According to Daily Monitor , the Uganda army Land Forces Commander, Lt. Gen. Katumba Wamala has revealed that they are ready to go ahead and attack Islamists strongholds in Somalia if they are given a green light by the United Nations and the African Union. If such a mandate is issued it will see about 4300 Ugandan and Burundian peacekeepers more embroiled in the Somalia conflict. The two countries went to the horn of African nation in the name of peacekeeping but of late have been calling for change of mandate with increased attacks from Al Shabab.
This comes at a time when the troops are battling an unknown disease they contracted in Somalia. Some people have hinted it could be poisoning but about 40 Ugandans were airlifted to Kenya following the outbreak of the disease that has so far killed one UPDF soldier and four Burundians.
The opposition leader in Uganda Dr. Kiiza Besiggye has called on government to withdraw troops from Mogadishu saying “Rather than keeping peace they were sucked into civil war. There is ample evidence that the UPDF supplied arms to one of the warring factions and that is why we are saying they should return home.”
Two weeks ago The Independent carried a lead story questioning whether 43000 AU troops could succeed where about 38000 UN troops failed in the early years of the conflict. No doubt if this mandate is given a go ahead it will further complicate the position of the AU and the two troop contributing countries in Somalia. Will they win or lose the fight and in case they win what price are citizens of Uganda and Burundi will to pay? If this intervention fails how would AU deal with this taking sides?