Authorities have reported that survivors of the deadly Al Shabaab attack on a Ugandan People’s Defense Force (UPDF) forward operating base in Somalia are steadily recovering.
Lieutenant General Sam Okiding, the force commander, visited the soldiers at the ATMIS Level two hospital in Mogadishu on Tuesday, according to ATMIS (African Union Mission in Somalia).
During his visit, Lt Gen Okiding commended the soldiers for their bravery in fighting off the Al-Shabaab militants and expressed his wishes for their quick recovery.
He also extended his condolences to the relatives and friends of those who lost their lives in the attack. The force commander was accompanied by Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, the head of the United Nations Support Office in Somalia, and other senior ATMIS officials.
“Lt Gen Okiding commended the soldiers for their bravery in fighting off Al-Shabaab militants and wished them quick recovery. He also extended his message of condolence to relatives and friends of those who died during the attack,” ATMIS said in a brief statement.
Last week, Al Shabaab militants launched an attack on the UPDF forward operating base in Buulo Mareer, located approximately 120km southwest of Mogadishu in the Lower Shabelle region.
The attack led to intense fighting between the UPDF and the militants, resulting in the overrun of the base and the loss of several Ugandan soldiers. Some soldiers were also taken as prisoners of war.
In response to the attack, Lieutenant General Kayanja Muhanga, the UPDF commander of the Land Forces, and General Odowaa Yusuf Rageh of the Somali National Army (SNA) agreed to implement a curfew on the highway from Afgoye to Barawe in the Lower Shabelle region.
The decision aims to prevent Al Shabaab from using Vehicle Borne Improvised Devices (VBIEDs) as weapons of choice for carrying out complex attacks, similar to what occurred during the recent attack.
The generals instructed the commanders on the ground to collaborate with local leaders in imposing a ban on vehicle and motorcycle movement at night. This measure is intended to deny Al Shabaab the ability to use vehicles loaded with explosives to target the forward operating bases (FOBs).