Museveni's son meets Somalia president after Al-Shabaab attack on UPDF
MOGADISHU, Somalia - Uganda President Yoweri Museveni dispatched his son and advisor on Special Operations General Muhoozi Kainerugaba to Somalia, just days after Al-Shabaab militants overran a military base manned by Uganda People's Defense Forces [UPDF], an incident which has triggered a debate on preparedness.
The militants raided Bulo Marer Forward Operating Base a fortnight ago killing at least 54 soldiers according to statistics given by the Uganda president. However, Al-Shabaab insists that over 137 officers were killed, with some reports showing at least 221 soldiers were in the FOB at the time of the attack.
At the presidential Palace on Wednesday, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud invited Gen. Muhoozi, who was recently shifted as the Land Forces Commander following a series of tweets about Kenya.
The two discussed strategies in the fight against Al-Shabaab. "Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba conveyed a message from President Yoweri Museveni on collaboration in the fight against terrorism," Villa Somalia said in a tweet while acknowledging the cordial relationship between Kampala and Mogadishu.
"The President condemned the recent Bulomarer attack on Ugandan ATMIS forces, expressed condolences to the families of the fallen heroes, and thanked the gov't and the people of Uganda for their unwavering commitment to Somalia’s security."
Uganda has close to 4,500 soldiers serving in ATMIS but the number could reduce significantly upon full implementation of the Somali Transition Plan [STP]. By the end of this month, at least 2000 soldiers would have left the country with Somali National Army expected to assume security responsibilities.
Already, Uganda has put two commanders on trial for allegedly asking soldiers to run away when the attack was active yet they were all well-armed. To help Somalia stabilize, Somalia has also invested in sending soldiers to Uganda for advanced training and a number of graduates are now in charge of security within Mogadishu.