President Museveni has raised concerns about the quality of soldiers being sent on combat missions to Somalia and other war theatres.
Gen Museveni who is also the Commander in Chief im a statement last night emphasized that these missions are not welfare missions where soldiers could just go to pick UN allowances, but rather combat missions where soldiers must be prepared and fit for the task at hand.
The President hinted that some soldiers sent to Somalia might not have been suited for the mission or sufficiently prepared for it. The President however assured the public that details of their investigation would be revealed once the Board of Inquiry had completed their work.
“Operations in Somalia and other theatres, are combat missions and not welfare missions where you can access UN allowances.
“It is criminal for anybody involved, to send into such a theatre soldiers who are either not suited for that mission or not properly prepared for it. Details will come out after the BOI has finished its work,” Gen Museveni noted.
This follows a deadly Friday morning attack on the UPDF base im Somalia where several soldiers are believed to have lost their lives.
Read the President’s full statement
Ugandans and Bazzukulu.
Greetings. Things are moving well on a number of fronts. I have concluded a tour on wealth creation issues in the Masaka zone.Masaka zone is doing well with coffee, bananas, palm oil and the dairy industry.
However, in the night of Thursday, at the 11th hour of the night and ten minutes (what the Europeans call 5.30am of Friday), we had an unfortunate incident in Somalia where our force has operated successfully, ever since 2007. In the area of Bulo-Mareer, there was an FOB (Forward Operational Base) manned by a company of UPDF soldiers. Those defences are quite strong although they are guarded by light weapons.
There were two tanks, two 14.5mm anti- air-craft guns and a 107mm Katyusha rocket launcher. Some of the soldiers there did not perform as expected and panicked, which disorganized them and the Al-Shabaab took advantage of that to overran the base and destroy some of the equipment.
The panic, it seems, was totally unnecessary because, in fact, both the anti-tank ditch and our soldiers had destroyed the 3 vehicles of explosives outside the FOB. The suicide bombers or whatever, were forced to blow themselves up before they gained entry into the base.
Moreover, our UAVs were watching the whole scenario from up in the sky and directing fire. The CDF has set up a Board of Inquiry (BOI) and the full facts will come out, including the details of the casualties.
Many of the soldiers withdrew to the next FOB, nine kilometres away. The terrorists were many, about 800 or so according to the UAVs.
Hence, it was a missed opportunity, to annihilate them. The operations are continuing and they will regret their actions.
Condolences to the country and the families of those who died. This unfortunate incident should be used to remind all those concerned, that operations in Somalia and other theatres, are combat missions and not welfare missions where you can access UN allowances.
It is criminal for anybody involved, to send into such a theatre soldiers who are either not suited for that mission or not properly prepared for it. Details will come out after the BOI has finished its work.
Yoweri K. Museveni