Museveni, army clash again on number of UPDF officers killed in Somalia


President Yoweri Museveni has announced that the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces lost eight gallant soldiers in the clash with Alshabab insurgents, contrary to reports from the army’s official spokesperson who had quoted a different number.

Heavily-armed Al-Shabaab militants attacked an African Union military camp outside Mogadishu on Sunday, killing an unknown number Ugandan peacekeeper.

Local sources said a massive blast was heard in the Bulomarer district, around 150 kilometres (93 miles) south of Mogadishu, and fighting broke out after dozens of heavily armed Shabaab militants stormed the base.

Ugandan army spokesman Brigadier Richard Karemire then said the army had “lost four gallant soldiers and six sustained minor injuries”.

He said that 30 Shabaab militants had been killed, while the Islamists claimed in a statement to have killed 59 Ugandan soldiers.

“As we continue to mourn the death of our 4 gallant soldiers in AMISOM, the public is asured that there is no any possible attack on Kampala as some media houses like (NBSTV) have alledged. UPDF assure the public that Kampala is safe. The 6 soldiers injured are now stable,” Karemire repeated on Monday.

However, the Commander in Chief, President Museveni has now said the army lost six and not four officers.

“On Easter Sunday our soldiers in Somalia heroically gave serious blows to Al-Shabaab, killing 36 of them and destroying six vehicles full of explosives. This was because they were alert. Unfortunately, two vehicles of the enemy entered one of the three sites attacked. One vehicle was detonated and killed eight of our soldiers. May their souls rest in eternal peace. I extend condolences to their families,” Museveni said.

“It is gratifying, however, that the bold but adventurous strategy of Al-Shabaab failed. With constant vigilance, victory is assured. I congratulate our soldiers for the good work they did yesterday, the death of eight of our soldiers not withstanding,” he added.

This is not the first time Museveni is out-quoting official army spokespersons, in 2015 after a fierce battle at Janaale in Somalia, then army spokesperson Paddy Ankunda insisted only 10 men had fallen. Museveni would later announce that the army had lost 19 men.







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