The Ugandan military has deployed additional troops to beef up the manhunt of 210 inmates who escaped from a prison in the northeastern district of Moroto, an army spokesperson said on Friday.
Brig. Flavia Byekwaso told reporters that the troops have been deployed at the border with neighboring Kenya and the Napak district to corner the inmates who escaped from Singila prison Wednesday afternoon.
“Their original plan of action was to move toward Kenya, but that route was blocked,” she said.
“They changed direction and started moving eastwards towards Napak,” Byekwaso said. “The Napak forces were also deployed. They are caught up in between those hills.”
She said many of the escapees are traditional Karimojong warriors and cattle rustlers who are well versed with the terrain, making it difficult for the troops to re-arrest them.
“These are hardcore criminals and cattle rustlers,” Byekwaso said. “They are very well versed with the terrain. That has made it a bit hard for our forces to get them.”
“The pursuit is still on until we rearrest these people,” she said.
Out of the 219 escapees, three have been killed and seven detained, according to security forces.
A senior military officer was also killed in an exchange of fire at the prison on the foothills of Mount Moroto.
The prisoners, a majority of them sentenced over illegal possession of firearms, broke into a prison armory, picking 15 guns and several rounds of ammunition before overpowering a prison warden.
In March, at least three prisoners were killed and six others injured after riots occurred when inmates attempted to escape in the northwestern district of Arua.