UPDF soldiers kill themselves in Somalia


The army is investigating the circumstances under which one of its soldiers deployed in Mogadishu, Somalia, shot his administration officer dead before killing himself.

A source in Mogadishu earlier told this newspaper that the soldier who ran amok was irked by the supervisor and that four soldiers in total died in the Saturday shooting incident.

The UPDF spokesperson, Brig Richard Karemire, however, said only two soldiers perished and investigators are working to establish the motive of the errant soldier.

“The motive isn’t yet known. We want to know whether he was insane or not,” Brig Karemire said by telephone yesterday.

The incident happened at the main base, which is the central nerve of African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom), to which Uganda was the first and to-date still the largest troop contributor. The identities of deceased have not yet been released. Shootings among UPDF soldiers are uncommon when on mission outside the country or at home.

In recent times, most shootings by soldiers have targeted civilians, with a number attributed to love-gone-bad incidents and property wrangle.

However, in 2016, Sgt Isaac Obua shot dead seven of his colleagues inside Makindye Military Police Barracks in Kampala.

Pte Isaac Newton Okello was in December 2018 convicted for killing a pregnant woman, her husband and son in Alebtong District and sentenced to 80 years imprisonment. In 2013, UPDF soldiers Sgt Robert Okiror attached to the 7th battalion in Kisoro District shot dead his girlfriend and the maid following a domestic brawl.

In 2013, UPDF Pte Patrick Odoch killed 11 people near Bombo UPDF headquarters over similar reasons. Pte Odoch was later sentenced to a 90-year jail term.

In December 2012, L/Cpl Herbert Rwakihembo, attached to the Military Police, shot dead his fiancée, Irene Namuyaba and two others at Luzira.



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