Uganda Recovers Bodies of 54 Fallen Soldiers Following Al-Shabaab Attack, President Museveni Addresses Internal Weaknesses in UPDF
Ugandan President Museveni has made a public announcement that the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) have successfully recovered the bodies of 54 Ugandan soldiers. These soldiers tragically lost their lives during an assault carried out by Al-Shabaab on a Forward Operating Base in Lower Shabelle on May 26. The president shared this information while addressing the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Parliamentary Caucus, shedding light on the recent developments in the ongoing conflict.
According to President Museveni, the UPDF managed to retake control of the Buulo Mareer Base from the Al-Shabaab militants just a few days ago. The attack initially overwhelmed the Ugandan forces, with over 800 fighters from Al-Shabaab seizing control of the base. However, the UPDF demonstrated their resilience by regrouping and launching a successful operation that resulted in the recapture of the base. The president made this revelation during the NRM Parliamentary Caucus retreat at the National Leadership Institute in Kyankwanzi.
During the operation to retake the base, the UPDF discovered the bodies of the fallen soldiers, including the respected Commander Nyororo. In contrast, Al-Shabaab claimed to have killed 137 Ugandan soldiers, along with capturing vehicles, weapons, and ammunition from the base. However, it is well-known that Al-Shabaab tends to exaggerate their claims and inflate their numbers for propaganda purposes.
President Museveni’s acknowledgement of the death toll represents the first official statement regarding the casualties suffered in the Al-Shabaab attack. Prior to this announcement, Ugandan officials, including the army spokesperson, had been hesitant to disclose detailed information on the matter. The incident stands out as one of the deadliest encounters for the UPDF in recent years within the Somali conflict.
In his address, President Museveni attributed the attack to internal weaknesses within the UPDF and singled out two commanders, Maj. Oluka and Maj. Obbo, who ordered the soldiers to retreat. The president confirmed that these commanders have been apprehended and will face charges in the Court Martial for their actions.
The disclosure of these details by President Museveni underscores the gravity of the situation and the ongoing efforts to address the challenges faced by the UPDF. The loss of 54 soldiers highlights the sacrifices made by Ugandan forces in their commitment to combating terrorism and restoring stability in the region.
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