By Monica Kobusiinge
However, according to the Uganda Prisons spokesperson, Frank Baine, seven of these have since been re-arrested.
“Three were killed during the pursuit whereas seven have been re-arrested and returned to prison,”Baine said on Thursday morning.
The Commissioner-General of Prisons, Dr.Johnson Byabashaija on Wednesday said the inmates overpowered staff and accessed the armory where there were about 15 rifles and took off with them.
After the prison break, a joint operation between the police and UPDF was deployed to help give a chase to the escapees and consequently, there was an exchange of live bullets.
“The operation by UPDF in pursuit of escapees from singila prison in Moroto to re- arrest them and recover the stolen guns continues. The population therefore, is advised to stay calm,” UPDF spokesperson, Brig.Flavia Byekwaso tweeted on Wednesday evening.
However, in the exchange of the bullets between security and the escapees, one UPDF soldier was shot dead whereas three prisoners were also killed.
Prison’s spokesperson, Frank Baine however noted that they are optimistic the group will be apprehended.
“We are optimistic many will be arrested,” he said.
Most of the escapees are Karamajong warriors arrested by the UPDF in several operations to rid the area of guns.
The development came only a day after the UPDF third Division Court Martial (DCM) in Moroto sentenced two Karamajong rustlers to nine years’ imprisonment each after being in illegal possession of two firearms.
The two were arrested during a UPDF sudden cordon and search operation and ambush carried out in Kotido district in July and August.
Since the start of the second phase of disarmament in November 2004, the UPDF third Division Court Martial has concluded over 500 cases of unlawful possession of firearms by civilians in Karamoja.
Most of the 219 escapees from Moroto prison are warriors arrested in recent UPDF operations against people with illegal guns in the Karamoja region.