On September 19, over 219 inmates escaped from Singila prison in the Moroto municipality. Two of the escapees were killed in the scuffle that involved gun exchange with the national defense force.
Before fleeing, the prisoners broke into the prison armory, disarming the guard on duty, and stole over fifteen AK-47 rifles and other ammunition. The prisoners later took off their clothes to avoid being spotted in their distinctive yellow uniforms and ran into the foothills of Mount Moroto, an underpopulated area, not forgetting the fact that they also had a headstart of a few hours of the night making the search for them more futile.
Thirty of the 219 prisoners that had escaped have since been rearrested and retraced from various parts of the country. Karamoja Region Prisons commander, Sam Edotu, says the inmates were re-arrested from various areas of Karamoja through joint security operations led by the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF).
Edotu noted with confidence that the search for the remaining prisoners was still ongoing with help from different government agencies such as the Uganda Police, offices of the Residential District Commissioners, and local councils with the search proving fruitful as names of the escapees were being circulated far and wide to create awareness amongst people.
He further added that the newly remanded inmates have been charged with escaping from lawful custody and looting government stores.
In a bid to get the whereabouts of the prisoners, Uganda Prison Services announced a cash bounty of UGX 500,000 to anyone volunteering information leading to the re-arrest of an escapee and UGX 1.5 million for information leading to the recovery of a firearm.
Fourteen inmates were killed in gun exchange battles with security while 175 were still unaccounted for.