Kanungu: 2 Ugandans Kidnapped by Armed Men, Taken to DRC in Third Incident Since July


Two more people have been kidnapped by armed men in Kanungu district, South west of Uganda near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Police say the incident occurred at around 1:40am on Tuesday morning at Kyabuyorwa cell, Northern Ward, Butogota town council in Kanungu district. The spot is situated along the Kanyantorogo – Butogota – Bwindi road.

The regional Police spokesperson for Kigezi Elly Matte identified the abductees as Twinamasiko Abrose, 27, and Twinomujuni Eldard, 31, both residents of Nyakagyezi cell, Northern Ward in Butogota town council.

It is alleged that the two together with another person identified as Niwagaba Jacob aged 12 were waylaid and kidnapped. They were moving on motorcycle Reg No UEX355L Bajaj Boxer.

The trio were ambushed by four men armed with two Sub Machine Guns (SMGs), spear and panga. The armed men are said to have blocked the road using a rope which was tied at both sides of the road.

Niwagaba managed to escape while his two other colleagues were abducted.

“The kidnappers were putting on civilian attire and had masks on their face as they spoke Swahili and Rukiga,” the Kigezi region police spokesperson said in a statement.

Police say that after crossing into DR Congo, the abductors shot three bullets. Police was notified and later visited the scene of crime where the motorcycle on which the three victims were moving was recovered.

In recent months, cases of kidnap have become rampant in Kanungu district at the border with DRC. In some cases, some of the victims have been abducted while on the Congolese side where most of the Ugandan households have gardens.

Two weeks ago, a resident in Kanungu was reportedly kidnapped by unknown people suspected to have come from DRC. The victim was identified as Byarugaba Eri, a resident of Bushoro Cell, Kihembe Parish Kanyantorogo sub-county in Kanungu district.

The incident took place at around 11pm at Kanyashande Cell, Kihembe parish when six people allegedly armed with an SMG rifle, a panga and a spear intercepted the victim together with other two people riding on a motorcycle.

Similar to the latest incident, the kidnappers used a rope that was tied on both sides of the road.

The other two people on the motorcycle managed to escape from the kidnappers unharmed. The abductees were later released after payment of ransom.

Last month, two juveniles (Niwagaba Akim and Ayinamani Ramathan both 13 years of age were kidnapped in DRC. Police said the two were abducted at round midday by two men armed with AK 47.

The incident happened at Manure, Bugarama cell, Munyaga parish in DRC where the children had accompanied their mother to their rice plantation. They were later released unharmed after payment of Shs 2m as ransom.

Following the incident, Police spokesperson, CP Fred Enanga cautioned the public against payment of ransom to kidnappers, saying it rewards criminals and facilitates more of the crime.

SoftPower News sought a comment from the Police regional spokesperson in Kigezi who said Police on its part has done its best to maintain security on the Ugandan side.

“Regarding internal security, we are doing our best. But when people are attacked by armed people who are from an external country that is beyond us. Because our borders are supposed to be guarded by the UPDF (army),” said Matte.

He however said that the Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) on the Ugandan side are in touch with the authorities in DRC on the same.

This news website contacted the UPDF spokesperson, Brig Richard Karemire for a comment and he said he would contact the authorities on ground first to establish the facts.

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