Uganda: Poachers Kill Uwa Staff in Gun Fire Exchange


Joseph Eigu Onyango, The Monitor

Date Published


Kampala — A wildlife ranger attached to the Uganda Wildlife Authority has been killed in attack by poachers.

UWA Public Relations Officer, Mr Simplicious Gessa said Anthony Twesigye was one of the rangers who were passed-out in December 2015 and deployed to serve in Murchision Falls Conservation Area.

The ranger died on Wednesday after engaging armed poachers in a fierce gun battle.

According to Mr Gessa, Twesigye with three other rangers under the command of SWIFT ranger Lance Corporal, Innocent Ddungu left Adebuk Camp for three nights extended patrol covering the areas of Langele and Pajok II on the eastern side of Karuma-Pakwach highway, 24 kilometres from Karuma.

Mr Gessa said on that fateful Wednesday night, the rangers sighted a herd of buffaloes and decided to monitor its movement from a close range.

He said little did the rangers know that a group of poachers were targeting the buffaloes.

He said the poachers, moments later, started shooting at the buffaloes which attracted the attention of the rangers.

“Before the commander gave his team members for the assault under concealment, the poachers opened fire at our staff and the bullet hit Mwesigye in the upper chest killing him instantly,” Mr Gessa said adding that the rangers also responded with heavy fire forcing the poachers to flee.

UWA records show that at least 10 rangers have been killed by poachers since 2014 following several clashes in different national parks and game reserves across the country.

Mr Gessa said UWA is grappling with a challenge of tactics and logistics because they are supposed to stop poachers who are heavily armed in search of animal products like ivory.

The most endangered animal species include pangolins, parrots, elephants and rhinoceros among others.