Whoa! UPDF Commanders Report Survivors of Al-Shabaab Raid are Recovering Well!
In an astonishing turn of events, a group of valiant Uganda People’s Defense Forces [UPDF] soldiers who survived the spine-chilling Al-Shabaab attack in Somalia are reportedly recuperating well in hospital, according to the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS] Force Commander. This unexpected development comes after about 800 militants launched a savage raid on the UPDF base at Bulo Marer, in one of the most brutal attacks in recent times, killing several soldiers and injuring others. The injured soldiers have been admitted to ATMIS Level II hospitals in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, for treatment, as per the statement by ATMIS.
The ATMIS force commander, accompanied by the head of the United Nations Support Office in Somalia, Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, expressed his admiration for the soldiers’ courage in repelling Al-Shabaab militants and extended his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the attack. Bulo Marer is situated approximately 120 kilometers Southwest of Mogadishu in the Lower Shabelle region.
Although several UPDF soldiers managed to take shelter in a nearby Forward Operating Base, President Yoweri Museveni has criticized them for “panicking” during the attack, despite having an advantage over the militants. The President also added that the terror group would pay for its actions. In a joint effort, UPDF Land Force Commander Lt. General Kayanja Muhanga and Somali National Army [SNA] chief General Odowaa Yusuf Rageh agreed to put a curfew in place along Afgoye and Barawe in Lower Shabelle to detect movements of the militants.
Furthermore, they ordered ground commanders to “agree with local leaders to put a ban on movement of vehicles and motorcycles at night.” This will presumably deny Al-Shabaab the use of vehicles laden with bombs to attack UPDF Forward Operating Bases. UPDF currently has close to 4,500 soldiers serving in ATMIS, arguably the largest component, but President Museveni has accused commanders of deploying “relatives and cooks” to Somalia to fight Al-Shabaab militants. The Somali National Army is slated to take over security responsibilities once ATMIS troops gradually withdraw from the country this month.