Ugandan troops to remain in Somalia
Addis Ababa, 3 June 2014 (WIC) - Uganda insists it will not pull out its troops from the troubled Somalia, despite an increase in attacks on its soldiers by Somali militants.
Uganda's Defence minister, Crispus Kiyonga told a press conference that an attack by Al Shabab militia, which killed three Ugandan soldiers late last month, was an act of cowardice.
He said Ugandan troops will continue with their peacekeeping mission in Somalia despite the attacks.
"Africa and the troop-contributing countries will remain resolute in defeating the Al-Shabab," he thundered.
Late June, Al-Shabab fighters, donning suicide vests stormed the Somali parliament building, shortly after detonating a car bomb, while parliament was in session.
Three Uganda soldiers, four Somali soldiers and one Somali policeman were killed in the attack.
Uganda peacekeepers shot dead the 13 Al-Shabab militants who carried out the attack.
Kiyonga hailed the three fallen Ugandan peacekeepers identified as Warrant Officer Philip Baligeya, Warrant Officer Albert Onzelle and Private Joseph Ocaya.
"The government of Uganda congratulates the UPDF contingent, AMISOM and Somali armed forces for foiling the attack and saving the parliamentarians," he told journalists last week.
Uganda was the first African country to send peacekeeping troops to Somalia under AMISOM, with Burundi and Kenya joining later.
Counting 6,600 soldiers of the total 17,700 African troops serving in Somalia, Uganda has the biggest number of peacekeeping troops in the Horn of Africa country. (African report)
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