peacekeepers were injured by mortar shells in Mogadishu yesterday
evening as they guarded the Somali capital's seaport, the spokesman for
the African Union (AU) force said.
"Our position at the seaport was attacked by several mortars at 6:00pm," Capt. Paddy Ankunda told The New Vision last night.
"Three of our soldiers and a Somali policeman were wounded and are receiving treatment at our hospital.
is reportedly seriously injured. "We are waiting for a final report
from the doctors to decide whether they will be evacuated," Ankunda
The Ugandans did not return fire when
they came under attack, and the Ugandan contingent at the seaport will
not be withdrawn, Ankunda stressed.
"We have always maintained at least 200 soldiers at the port. They will stay there."
Asked who was responsible for the attack, Ankunda said: "We have no idea yet. We are trying to investigate."
according to the French press agency AFP, Islamist militias claimed
responsibility for the attack on their web- site. "The incident is
It means we have to be more vigilant," the UPDF spokesman, Maj. Felix Kulayigye, commented.
if Uganda would pull out of Somalia, he said: "We have a mission and
the mission has not yet been completed. The Burundian contingent is
also going to be deployed soon. The force commander is currently in
Bujumbura over the issue."
The Chief of Defence Forces, Gen. Aronda Nyakairima, confirmed that Uganda would maintain its force in Mogadishu.
"We will stay the course. We will wait for either the AU to complete its deployment or the UN to take over in six months."
also pointed at the ineffectiveness of the transitional government. "By
now, they should have built their military force and patrol the city to
deny a hide-out for the negative forces. But since they are not there,
we will take extra precautions."
Two more policemen and four civilians died
yesterday in two roadside bombs, one in the southern Mogadishu suburb
of Kuliyada and another one near the presidential palace, according to
Some 1,600 Ugandan troops are deployed in
Mogadishu as the vanguard of a planned 8,000-strong African Union force
to support the fragile Somali interim government.Five
of them have been killed by Iraq-style roadside bombs and mortar blasts
since they began duty in March, but direct attacks on their positions
had been relatively rare.
SOURCE: New Vision, October 24, 2007