At least 54 soldiers were killed in an attack last month on Uganda People’s Defense Force personnel serving in Somalia, according to findings of an investigation released over the weekend.
The UPDF said the attack took place in Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region, about 120 kilometers southwest of Mogadishu, where Ugandan troops serve with the African Union peacekeeping mission.
President Yoweri Museveni, a statement The release on Saturday, confirmed the death toll after much speculation about the actual toll. Al-Shabaab extremists responsible for the attack claimed that more than 130 UPDF members were killed.
The deadly attack on Bulo-Mere caused panic in the Ugandan army, despite the base being well equipped and defended. Some 800 fighters were involved in attacking the Ugandans, causing many UPDF troops to withdraw to their next base nine kilometers away.
“These terrorists attempted another unfortunate attack on Barawe Town, but our forces dealt a critical blow, forcing them to flee,” Museveni said.
Museveni said the investigation identified two commanders who ordered the troops to retreat. He said, ‘He has been arrested. Both will face a court martial trial.
Although Museveni issued condolences to the families of the lost, he also sharply criticized the UPDF’s response, saying it was criminal for anyone involved who were not prepared for their mission there.
Image: Museveni File