LAMWO. The army on Wednesday night shot dead a resident of Madi-Opei Sub-county in Lamwo District.
The 24-year-old Robinson Owot from Locimidik Village in Lawiye-oduny Parish, was gunned down at about 10.30pm when he reportedly entered an ambush as he crossed from South Sudan into Uganda using an irregular route.
The police said soldiers of Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) had staged ambushes on major passes they suspected would be used by cattle rustlers from South Sudan who have been terrorising the border sub-county.
Mr David Ongom Mudong, the Aswa region police spokesperson, said the soldiers from Banabana military barracks in Madi-Opei were acting on tip-off about an impending cattle raid.
A case of murder by shooting was registered on Thursday at Madi-Opei Police Post by Mr Charles Opira, the father of the deceased.
Mr Mudong in a press statement on Thursday evening said: “It is alleged that the UPDF soldiers got intelligence report that a group of armed South Sudanese rustlers had planned to cross into Madi-Opei to raid cattle.”
He said the victim tried to cross back home using shortcut passes through Madi-Opei hills and fell into the UPDF ambush.
“But when the soldiers ordered him to [stop and] identify himself in the darkness, Owot instead fled, prompting the soldiers to shoot him,” Mr Mudong said.
“We caution the public to desist from late night movements, especially in areas of operations,” he warned.
This is not the first time that UPDF soldiers have shot a civilian dead in similar circumstances.
On May 24, a teenager, Josephine Adoch, from Lira Kato in Agago District, was also shot dead in a similar ambush by the army.
Capt Amos Nsamba, the UPDF 5th Infantry Division spokesman, said Adoch entered an ambush laid for suspected Karamojong cattle raiders when soldiers shot her after she also took to her heels when asked to stop and identify herself.
Mr Ojok Kite Okidi, the Lira Kato Sub-county chairman, told LookNorth that the army had offered Shs1m towards burial expenses but that the family had asked for full compensation for their slain daughter.