Ugandan Military Initiates Court-Martial Trial of Officers Accused of ‘Cowardice’ in Al-Shabab Attack

General Court Martial Dispenses Justice In Somalia. PHOTO/UPDF Press Team

Kampala, Uganda | THE BLACK EXAMINER | On Thursday, the Ugandan military announced that a court-martial, temporarily convened in Mogadishu, Somalia, has initiated the trial of two senior army officers accused of “cowardice” in the aftermath of a deadly attack by the militant group al-Shabab in Somalia in May.

The General Court Martial (GCM), presided over by Brig. Gen. Robert Mugabe, is overseeing the trial of Maj. Steven Oluka and Maj. Zadock Obor, who were commanding officers of two military bases in southwest Somalia. They face two counts of cowardice following an al-Shabab attack that resulted in the deaths of 54 peacekeepers. This information was conveyed in a statement issued in Kampala, the capital of Uganda.

The statement indicated that these two senior commanders allegedly failed to motivate the military officers and soldiers under their command to fight courageously when they encountered al-Shabab on May 26.

Additionally, the statement revealed that four non-commissioned officers are also facing trial for their alleged failure to protect war materials, which is in violation of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) Act.

Traditionally conducted in Makindye, the capital of Kampala, the General Court Martial will be holding sessions in Somalia for a duration of two weeks.

Brig. Gen. Robert Mugabe, chairing the GCM, was quoted as saying, “The General Court Martial has jurisdiction to try cases anywhere in and outside Uganda where UPDF is operating. At the end of the sessions, those found guilty will be given appropriate sentences, and those found not guilty will be acquitted.”

The soldiers lost their lives when al-Shabab, a militant group, overran a military base manned by a Ugandan contingent of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) in Bulo Marer town, located approximately 120 km southwest of Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.

Uganda, along with Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya, and Ethiopia, is one of the countries contributing troops to the ATMIS, which is engaged in countering terrorism activities in Somalia.

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Busiinge Aggrey
Busiinge Aggrey
Business Aggrey" is a 23-year-old Ugandan journalist and Editor-in-Chief at The Black Examiner newspaper