending time at home of Charles Ovoya mixing herbs that were believed to give them courage," said Japiem
Joseph Ogen, the chairperson Zombo Town council was seen moving in different shifts at around 11:00 pm in the direction of the detach, only that no one suspected them.
He says after raiding the detach, they started shouting and setting the huts ablaze.
"They were so organised, they planned their mission well and they are people of different background, their languages are also not the same," said Ogen
The group whose identity and motives remain unclear have retreated to Got Ajere after the attack.
A security source from Zombo who spoke on the condition of anonymity corroborated the residents' claims.
According to the source, the group has been carrying surveillance on the security forces for the last month.
The source explains that at one point, one of them was cited but attempt to pursue them failed after he vanished.
The army has remained tight-lipped on the identities of the fallen officers, while the bodies of the suspected attackers have been taken to Paidha Health Centre III mortuary and are being heavily guarded by the army.
Meanwhile, tensions remain high across the district. Many residents, especially in Jangoro sub-county and Zombo Town council have been seen fleeing there home heading towards Paidha town.
Gunfire also continues to rock part of the district as the UPDF continues to engage the suspected assailants.
Grace Aciro, a residence, of Jangokoro says they have been advised to stay in order as the UPDF tries to battle the assailants.
John Urwiny, the Zombo district chairman called for calm, adding that people of Zombo should be able to isolate people who want to bring trouble in the district.
The development has also sent a cold shiver down the spine of Alur kingdom officials.
John Oluba, a member of the Alur royal council says they don't want war, adding that war brings suffering, citing the LRA insurgency in Northern Uganda.
Vincent Ochaya, the Alur kingdom prime minister also says it was very unfortunate scenarios, adding that Alur people shouldn't be dragged into such a heinous act.
He noted that Alur people are peace-loving, and cherish dialogue, adding that security should ensure that those behind the attacks are brought to book.
Army calls for calm
Maj. Kavuma asked for calm among the residents, saying that investigations were ongoing to establish the motive behind this heinous crime.
He also appealed to locals to follow the guidelines being issued by security such as carrying National IDs and move at the right time.
He said there will be a heavy presence of the army to conduct patrol and operation.
He also said so many people have been arrested as the UPDF intensify on it's cordon and search operations.