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By Godfrey Olukya 4-12-2012

18 Eritrean national football team players who had come to play participate in a competition in Uganda have gone missing from their hotel located in the outskirts of Kampala city.

Police has started hunting for them after announcing on radios and televisions that whoever knows where they are should report to authorities.

The Eritrean football team was among the twelve national football teams that were participating in the Confederation of east and central Africa football associations (CECAFA) football tournament which has been going on for the last two weeks in Kampala.

The other countries include Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan, Burundi, Zanzibar, Ethiopia , Sudan and Malawi.

Uganda police deputy spokesman, Idi Ibin Senkumbi said, ‘We have mounted
a search for the missing 18 Eritrean football players. Up to now none of them has been sighted. We are trying all we can to get them.’

He said that the Eritrean football team was camping at Sky Hotel in the outskirts of Kampala for the last two weeks. He said that since some years ago some Eritrean footballers vanished in the outskirts of the city when they had come to play football, they tried to keep their eyes on the team but some how the players disappeared on Sunday night.

The chairman of CECAFA 2012 organizing committee, Moses Magogo said
that they had confirmed that the players had disappeared. He said they had been instructed by security agencies to keep an aye on the Eritrean players because they have a history of disappearing whenever they travel for competitions.

In 2009 CECAFA challenge cup, a team of 25 players and officials from Eritrea went missing in Kenya. Last year it happened again when 13 players disappeared in Tanzania.

Political analyst, Jackson Mubede said that the situation in Eritrea could be the one forcing the players to vanish.He said, ‘We hear that there is dictatorship in Eritrea and there is no freedom. That could be the reason why those who get a chance of traveling out of that country tend not to go back.’

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