Uganda presidential guard flees with guns and 120 bullets

By Daily Monitor

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A soldier attached to Uganda’s Special Forces Command (SFC) has escaped from Kasenyi barracks in Entebbe with two loaded automatic rifles, highly-placed military and intelligences sources said.

He reportedly disappeared from the high-security surveillance base at the beginning of this month in what SFC admitted Sunday evening was the “first desertion” from the elite force this year.

A source, who asked not to be named due to sensitivity of the matter, said the soldier vanished with two sub-machine guns loaded with 120 bullets.

A clarion call

It was not clear why or how he exited the base while armed and in uniform.

After his disappearance, SFC sent out a clarion call asking “whoever sees him” to inform state authorities.

SFC commander, Brig Don Nabasa, Sunday said they traced the escapee to the eastern Jinja District from where he was arrested.

“For us in the forces, when you disappear we arrest you; we do not wait,” he told Daily Monitor by telephone.

Ran away

The biggest desertion in the history of the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF), formerly the National Resistance Army (NRA), was in 2013 when at least 400 soldiers, among them 37 presidential guards, left unceremoniously.

The unprecedented wave of desertions from the SFC, whose soldiers are famously proud of their unit, was linked to their August 2012 deployment as labourers to President Yoweri Museveni’s Kisozi Ranch, investigations at the time showed.

The president is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

Most of the deserters, according to information obtained at the time, were from northern and eastern regions as is the latest who ran away early this month.