Muhoozi visits Uganda troops in Somalia after Al Shabaab attack

Friday June 09 2023
muhoozi som

Uganda's senior presidential advisor in charge of special operations, Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba (right) visits soldiers wounded in the May 26 attack on Buulo Mareer Forward Operating Base in Lower Shabelle region, at Atmis Level Two Hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia. PHOTO | ATMIS


The senior presidential advisor in charge of special operations, Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, has condoled with Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) peacekeepers serving under the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (Atmis) following the May 26 attack on Ugandan troops’ base by Al Shabaab terrorists.

Meeting UPDF officers in Mogadishu, Gen Muhoozi was quoted saying, “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.”

Read: Bodies of 54 slain Ugandan soldiers to be flown home

Gen Muhoozi, who is the First Son to President Yoweri Museveni, told the peacekeepers that the strategic leadership had identified the weaknesses which caused Al Shabaab to attack and overran Buulo Marer camp, saying these were both tactical and external factors that need to be addressed.

He cautioned troops not to relax because of Atmis drawdown but to instead be more aggressive.

The former UPDF commander of land forces further noted that withdrawal operations if not well planned could 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.

Read: How four Ugandan soldiers hid, survived Shabaab attack

Buulo Mareer lies astride River Shabelle which is an agricultural sub region in the drought prone Somalia. Farmers irrigate their crops using tractors and donkeys throughout the night. This reportedly led the troops delay to react thinking the lights in gardens were from farmers.

Gen Muhoozi has been in Somalia for the last five days meeting UPDF commanders and staff and survivors of the attack who are hospitalised.

He also visited Villa Somalia (presidential palace), where he met the President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

His father, Museveni, last Saturday said 54 bodies of Ugandan soldiers had been recovered following the attack which he partly attributed to corruption and tactical failures among and by the commanders, two of whom he said had been detained for prosecution.