Ugandan troops discovered the bodies of 54 Ugandan soldiers who were killed during an al-Shabaab attack on an African Union base in Somalia last week, according to Ugandan officials.
The discovery took place as the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) regained control of the forward operating base in Buulo Mareer, about 120 kilometers southwest of Mogadishu, State House Uganda said via Twitter Saturday.
“During that operation, UPDF discovered the lifeless bodies of 54 fallen soldiers, including Lt Col Edward Nyororo, the commander….,” the agency said.
After Ugandan troops reclaimed the base, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni announced that two commanders who ordered their soldiers to retreat during the May 26 militant attack would face a court martial.
“The mistake was made by two commanders, Maj. Oluka and Maj. Obbo, who ordered the soldiers to retreat. They have been apprehended and will face charges in the Court Martial,” the president said via Twitter.
Ugandan soldiers are stationed at the forward operating base as a peacekeeping force.
Al-Shabaab launched the deadly attack on the military base using Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices and suicide bombers, the African Union said last week.
Unverified images shared on jihadi media channels showed about a dozen Ugandan troops, with arms restrained behind their backs, being captured by the militants.
The militant group’s move has drawn condemnations from the US and the European Union.
“We express our deepest condolences to the victims’ families and friends and wish a full recovery to those injured. The United States commends the bravery and sacrifice of the troops participating in this important mission. We stand with our Somali and African Union partners in the fight to defeat terrorism and to advance peace and stability for the Somali people,” the US State Department said.
In an earlier statement, the European Union said the attack only reinforces its commitment “to stand with the region and to hold to account those responsible for these continuously heinous assaults against Somali citizens and those seeking to stabilize the situation in the country.”