Gulu residents warned against hiding unexploded bombs

Lieutenant Agaba teaches UXOs focal person before detonating a bomb in the village of Omel in Gulu district. Photo by David Okema.

GULU–Police in Aswa river region have warned the public against hiding identified unexploded bomb with hope of demanding ransom from government.

Jimmy Patrick Okema, the Aswa River region police spokesman, said they have discovered that some civilians are concealing identified unexploded ordinances from experts, with demand that the government should pay them for identifying the explosives.

Okema noted that a man only identified as Obol, a resident of Padibe East in Lamwo district, reportedly hid an unexploded motor cell 62mm bomb at his home with intent to make government pay him for ‘identifying’ the device.

Between October 11 and 12, a team of police together with bomb experts from Combat Engineering Operation at 4th Division Infantry barrack in Gulu town detonated 14 UXOs and one 6.0 motor bomb from Lamwo and Gulu district.

Last month, police reported about 146 UXOs in the districts of Gulu, Pader, Omoro, Kirtgum, Agago, Lamwo and Amuru and set out to detonate them.

Lieutenant Ian Agaba, a combat engineer from Combat Engineering Operation at 4th Division UPDF infantry barrack in Gulu town who commanding the detonation, said these bombs were either abandoned by the LRA or UPDF during the north insurgency that lasted for close to two decades.

Agaba urged the public to report any unidentified objects to security personnel to avoid any danger.

In Omel parish in Gulu district, the area Local Council leader, Ponsano Odur, suspects that some bombs being identified now were left by the UPDF between 1990 and 1995 because UPDF had an army detach installed in the area to provide security.

Odur also noted that areas, including Lalongo Oyeke village, Omel Kuru and Lela Nyang are black spots for explosive ordinances because there were regular operations of the LRA and UPDF in the area which is causing fear in the community.

Okema warned the public against concealing UXOS, adding that they are putting their lives at risk. He called upon the government to pay people for identifying bombs.

He, however, advised civilians to use awareness strategy of putting thorns around places identified with UXOs to prevent other people from accessing such places.



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