Uganda Jailbreak: 190 Inmates Still on the Run

A government official says more than 190 prisoners are still at large following a massive jailbreak in Uganda in September.

219 Prisoners fled Uganda’s Singila Prison in the north-eastern district of Moroto. The inmates were said to have murdered a soldier and made away with more than 10 guns and several rounds of ammunition.

Some of the fugitives reportedly took off their distinctive yellow prison uniforms and fled naked into the hills to avoid re-arrest.

It is assumed that they could be using mountain routes to cross the border into Kenya.

Uganda Prisons Services spokesperson Frank Baine, who addressed newsmen on Wednesday on the prevailing security situation in the country, disclosed that 12 inmates have been killed in the manhunt.

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“In as far as the search for those who ran away is concerned, 18 are captured, 12 lost their life in the process of recapture. So, a total of 30 have been brought back, and over 190 are still at large and for the guns we are still searching for them,” Baine said.

“A reward of UGX500,000 (about $134) for each escapee returned and UGX1.5 million (just over $400) for the missing firearm remains in force”, he said.

Baine expressed confidence that the remaining escapees will eventually be caught.

“They can run but they won’t hide. When their 40 days expire, we shall get them back.”

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A multi-agency security force, comprising of personnel from the prisons, military and police, is conducting a manhunt for the remaining escapees.

A majority of the inmates, mainly traditional Karamajong warriors and cattle rustlers, had been sentenced over illegal possession of firearms.

The general public have been warned to remain vigilant and report anyone they suspect to the authorities.

Moroto is the biggest town in Karamoja, a semi-arid pastoralist region.

A government disarmament programme in the early 2000s took most of the guns out of the hands of civilians, but sporadic clashes between different communities continue.

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