Somalia: UPDF officer charged over death of 10 colleagues in Somalia

Soldiers of the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) secure an area near the Godka Jillicow prison in Mogadishu on August 31, 2014. A large contingent of Ethiopian troops has crossed into Somalia, reports from Gedo region indicated on Wednesday. AFP PHOTO | ABDIFITAH HASHI NOR

He is said to have ignored intelligence information which resulted into an attack by Al Shabaab.

A senior UPDF officer who allegedly failed to protect his colleagues while on a mission in Somalia, resulting into death of 19 of them has been charged with failure to perform his duties.

Lt. Col Bosco Mutumbi, 50, who was the commander of Battle Group 16 (BGXVI) in Somalia, is said to have ignored intelligence information which resulted into the Al Shabaab attacking Janale detachment and killing 10 UPDF soldiers.

Prosecution led by Maj. Raphael Mugisha alleged that Mutumbi faces two counts of failure to execute one’s duty leading to the death of fellow officers and failure to brief subordinate commanders to execute an operation against the Al Shabaab.

Mugisha told court that between June and September 2015, Mutumbi was briefed about the vulnerability of Janale UPDF detachment to the Al Shabaab but he failed to relocate it.

Mutumbi also reportedly failed to provide support weapons, arms, ammunition, manpower and other equipment which resulted in Al Shabaab attacking the detachment on September 1, 2015, leading to loss of lives.

The UPDF officers who died at Janale detach are Lt. David Etua Ondoma, Sgt. Charles Outa, Sgt. Charles Ojange, Sgt. Eddy Kakaire, Sgt. Abubaker Mugumya, Sgt. Emmanuel Wanyama, Lance Cpl Andrew Engema, Lance Cpl Phinius Ochowun, Pte. Isaac Okidi Lotyang and Pte. Geoffrey Kintu.

Following the incident, President Yoweri Museveni ordered for the arrest of the battalion commander of the UPDF sector in Janale, company commanders and intelligence officers.

Janale is a town in Somalia lower Shabelle region which is 65 kilometres south west of Mogadishu the capital city of Somalia.

President Museveni also wondered why the UPDF was not following its standard operational procedures (SOPs) which would have kept the AMISOM military base safe from attack.