Al Shabab has successfully attacked the AU troops in Somalia and has left a top Burundian force commander dead.
Uganda and Burundi are the only African countries that allowed to deploy in volatile Somalia to support a weak Transitional government.
Press reports indicate about 16 people are dead after suicide bombers arrived in stolen UN vehicles.
The dead include the deputy commander Maj Gen Juvenal Niyonguruza from Burundi.
Force commander Gen Nathan Mugisha, from Uganda, was lightly wounded. The Ugandan military has not yet indicated how many Ugandans died in the blast. But this is the first major attack on the base since Uganda entered Somalia under the AMISON.
I have always wondered what Uganda has to gain or to stand up for in Somalia that we must risk our troops’ lives in a mission impossible. Uganda cannot simply continue to ignore the rising influence of the militants and the conflicting interests from the west and neighbouring countries like Ethiopia and Eritrea that have partly played in the mess in this country. Ugandan troops a few months were reported to have passed on arms from USA to the TFG which controls a small part of the country.
Why should Ugandans be in Somalia as peacekeepers in the face of violence where they are targets? How many lives do we have to lose to see that a peacekeeping mission at this stage cannot work in Somalia? What is the AU thinking or is this asking too much? I think Ugandans especially those whose relatives are deployed in Somalia should start asking government questions that should have been answered before deployment.