Hon Ssekikubo asks for report on attacks on UPDF Soldiers in Somalia
Parliament observed a moment of silence for 12 UPDF soldiers killed in an Al Shabab attack in Somalia, asking government to present a comprehensive report on the incident.
After this, the Lwemiyaga MP Theodore Ssekikubo (NRM, Lwemiyaga) standing on a matter of national importance said that Parliament being the mandated institution to deploy the army outside Uganda, it should receive updates regarding the incident.
“Since we have government and government is fully represented in the House, it is only right that as a country and as Parliament sitting here to deliberate on behalf of our people, we are given a position and a statement on what exactly happened,” said MP Ssekibubo.
The Defence and Veterans Affairs Minister Hon Adolf Kasaija Mwesige in a brief statement said the army has already contacted the bereaved families and that the bodies will arrive today at 1.30pm.
“The 12 bodies of our gallant soldiers will be flown to Uganda and received tomorrow at 1.30 pm; the seven injured continue to receive treatment at Mogadishu grade II hospital,” said Hon Mwesige.
“The joint Somalia National Army and AMISOM patrol composed of the UPDF under the seventh battalion of battle group 20 was ambushed by al shabaab terrorists.” He added.
“If you can ask government to give us a comprehensive report not only on our soldiers that have been killed in Somalia but also on our engagement in the conflict in Somalia,” said MP Ssemujju, as he called for a complete withdrawal of the UPDF from Somalia.
Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah said it is the duty of government to account for all the dead soldiers, reinforcing the need for a comprehensive government statement on the attacks.
“We have lost people. Even if it is one person, it is still a son or daughter of Uganda, is still a father of some child, it is still our responsibility to account for them and handle it in the best way possible,” said Hon Oulanyah.
The demand for a full report on the UPDF’s involvement in Somalia for the past decade was met with much reception, but one that the Deputy Speaker seemed doubtful would be completed in the constricting time frame offered.