Shebab claims killing 50 UPDF soldiers, Amisom denies


UPDF troops on the battlefield in Somalia

Somali based Al Shabaab militants claim to have launched an attack on an AMISOM base in Sector-One Tuesday morning September 1, 2015.

The terror group then issued a statement through one of their propagandists, a one Abu Musab, claiming that they conducted a SVBIED and a gun attack targeting the UPDF contingent in AMISOM Sector One base of Janaale.

The terrorists, according to civilian and military intelligence, further claim to have been avenging an attack by AMISOM troops in Marka that left several civilians dead as well as the death of their leader, Abu Zubeyr aka Godane, by a drone strike in 2014.

AMISOM quickly responded in a tweet dismissing the report as false.

“AMISOM can confirm that the base is still under AMISOM control,” the tweet said.

It added: “Reports that the base has been taken over and our weapons captured are false.”

While AMISOM denies the killing of 50 UPDF soldiers and losing the base as well as weapons to terrorists, the mission refused to clarify whether there was an attack or not.

UPDF army chiefs went on record saying they provided military intelligence that led to the killing of Godane [shebab chief] by US drones last year.

UPDF has also been instrumental in liberating major towns and capturing Shebab strongholds.

The Ugandan army back home has not said anything on the alleged incident.

The last time Uganda lost soldiers in Somalia was last year.

According to U.N. Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson, 3,000 African Union soldiers have been killed in Somalia over the past few years fighting the Islamist insurgency.

Eliasson said Uganda and Burundi, which supplied most of the troops for the AU force, “have paid a tremendous price.”

A spokesman for the force, Ali Aden Hamoud, told VOA he cannot confirm or deny the death toll.

Over the past two years, AU troops, working with Somali and Ethiopian forces, have forced militant group al-Shabab out of southern Somali towns and cities they once controlled.

Eliasson said the al-Shabab threat has receded but still exists and that the AU force, known as AMISOM, still “plays an absolutely crucial role” in Somalia.

AU soldiers arrived in Somalia in 2007 and were involved in heavy fighting with al-Shabab in Mogadishu for several years.

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