The Ugandan army, UPDF has finally regained full control of the forward operating base in Buulo Mareer, approximately 120km southwest of Mogadishu in Lower Shabelle region which had been overran by Al Shabaab militants last week.
The UPDF also uprooted the militants from the nearby Buulo Mareer town and surrounding villages which had also been captured by the terrorist group.
According to Maj Peter Mugisa, the spokesperson of the UPDF in Somalia, the combined infantry and motorized units of the Ugandan armed met resistance from Alshabaab sniper fire positioned in storied buildings and other pockets of resistance from fleeing remnants.
However, after heavy fire, the insurgents were overpowered, prompting many of them to flee and according to Maj Mugisa, some civilians who had abandoned the area due to the fire fight are now back to reoccupy their homes.
Brig Peter Gaetano Omola, the sector one commander overseeing the operation at Goloweyn tactical base noted that after thorough combing of the area, there is normalcy with civilians and travelers now free to carry on with their normal duties.
“We have combed the area to ensure no Alshabaab element is hiding and the road has been cleared of bombs. Normalcy has returned. People can now go on with their daily work,” Brig Omola reassured.
“As UPDF serving under African Union Transition Mission in Somalia remain committed to supporting a Somali led peace and stability process as mandated by African Union.”
The development comes on the backdrop of a deadly attack on a UPDF forward operating base in the area by Al Shabaab who overran it and killed several Ugandan soldiers while some were taken as prisoners.
Whereas no official figure has been given in regards the number of casualties, the attack has been described as the biggest defeat to the Ugandan army in Somalia since its deployment in 2007 under the African Union to fight Al Shabaab insurgents.
President Museveni has since blamed this heavy loss on panicking by the Ugandan soldiers at the base but was quick to warn that the Al Shabaab will dearly pay for its actions.
A board of inquiry has since been set up to investigate circumstances under which the attack happened.