Who is Telling the Truth on Number of UPDF Soldiers Killed in al-Shabaab Easter Attack?
UPDF Denies al-Shabaab Claims it Killed 50 Ugandan Soldiers
UPDF and al-shabaab have given conflicting reports on the number of causalities in the terrorist group’s Easter Sunday morning attack on African Union Mission to Somalia (Amisom) base at Quoryole, Bulomareer and Golwein in Lower Shabelle region in Somalia.
WHAT UPDF SAYS ON AL-SHABAAB EASTER ATTACK
UPDF statements claim al-shabaab killed only four Ugandan soldiers.
Ugandan army further claims 22 al-shabaab militants lost their lives in the attack.
The special representative of the chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, Francisco Madeira, corroborates this report.
In an April 2 press statement, Madeira says some 30 al-shabaab militants died in the attack.
He put the number of killed UPDF soldiers at four, and number of injured at six.
WHAT AL-SHABAAB, LOCAL AUTHORITIES SAY ON EASTER ATTACK CASUALITIES
But international media have but the number of killed Ugandan soldiers between 40 and 60.
Al Jazeera, for example, quotes al-shabaab military spokesman Abdiaziz Abu Mus’ab as saying 14 of the terrorist groups combatants had died.
Abdiaziz Abu Mus’ab is further quoted as saying 59 Amisom soldiers, majority of them Ugandans, had died.
“The Mujahideen fighters entered the crusaders’ base and killed at least 59 of them. Our fighters also attacked five other bases,” Mus’ab is quoted as saying.
The New York Times and Reuters seem to corroborate Abdiaziz Abu Mus’ab’s account.
Abdi Nur Hashi,a Somali military colonel, also told The Guardian of UK that 46 UPDF soldiers had died in the attacks.
UPDF and Amisom’s reports on casualties have often always been contradictory since Uganda deployed in war-torn Somalia 11 years ago.
For example, in the July 30, 2017 attack, UPDF claimed it had lost 12 soldiers.
But a l-shabaab claimed it had killed 39 UPDF soldiers.
Two years earlier, in September 2015, UPDF said it had lost 10 soldiers in al-shabaab attack on the Amisom base in Janaale district.
But al-shabaab claimed it had killed 50 Amisom soldiers.
Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni would later put the figure at 19, further revealing that six soldiers remained unaccounted for.
It is understandable why both sides’ figures are conflicting — to win an argument for their cause.