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Tragedy Strikes as Police Truck Kills UPDF Soldier at Checkpoint

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PADER, December 15, 2023 — In a heartbreaking incident, a Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) soldier lost his life after being struck by a speeding police truck at Rackoko village, Awere sub-county in Pader district.

Pader Resident District Commissioner, Milton Odongo, identified the deceased as Private Ojok, who was reportedly manning a roadblock on Rackoko Road at the time of the accident. The tragic event occurred at 6:30 am on Friday, December 15, 2023, in Rackoko trading center on the Pader-Lamwo Road.

According to Odongo, the driver responsible for the fatal collision has been identified as a police officer named Ochaya. Ochaya was operating a Police Pickup Truck with registration number UP 7720 and was reportedly transporting family members of his superior officer from Apac district to Lamwo district for the upcoming Christmas holiday.

Esther Lalam, the councilor representing Awere and Lunyiri sub-counties in Pader, expressed her condolences and revealed that the soldier was enforcing a checkpoint targeting illegal charcoal business in the area.

“The police officer was carrying some family members when he knocked dead the army officer on duty this morning,” remarked Hon. Lalam, describing the somber incident.

Lalam further disclosed that the deceased soldier’s body has been transported to Lira Regional Referral Hospital mortuary in Lira city, while the police officer responsible for the tragic accident is currently at large.

The incident escalated tensions between the police and the military at the checkpoint, leading to a confrontation with both sides firing bullets into the sky to disperse each other and avoid arrest.

David Ongom Mudong, the Aswa River Region Police Spokesperson, refrained from confirming the incident, stating that the information had not yet been officially received. He assured that he would follow up with the District Police Commander (DPC) and Regional Police Commander (RPC) offices of the eastern Aswa Region.

Meanwhile, the police from Pader Central Police Station visited the scene, towing the police truck UP 7720 to the station. A formal case is yet to be recorded, as investigations into the tragic incident continue.

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