12 Ugandan soldiers killed in Somalia: Army

Thursday September 3 2015

Colleagues pay their last respects to the

Colleagues pay their last respects to the deceased. Ugandans constitute the largest contingent in the African Union force in Somalia. PHOTO | COURTESY | @PsychoSomalia   

By Nelson Bwire

Twelve Ugandan peacekeepers under the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) were killed in the Tuesday morning attack by Islamic militants Al-Shabaab on the Ugandan army base in Janaale, 55 miles (90km) southeast of the capital Mogadishu, the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has said.

The UPDF spokesperson Lt Col Paddy Ankunda said that out of the 12, ten bodies would be flown to the army air base in Entebbe Thursday.

"Twelve soldiers died, ten are landing this morning, two more to follow. Names of the dead will be published now that the next of kin have been notified as per our policy," Lt Col Ankunda said.

"We will not relent in our efforts to help in the pacification of Somalia despite the attack. This attack is a game changer, Al-Shabaab can only expect an appropriate response from UPDF," he added.

Although various accounts gave conflicting numbers of the dead, Lt Col Ankunda insisted that Amisom has accounted for all its soldiers and none was missing in action after the Janaale attack except the 12.

"Western sources on fatalities in Somalia are wrong. UPDF has done the headcount, let the speculation stop," Lt Col Ankunda reiterated.

Quoting local sources, CNN Wednesday reported that 45 Ugandan and Somali soldiers had been killed in the fighting.

On Tuesday, the insurgents claimed they had killed 50 Ugandan soldiers at Janaale, the area under the control of the Uganda Battle Group 14.

However both claims could not be independently verified.

-Daily Monitor