MPs question minister on slain UPDF soldiers

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Adolf Mwesige, Minister of Defense

Members of Parliament on Tuesday tasked Adolf Mwesige, Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs, to explain the situation relating to Uganda People’s Defence Forces [UPDF] soldiers who died in Somalia on Sunday.

This was during a plenary session chaired by deputy speaker of Parliament, Hon Jacob Oulanyah.

Lwemiyaga County MP, Theodore Ssekikubo, asked government to give a statement regarding the news that UPDF soldiers were killed in Somalia.

In response, minister Mwesige said the UPDF troops were ambushed by Al-Shabaab and 12 soldiers were killed while seven others were injured.

Deputy speaker Oulanyah ordered the minister to prepare a brief statement for the house regarding the death of soldiers in Somalia.

Victoria University

Kira Municipality MP, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda requested that the Minister brings a compressive statement on Uganda’s 10-year deployment in Somalia.

Yesterday, Nganda who doubles as the Forum for Democratic Change [FDC] publicity secretary, castigated President Yoweri Museveni’s government for sending the national army into Somalia.

“We made a mistake and it’s time we cut the losses. How many soldiers do you want us to lose to realise it was a mistake?” Nganda said, adding, “We should have never gone to Somalia and I believe Uganda should have withdrawn its troops long time ago.”

He said the biggest territory in Somalia is under al-Shaabab and that Uganda occupies a small fraction. “There is no any other country that will stabilise another country citing what US did in Iraq.”

He conclude that the UPDF peacekeeping mission to Somalia was an ill-advised expedition.

On Sunday, Al Shabaab militants ambushed Uganda troops of Battle Group XX at Goryowein along Bulu-maler and Beladamin in Lower Shebelle region.

The bodies of the dead soldiers are expected to be repatriated back to the country anytime soon.

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