Somalia: UPDF repatriates remains of fallen soldiers

As the country mourns the killing of hundreds of soldiers deployed in war-torn Somalia, the Uganda People’s Defense Forces – UPDF has dispatched a team to ascertain the situation on orders of President Museveni.

The UPDF continues to repatriate caskets carrying the remains of fallen soldiers whose identities and numbers remain unknown to the public, pending investigations. The coffins are draped with the Ugandan national flag

On Friday last week, Al Shaabab rebels attacked an FOB (Forward Operational Base) manned by UPDF soldiers in Bulo-Mareer.

According to Museveni, the soldiers panicked despite having heavy artillery that put some of the rebels out of action.

“There were two tanks, two 14.5mm anti- air-craft guns and a 107mm Katyusha rocket launcher. Some of the soldiers there did not perform as expected and panicked, which disorganized them and the Al-Shabaab took advantage of that to overran the base and destroy some of the equipment,” the President said in a statement. “The suicide bombers or whatever, were forced to blow themselves up before they gained entry into the base. Moreover, our UAVs were watching the whole scenario from up in the sky and directing fire.”

Somalia: UPDF repatriates remains of fallen soldiers

The President stated that the Commander Land Forces CLF, Lt Gen Kayanja Muhanga has been sent to Somalia and a Board of Inquiry (BOI) and will come up with full facts , including the details of the casualties.

Al-Shabaab released a statement on Friday claiming that it had successfully raided a UPDF base in the Lower Shebeele region and killed at least 137 soldiers and captured others.

However, neither the African Transition Mission in Somalia -ATMIS nor UPDF have released a statement on casualties or victims of the deadly rebel attack.

Museveni said it is criminal for anybody involved, to send into such a theatre soldiers who are either not suited for that mission or not properly prepared for it. He promised to give details after the board of inquiry has finished its work.

Somalia: UPDF repatriates remains of fallen soldiers