17 May 2019

Uganda: Two Congolese Nationals Detained in Masaka On Armed Robbery Charges

Masaka — Police in Masaka District are holding two Congolese nationals over alleged involvement in separate armed robberies in Masaka sub-region in central Uganda.

The suspects detained at Masaka Central Police were reportedly in possession of forged Uganda national identity cards.

One of them has been working as a cook at Good Foundation Primary School in Nyendo, Masaka.

The two were arrested in a joint security operation between police and the army following an increase in reported armed robbery cases in the area.

Police say the suspects and others still at large have staged over 10 armed robberies in Masaka District since February this year leaving about five people dead and at least 15 others injured.

"The group has been targeting shops, mobile money attendants, motorcyclists among other victims," Masaka Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Mr Herman Ssentongo said.

Mr Ssentongo told journalists on Thursday that the two confessed to have been involved in armed robberies in the area.

He said the suspects smuggled the guns and ammunitions they have been using from DR Congo.

Authorities say the villages that have reported attacks by armed robbers since the beginning of this year include, Kilinda, Bujja, Bulayi ,Kayirikiti in Nyendo/ Ssenyange Division and Kilumba in Katwe/ Butego Division among other area.

Ms Flavia Terimurungi, the spokesperson Masaka Armoured Brigade thanked security agencies for the team work that enabled them arrest the suspects.

" Through sharing intelligence information, we have also arrested other three Congolese nationals we found at the home of one of the suspects," she said.

Cases of assailants killing residents have persisted in Masaka sub region in the past three years despite assurance from security agencies that they strengthened motorised and foot patrols after a spate of attacks on residents' homes by machete-wielding assailants.

In March this year, gunmen shot two people dead at Bulayi Village, Mukungwe Sub- County in Masaka District. The victims were identified as Andrew Katongole, the head teacher of St Francis primary school and Harriet Nassande, a bar attendant.

In February this year, another mobile money attendant Gerald Lutaaya was shot dead but police have since not arrested any suspect.

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