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UPDF Court-Martial Hands Down 35-Year Sentence for Desertion in Moroto


UPDF Court-Martial Hands Down 35-Year Sentence for Desertion in Moroto

A court-martial in Moroto district has imposed a 35-year jail term on Private Abraham Engwedu, aged 44, for desertion, a breach of section 146 of the UPDF Act 07 of 2005. The UPDF 3rd Division court-martial, presided over by Col. Francis Kateraho, delivered the verdict on Sunday.

Engwedu is set to serve his sentence in Moroto government prisons. According to court proceedings, Private Engwedu, previously assigned to the 19th Infantry Battalion, absconded while armed from his unit in November 2006 at Matany detach, Napak district.

He remained at his residence in Kalaki district until apprehended, with government stores subsequently recovered by security personnel. During the same three-day session, the court dismissed with disgrace Private Stephen Jarili of 3 Division headquarters, who was attached to Mount Elgon Conservation Area under the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).

Jarili had been granted a 14-day leave pass from his duty station in Mbale on September 4th, 2017, but failed to report back until February 23rd, 2023, marking an extended period of absence, classified as Absent Without Official Leave (AWOL).

Both individuals were convicted based on their guilty pleas. In delivering the verdict, Colonel Francis Kateraho, the 3rd Division Court Martial chairman, stressed that the severity of the sentence aims to deter potential future offenders.

He reiterated the military’s unwavering stance against desertion, emphasizing the significant investment in personnel training. The court allowed a 14-day window for appeal should either party wish to contest the judgment.


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