UPDF vows retaliation for al-Shabaab killing of captured Ugandan soldier
KAMPALA. The army yesterday warned that al-Shabaab insurgents will pay for “inhumanly” executing a Ugandan soldier whom they captured in August 2015.
The outgoing army spokesperson, Lt Col Paddy Ankuda, said al-Shabaab had violated the international law which protects prisoners of war from being killed by the belligerent forces.
“We have watched the video and it’s obviously unacceptable,” Lt Col Ankunda said. “The al-Shabaab is breaking international law, they will answer for their criminality.”
Lt Col Ankunda does not say how al-Shabaab will pay but insists action will be taken. Under Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of 1949, prisoners of war are not supposed to be mistreated.
The execution of Pte Masasa, who hails from Busia District, is captured in a graphic video released by al- Shabaab on Tuesday.
The video titled ‘’So they may take heed; the final message from Ugandan prisoner of war [POW]’’ shows Pte Masasa being shot twice in the head.
He was captured by the insurgents when they attacked a UPDF base in Janaale in South west of Mogadishu and killed 19 soldiers.
The insurgents also forced Pte Masasa to make a statement saying that Ugandan soldiers went to Somalia “just for the money”.
He goes ahead to tell Ugandan soldiers to stay in their own country and not to deploy to Somalia. “It’s possible to get a salary even back in Uganda,” he says in the video.
This is the third video the insurgents are releasing after his capture. The first two videos were released last year when he made an emotional appeal to President Museveni to rescue him and also sent greetings to his wife he called Eva Achan and children. Despite his plea, the government has not come out to issue any statement on the soldier’s fate.
After the attack on Janaale UPDF base, the outgoing Chief of Defence Forces, Gen Katumba Wamala, set up a board of inquiry chaired by Brig Jack Bakasumba, which found out that the commanders didn’t handle the operational requirements well.
The inquiry also found that the Janaale UPDF defensive position, manned by 200 UPDF troops, was overwhelmed by the al-Shabaab attackers who were estimated to be between 350 and 500 in number.