Ugandan rebel forces were reported today to have further consolidated their control of the country, seizing Uganda’s second largest city. Western diplomats here said the rebels, who on Sunday overthrew the military Government of Maj. Gen. Tito Okello, overran the city, Jinja, at midday after a major battle. The city, where many of Mr. Okello’s bedraggled troops fled after being forced from Kampala, Uganda’s capital, is the site of the landlocked country’s major hydroelectric power station at Owen Falls and the point where the major road and rail links to the Kenyan coast cross the Nile.
City Called Key to Control Diplomats had said earlier that the rebel movement, known as the National Resistance Army, needed to take control of Jinja, 50 miles east of Kampala, to restore essential services that were disrupted during the fighting in Kampala and by fleeing Government troops. [ Some troops fled to the Murchison Falls game park, where they were reported to be slaughtering rare wild animals for food just as Idi Amin’s men did seven years ago, according to reports reaching the capital quoted by Reuters.
[ The Murchison Falls park, named after the spectacular waterfall where the Nile is forced through a 22-foot-wide rock gap and falls more than 100 feet, was heavily populated with elephants, lions, buffalo, antelope and other species in the 1960’s.
Museveni has pledged to form a broad-based democratic government and punish former junta officials for crimes against the people.