Gen Muhoozi Visits UPDF Soldiers in Somalia Days After Al-Shabaab Attack

Courtesy Photo of Gen Kainerugaba Muhoozi visiting injured soldiers

President Yoweri Museveni’s son, Gen Kainerugaba Muhoozi, who is also his father’s advisor on a special security operations has visited Uganda People’s Defence Forces -UPDF in Somalia on the heels of Al-Shabaab attack that left 54 combatants killed.

Al-Shabaab overrun UPDF base at Buulo-Mareer on May 26, leaving several soldiers dead. Although Al-Shabaab claimed that it killed 137 Ugandan sokdiers, Museveni said only 54 fatalities were registered by our troops in Somalia.

Uganda has been in Somalia since 2007 under the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) which last year metamorphosed into African Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS). Gen Muhoozi who was less than a year ago the commander of UPDF Land Forces has condoled with UPDF Peace Keepers serving under ATMIS over the tragic incident at Buulo-Mareer.

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According to the statement shared by Col Deo Akiiki, the deputy UPDF Spokesperson, Gen Muhoozi said: “I have come to condole with you for the demise of our fallen combatants. Let us have a one minute silence to pray for their souls. May their souls rest in peace and a quick recovery for the injured.”

UPDF command, according to Gen Muhoozi has identified the weaknesses which caused Al-Shabaab to attack and overran Buulomareer camp. He reportedly said the weakness were caused by both tactical and external factors that need to be addressed.

Gen Muhoozi has cautioned troops not to relax because of ATMIS draw-down but to instead be more aggressive. He further noted that withdrawal operations if not well planned can cause a lot of damage than any other phase of the operation.

“In war sitasita (hesitation) is very dangerous. It leads to death and eventual defeat. The survivors told me they expected Al-Shabaab attack but they didn’t react until the enemy reached nearer and this broke command and control,” Gen Muhoozi said.

UPDF has explained that Buulomareer lies along River Shabeele which is an agricultural sub region in the drought prone Somalia. This river is used by farmers to irrigate their crops using tractors and donkeys throughout the night.

Soldiers in Somalia have explained that they delayed to react thinking the lights in gardens were from farmers. Muhoozi travelled to Somalia at the weekend and he has been meeting UPDF commanders and staff, survivors of Buulomareer incident, hospitalized troops at Level 11 hospital.

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