In a statement released on Saturday, May 27, 2023, on his official Twitter handle, Museveni said the attack that happened at Bulo-Mareer, where the ATMIS base is located, had the Ugandan soldiers panic, which disorganised them, thus leaving them overwhelmed by the militants, who he also said attacked in bigger numbers.
Museveni speaks out on Al-Shabaab attack
President Museveni has come out to condemn the attack conducted by Al Qaeda-linked militants, Al Shabaab, on the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), mainly dominated by the Ugandan army, the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF).
"In the night of Thursday, at the 11th hour of the night and ten minutes (what the Europeans call 5.30am of Friday), we had an unfortunate incident in Somalia, where our force has operated successfully ever since 2007. In the area of Bulo-Mareer, there was an FOB (forward operational base) manned by a company of UPDF soldiers. Those defences are quite strong, although they are guarded by light weapons," he said.
He added: "There were two tanks, two 14.5mm anti-aircraft guns, and a 107mm Katyusha rocket launcher. Some of the soldiers there did not perform as expected and panicked, which disorganised them, and the Al-Shabaab took advantage of that to overrun the base and destroy some of the equipment."
"The panic, it seems, was totally unnecessary because, in fact, both the anti-tank ditch and our soldiers had destroyed the three vehicles of explosives outside the FOB. The suicide bombers, or whatever, were forced to blow themselves up before they gained entry into the base. Moreover, our UAVs were watching the whole scenario from up in the sky and directing fire. The CDF has set up a Board of Inquiry (BOI), and the full facts will come out, including the details of the casualties. Many of the soldiers withdrew to the next FOB, nine kilometres away. The terrorists were many, about 800 or so according to the UAVs."
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