Retired UPDF Major Arrested For Revenge Attack in Amuru

Police have arrested a retired Uganda People`s Defence Forces (UPDF) officer, Major Ferdinand Otim for allegedly masterminding a violent conflict.

Otim was arrested on Tuesday morning from the forth division barracks in Gulu after turning up for registration of retired UPDF officers for deployment by the army following a recent call by Major General Otema Awany, commander of the reserve forces.

Patrick Jimmy Okema, the Aswa River Region Police Spokesperson Otim will be transferred to Attiak Police Station and charged.

It is alleged that Major Otim, a resident of Palukere East Village in Attiak Sub County Amuru district last year on 15th December mobilized  his family members to attack Pali Pali Clan also in Attiak Sub County following the alleged death of his brother George Obol. It is suspected the Pali Pali can was involved in the death.

Major Otim and his family armed with bows and arrows, spears and clubs set ablaze 52 grass-thatched huts in Pali Pali, looted eight herds of cattle, and destroyed several other properties. Police say the retired officer participated in the attack and was armed with a gun. It is unclear how he possessed a gun when he had already retired from the army.

Twelve suspects were later arrested in relation to the attack and are remanded at Amuru Prisons while Otim was at still at large.

The retired army officer is also being investigated for threatening violence against Wilfred Odiya Baguma of Attial. Baguma alleges that Otim called him on phone and threatened to kill him for being among those who want him(Otim) arrested.

The land in dispute is said to have initially belonged to Binancio Obol, the father of Otim of Palukere clan but they vacated it during the  conflict in northern Uganda. When his family left the Internally Displaced Persons Camp(IDP) in 2006, they did not return to their ancestral land, but settled in Palukere Trading Centre, leading to suspected squatters occupying the  family land.