Court Martial sentences soldier to 35 years for desertion

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Court Martial sentences soldier to 35 years for desertion
Private Abraham Engwedu will serve 35 years in prison

The Third Division of the military court has sent a soldier to 35 years in jail for desertion contrary to section 146 of the UPDF Act.

The court martial sitting in Moroto chaired by Colonel Francis Kateraho, on April 21 found RA/200628 Private Abraham Engwedu, 44, guilty of desertion.

“The court heard that Private Engwedu, formerly attached to the 19 Infantry Battalion, absconded from his unit in November 2006 while stationed at Matany detach in Napak District. He evaded military authorities and remained at his home in Kalaki district until his eventual arrest, during which government stores were recovered by a security team. Private Engwedu was sentenced to 35 years in Moroto Government Prison,” UPDF information officer Major Isaac Oware.

Additionally, the court dismissed with disgrace RA/211981 Private Stephen Jarili of the UPDF Third Division headquarters, who was attached to Mount Elgon Conservation Area under Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).

“Private Jarili had requested and received a 14-day pass leave from his duty station in Mbale on September 4th, 2017, but failed to report back until February 23rd, 2023, rendering him Absent Without Official Leave (AWOL) for an extended period. He, too, pleaded guilty to the charges," Maj Oware said.

Col Kateraho pronounced the verdicts, emphasizing that the sentences were intended to deter other potential offenders.

“Desertion being one of the service offences will not be tolerated since the force invests a lot of resources in the training of it's personnel.”, Colonel Francis Kateraho said during sentencing

While the court provided the convicted soldiers with a 14-day window to appeal the sentences, it reiterated the importance of upholding discipline and adherence to military regulations within the ranks of the UPDF.

The verdicts serve as a reminder of the consequences for those who fail to fulfill their obligations and responsibilities as members of the armed forces.

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