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Gunmen Terrorize Boda Boda Riders in Gulu :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Gunmen Terrorize Boda Boda Riders in Gulu

At least three people, two of whom are Boda Boda riders and a female passenger have sustained severe injuries after being shot at in separate attacks between January 21 and 29.
A UPDF soldier stands guard in Apaa Trading Center at the Disputed boundary between Amuru and Adjumani on January 26 2020.

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Boda Boda riders in the Gulu district and city are living in fear following attacks by unknown gunmen.

At least three people, two of whom are Boda Boda riders and a female passenger have sustained severe injuries after being shot at in separate attacks between January 21 and 29.

Three motorcycles, household properties worth millions of shillings, and cash totaling 16.5 million shillings were also stolen at gunpoint within the same period by the suspects.

The incidences have been registered in Kochgoma Sub-county in Nwoya where gunmen robbed 16.5 million shillings on January 25 while three motorcycles were stolen between January 26th and 29 in Palenga Town council in Omoro district. Two others were stolen from Amilobo Village, Patuda Parish in Gulu City West Division, and Agwayi village in Patuda Parish, Gulu City West Division.

David Ongom Mudong, Aswa River Region Police spokesperson suspects the attacks are being carried out by an organized group of criminals that were kicked out of Gulu City.  He says although the source of the guns the suspects are using can’t be traced, there are possibilities that some guns could be traced to the Lord’s Resistance Army-LRA rebels’ insurgency.

Mudong however suggests that the resurgence of the attacks coincides with the reopening of the economy and believes the criminals struck their targets due to the laxity in personal security.

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Mudong says following the attacks, a joint team of security personnel comprising the army and police moved in and succeeded in neutralizing the operations of the suspects who were hiding in the outskirts of Gulu City and neighboring districts.

He says a number of suspects have since been arrested and exhibits that include camouflage army uniforms, knives, machetes, and housebreaking equipment recovered from them.

According to Mudong, the suspects who are being detained at Gulu Central Police station have given police clues that will help in tracing the main suspects still at large.

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Gulu Resident District Commissioner Stephen Odong Latek says intelligence reports indicate the same gun is being used in the separate attacks recorded in Nwoya, Gulu, Amuru, and Omoro Districts.

Latek notes that security teams in the respective districts are doing all it takes to profile the assailants and bring them to justice.  He says efforts are being undertaken by the security personnel to recover the guns and restore calm.

Latek however urged the residents within Gulu to take extra vigilance and avoid carrying passengers at night.

Armed robberies had declined in the region since the institution of the lockdown and curfew restrictions in March 2020 that bared late-night movements, but have steadily begun to rise since the partial reopening of the economy late last year.

A total of 48 motorcycles have so far been stolen from Boda operators within Gulu City in the last two months between late November and January this year according to officials from the Boda Boda Association in the city. 13 of the motorcycles were reportedly stolen in early January by armed men.

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