Earlier the militants attacked and overran a UPDF Forward Operating Base in Buulo Mareer alternately spelled as Bulo Marer.
However following the days of silence and lingering questions about the battlefield situation, President Museveni said Uganda had lost up to close to 54 soldiers which is the worst in the record of its Somalia mission.
In March 2007 the UPDF first deployed in Mogadishu under a United Nations Authorized African Union peace keeping mission in Somalia ( Amisom), which is now the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia to which Uganda still remains the largest troop contributor.
“ Our soldiers demonstrated remarkable resilience and reorganized themselves, resulting in the capture of the base,”State House quoted President Museveni while addressing a retreat of the National Resistance Movement party caucus at Kyankwanzi.
Oluka and Obbo are already in custody
However the commander in chief said that two other commanders he named as Oluka and Obbo both at the rank of Major had been taken into custody pending their trial at the General Court Martial for allegedly ordering soldiers to withdraw instead of repulsing the attackers.
Meanwhile in a statement posted on Twitter on May 27 a day after the attack President Museveni noted that “ some of the soldiers didn’t perform as expected and panicked, which disorganized them and the Al Shabaab took advantage of that to over run the base and destroy some of the UPDF equipments.”
Under section 29 of the UPDF Act, a person subject to military law who displays cowardice in action including running away or inciting others to run away from the enemy, if convicted of the offence of cowardice in action, suffers death or life imprisonment.
In an interview yesterday UPDF spokesperson Brig Felix Kulayigye said the bodies of the slain soldiers will be flown back into the country this week .
“ The process of informing the next of kin ( of the deceased soldiers) is going on ,”he said.
Next of kin of killed soldiers to be compensated
In addition notifying the next of kin first before public disclosure of particulars of soldiers killed in combat is a standard military doctrine the world over although in this scenario the family of Lt Col Nyororo the highest ranked officer who died in the attack said neither the Defence ministry nor UPDF had notified them a week later.
However under the force agreement with the AU the next of kin of a soldier killed in action is compensated up to $50000( Shs 185m) meaning the continental bloc and the European Union which picks such bill is likely to pay to close to Shs 10b for the fifty four soldiers Uganda lost last month.
Information close to the security force informed our media that Al Shabaab after capturing Buulo Mareer ringed it off with explosives delaying UPDF’s re entry into the base during a counter offensive.
Meanwhile the UPDF land forces commander Lt Gen Kayanja Muhanga, who is leading a board of inquiry established by Chief of Defence Forces Gen Wilson Mbadi flew to Somalia a day after the raid for a fact finding mission during which he has sought to lift the morale of soldiers already on ground.
- FDC Calls On Army To Plan Exit From Somalia
- Details Emerge On The Al-Shabaab Attack On UPDF In Somalia
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