Mt. Elgon Armed Group Commander Captured

7048 Views Kapchorwa, Uganda

In short
Julius Chelimo, the most wanted Chief Commander of the armed group accused of being behind the recent coordinated armed attacks on the camps of Uganda Wildlife Authority-UWA on Mt. Elgon National Game Park has been arrested.

Julius Chelimo, the alleged Chief Commander of the armed group accused of being behind the recent coordinated armed attacks on the camps of Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) on Mt. Elgon National Game Park has been arrested.
 
He was arrested at about 9:30pm last night in a joint operation of the police and the army in Kapchorwa town.
 
Chelimo, a former UPDF soldier who deserted the army six years ago, is accused of being the commander of the armed group that has been terrorizing residents of Sipi and Elgon regions.
 
His arrest comes barely three months after his 2nd in command George Matsanga surrendered to the army in Sironko in October.
 
Jacob Opolot, the Elgon Regional Police Commander, said a joint operation of the army and the police found Chelimo walking at night in Kapchorwa town when they arrested him.
 
Chelimo was dressed like a civilian but was found with an AK 47 riffle with 11 live rounds of ammunitions in his possession.
 
"We captured him alive, without shooting, he was in civilian clothes armed to kill but when we grabbed him he saw our heavy guns pointing at him and he peacefully surrendered", Opolot said.
 
He was immediately transferred to Mbale Regional Police headquarters where he is being interrogated.
 
The armed group comprising mainly of UPDF deserters in October last year led coordinated attacks on the Uganda Wild Life (UWA) installations at Kapkwai in Kapcholwa district killing two army officers who were guarding it before making off with a gun  several rounds of ammunitions.
 
They reportedly later raided Bumugibole UWA base near Buginyanya where they exchanged with UWA officers killing one person.
 
This forced the Minister for Internal affairs Aronda Nyakairima to rush to the region where he ordered for the deployment of a platoon of UPDF soldiers together with the police to comb the Mt. Elgon forest in pursuit of the group that had several bases in the jungles of Mt. Elgon forest.
 
It was later reported that Chelimo and his group crossed to Kenya side of Mt.Elgon but shockingly locals sighted him in Kapchorwa town on Wednesday night when the security was notified.
 
Opolot said that Chelimo will face charges of murder, deserting from the army and illegal armed operations against government Installations among others. He will be tried in a court martial.
 
He revealed that the capture of Chelimo brings to three top armed commanders of the group so far arrested after George Matsanga  who surrendered in Sironko in October, and Bosco Musawo another commander who was also arrested in December 2014.

 

About the author

Denis Olaka
Denis Olaka is the URN bureau chief for Lira, in northern Uganda. Apac and Otuke fall under his docket. Olaka has been a URN staff member since 2011.

Olaka started his journalism career in 2000 as a news reporter, anchor, and then editor for Radio Lira in Lira district. He was subsequently an editor with Lira's Radio Wa in 2004 and Gulu district's Mega FM.

He was also a freelance writer for the Daily Monitor and Red Pepper newspapers.

Olaka's journalism focuses on politics, health, agriculture and education. He does a lot of crime reporting too.