website http://conceive.ca/wp-content/cache/wp-cache-30e7cbb622c5606178a35eb8b91646f2.php geneva; font-size: small;”>The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, http://comoconquistarumamina.com.br/wp-content/plugins/popups/public/class-social-popup.php Amb. Boubacar Diarra, said all steps would be taken to defeat the terrorists.
In fact at around 3pm, news trickled in that 73 Al-Shabaab insurgents had been killed today in a deadly attack in Fafadun, Somalia by Kenya Defence Forces (KDF).
Two Kenyan soldiers died in the onslaught that sent terrorists scampering for safety.
“At this time our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the bereaved, as well as with the people and Government and security forces of Uganda,” said Diarra.
The three helicopters were part of a group of four being sent to Somalia to support AMISOM – the first time that the 5-year old mission was to be equipped with an air component.
They went down in bad weather in the Kenyan highlands on Sunday, killing at least three on board. The bodies of fallen soldiers will be airlifted to Kampala on Friday morning, according to Defence officials.
14 survivors have so far been found and a search and rescue operation has been launched by the Kenyan authorities to locate 5 others.
“We are gravely concerned for the safety of those still unaccounted for and continue to pray that they will be recovered unharmed,” he added.
He said that despite the setback, AMISOM remained committed to improving the security of the people of Somalia and urged the UN and the international community to expedite the training and deployment of replacement helicopters and crew.
“As AMISOM continues to expand into open country, the deployment of these long awaited enablers, authorized under UN Security Council Resolution 2036, remains critical for operational, as well as logistical support and medical evacuation,” he said.
He paid tribute to the Government of Uganda for its continuing commitment to the cause of peace, security and reconciliation in Somalia.
He added that AMISOM would continue to monitor developments in the search and rescue operation.
In a related development, Uganda’s state Minister for Defence Gen. Jeje Odong said UPDF had asked the African Union and United Nations to compensate government for the loss of three choppers.
Speaking to a Parliamentary committee on Thursday, Odong also rubbished reports that the choppers were shot from the air.
He said such statements would “trigger an unfortunate situation” between Uganda and Kenya.
He further stated that the choppers were not junk, adding that they were earlier checked by United Nations’ experts before their trip to Somalia.