The Ugandan military on Saturday said it has sent a team of experts to investigate the Friday attack on its troops in Somalia by the militant group Al-Shabab.
The military in a statement issued here said the team will investigate circumstances under which the east African country’s peacekeepers in Somalia were attacked.
Uganda is one of the troop-contributing countries to the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) battling terrorists in Somalia. Others are Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya and Ethiopia.
The military called for calm in the country as the investigations start.
“A team of UPDF (Uganda People’s Defence Forces) under the leadership of the Commander of Land Forces, Lt. Gen. Kayanja Muhanga, has been dispatched to Somalia to ascertain the circumstances under which the attack happened and devise the way forward,” the statement said.
Ugandan peacekeepers deployed under ATMIS were attacked by Al-Shabab in Bulo Marer, 120 km southwest of Mogadishu in the Lower Shabelle region, according to the military. The army is yet to establish the number of casualties. The militant group claims to have killed more than 130 soldiers.
The European Union (EU) has condemned Friday’s terrorist attack by Al-Shabab terrorists against a military base manned by ATMIS in southern Somalia.
The EU said the latest attack against soldiers conducting peace support operations in Somalia only reinforces its commitment to stand with the region and to hold to account those responsible for these continuously heinous assaults against Somali citizens and those seeking to stabilize the situation in the country.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and military comrades of those affected,” the EU said in a statement issued on Friday evening in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.
ATMIS confirmed that Al-Shabab extremists launched the dawn attack against its military base at Bulo Marer, about 120 km southwest of Mogadishu, using vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) and suicide bombers.
ATMIS did not reveal further details on casualties but said it was assessing the situation on the ground.