Uganda is still largely safe and secure, according to President Yoweri Museveni, despite some errors like the attack on UPDF soldiers in Somalia that left 54 dead and the attack by ADF rebels on a school in Kasese that left 44 dead.
“When we get a few mistakes like what happened in Somalia and Kasese, those who don’t know war start running around, panicking but I can tell you that the security of Uganda is very secure. There were some mistakes in Somalia, and I was talking to commanders here about them,” Museveni said.
Museveni expressed his delight that the majority of those recruited as LDUs were educated, with 5000 of them having completed senior high school or higher, 700 holding bachelor’s degrees, and five holding master’s degrees. He asserted that educated individuals can be effective cadres and soldiers .
“When you hear that some armies do well like the Israeli army, it is because they are educated people. In the 1960s, when they were fighting with the people they were fighting with, you would get educated people fighting with peasants from the other countries and they could not manage because of technology, and quick learning. The only problem is that sometimes the educated become proud and look down upon manual work but otherwise educated people can make good soldiers and very good cadres in different areas,” Museveni said.
Fifty-four Ugandan peacekeepers died when militants besieged an African Union base in Somalia last week, Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni, has said, in one of the worst recent attacks by al-Shabaab jihadists in the war-torn country.
Since pro-government forces supported by the AU force known as ATMIS launched an offensive against al-Shabaab last August, the death toll is one of the highest recorded. It was also unusual for African Union members to acknowledge a significant military death toll.
Al-Shabaab, which has been waging a deadly insurgency against Somalia’s fragile central government for more than a decade, claimed responsibility for the attack on 26 May, saying it had overrun the base and killed 137 soldiers.
Al-Shabaab is known to exaggerate claims of battlefield gains for propaganda purposes, and the governments of nations contributing troops to the AU force rarely confirm casualties.