Ugandan military said on Friday that it would deploy its military planes in Somalia to reinforce African Union mission operations against Al-Shabaab militants.
Uganda’s Air Force spokesperson, Maj. Kiconco Tabaro, said at the Air Base, 40 kilometers south of Kampala, that the military aircraft, which were believed to be mainly helicopters, will help in capturing more places from Al-Shabaab.
He said the aircraft would also ease troop mobility, medical and causality evacuations.
“The AU has been negotiating with us on the deployment of our military aircraft and assets in Somalia. We have agreed on the modalities and we shall deploy them soon.
“As you know, our troops are too far from each other in Somalia. Our line of communication and movement has been difficult.
“These assets are necessary and will ease our personnel mobility, logistics, medical and causality evacuation,” said Tabaro.
Uganda’s military spokesperson, Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda, said the aircrafts were needed to help in the combat operations against the militants.
The militants have heightened their attacks against military and civilian population in Mogadishu and other areas.
“We have reached a point of no return. We have been lacking the needed air support in the fight against the Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia,” said Ankunda.
“It’s a big boost in our operations and resolve to bring peace and stability in Somalia. We are committed to liberating our Somali people,” he said.
The move comes barely two days after African Union Commissioner for peace and security, Smail Chergui, announced that AU was negotiating with Uganda to deploy its military helicopters in Somalia.
Uganda had planned to deploy military helicopters in the Horn of Africa country in 2012.
Source : The Punch