Six poachers go missing in Murchison Falls National Park


NWOYA. At least six suspected poachers have gone missing inside Murchison Falls National Park, in the last six years, local officials say.

The latest victim has been identified as Ben Ojok, 32, a resident of Goro village, Koch Sub County in Nwoya District.

Other victims have been identified as Charles Ongom Lukong, Jacob Okot, Patrick Oringa Ayoyi and a one Alele.
Ojok reportedly went to the national park with five others to poach on July 4, but he never returned after an alleged encounter with game rangers.

The incident has raised fear among communities surrounding the national park.
Mr John Bosco Okullu, the Koch Goma Sub County Chairperson said the first case of a resident missing inside the park was registered in July 2012.

According to Mr Okullu, the community suspects that all these persons could have been killed by game rangers.
When contacted over the matter, the UWA Communications Manager, Mr Bashir Hangi, said it is very difficult to account for individuals who entered the national park through undesignated points.

He strongly dismissed reports that the men could have been killed by game rangers, adding that UWA values human life and killing a suspected poacher is not in their operation procedure.

Mr Hangi noted that it is possible that those who went missing could have been eaten by wild animals in the national park.
The Nwoya District Chairperson, Mr Patrick Okello Oryema, told this reporter that UWA officials have been tasked to launch investigation into the matter to ensure that the remains of the missing men are brought home.

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