Ugandan forces may never fight Al-shabaab in Somalia in time to come as the country’s government has concluded to pull its troops out of the war-torn Somalia by December 2017.
The country provides the largest contingent of soldiers to the African Union force fighting militant Islamist group Al-Shabaab.
Uganda’s Chief of Defence Forces, General Katumba Wamala, told the media that the decision was based on the frustration with the Somali army and international partners.
According to the General, Somalia’s forces ought to have taken over its own security, but that was not happening. The country seems to be taking too longer to be solely in control of its security. Therefore, Ugandan forces will have to pull out to focus on its own border and security.
The US, UK and Turkey were among countries training Somali soldiers and police officers. However, Uganda’s government claims they are not coordinating their activities and it is not helping matters.
Many have questioned the effectiveness of the AU mission in Somalia because it has struggled to secure some of al-Shabaab’s strongholds outside the major towns. It has also been bedeviled by allegations of corruption.
General Wamala said Uganda will probably leave Somalia even before December 2017 if another country was found to stand in place of it.
Ugandan forces are not the first its country has threatened a drop out from the war against Al Shabaab. After the El-Adde attack by the militant Islamist group al-Shabaab, which killed many Kenyan soldiers, injuring scores with many’s whereabouts yet unknown, Kenya threatened to pull out of the country.
They even pulled out from two military bases in Somalia, including one attacked by militant Islamist group al-Shabaab. A Kenyan army spokesman said troops were involved in a “normal operational manoeuvre” and not a withdrawal.
Al-Shabaab fighters have seized the southern town of Badhadhe after the troops retreated, a local MP said.
Later on it was alleged that Kenya may withdraw its troops from Somalia if the international community does not boost the fund for the operation.
The country through its president President Uhuru Kenyatta reportedly questioned if the whole involvement was worth the enormous cost at a meeting with envoys UN Security Councils.
The president complained that the AMISOM was receiving required support urging the UN to play a much bigger role in the fight.