Fort Patiko or Samuel Baker’s Fort, was a military fort built by Samuel Baker in Patiko, Gulu District, The Construction of the fort was completed on December 25, 1872.
After Baker left in 1888, the fort was used by Emin Pasha and Charles Gordon while they served as Governor of the Equatorial Province of the British Uganda Protectorate. A plaque on the remaining wall of a grain storage building in the center of the fort reads “Fatiko 1872 -88, founded by Sir Samuel Baker, occupied by Emin and Gordon”.
The fort was initially constructed by the Arabs as a slave collection centre. Sir Samuel Baker took over the fort from 1872 to 1888 when he was sent on a mission by the Queen of England to stop the slave trade which was being carried out by the Arabs slave traders.
The fort then became the headquarters for Emin Pasha and Gordon, the respective Governors of the Equatorial Province of the British Protectorate.
Slaves were a key trading item for the Arabs too and were captured from northern Uganda, Gondokoro in Sudan and other areas. Ocecu Hill became a sorting ground for slaves. Healthy-looking ones were forced to trek from Patiko, through Sudan across the Red Sea and sold in Egypt.
The fort had the following divisions which were instrumental to the Arab slave traders:
- The industrial area
- Court yard
- Prosecution Chamber- by (firing squad/beheading)
- Concrete stores
- Administrative Chamber
Fort Patiko is located about 32 kilometers north of Gulu Town, the fort is enclosed by a 16 feet wide and 15 feet deep trench dug by slaves on the orders of the Arabs to avoid the escape of captives. The site, covers about 9.4 hectares.
It is neighbored by six hills – Ajulu, Ladwong, Akara, Abaka and Labworomor to the north and Kiju hill to the south.