NILE POST NEWS|MOGADISHU: Investigations have kicked off into circumstances under which a UPDF soldier under the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) shot three of his colleagues dead in Mogadishu on Monday morning.
According to sources privy with the matter, the incident happened when the soldier attached to the 23rd battalion and was deployed to guard at Aden Adde International Airport out of nowhere shot a colleague dead.
“When his colleagues heard the bullets, they thought the enemy had attacked. Whoever tried to intervene was shot down,” the source who preferred to remain anonymous because she is not allowed to comment on the matter said.
According to the source, the first victim was shot in the chest whereas the second one who tried to peep to observe what had happened was shot three times in the head as the soldier went on rampage.
The source said the third soldier was shot in the back as he tried to run away from the colleague who had gone on rampage.
“After the three shootings, the entire camp was now alert and a brave officer tiptoed and disarmed the shooter who didn’t resist.”
This website has also learnt that on being subdued, the shooter requested his fellow soldiers to finish him off after realizing he was now guilty of what he had earlier done.
The colleagues however arrested him and handed over to authorities for management.
The spokesperson of the UPDF contingent in Somalia, Capt George William Musinguzi confirmed the incident and identified the shooter as Corporal Simon Agaba attached to Base camp in Mogadishu.
“This morning, at around 0600Hrs, RA/170986 Cpl Agaba Simon attached to Base camp Mogadishu in Somalia randomly shot and killed three of his colleagues,”Capt Musinguzi said in a statement.
He named the deceased as Lance Corporal Christopher Kigongo, Lance Corporal Lord Charles Mangwi and Private Charles Akatwongyera.
“Investigations have commenced to establish the true cause of his actions but we suspect he soldier has been struggling with stress disorders. We commiserate with the families of the deceased,” he added.
This is the first incident of a soldier shooting his colleagues dead in Somalia in many years.
The last similar incident happened in 2019 when a UPDF Captain killed himself after shooting a colleague dead in Somalia.
Ugandan troops have been deployed in Somalia under the African Union Mission in Somalia since 2007 to fight the jihadist organisation of Al Shabaab.
Last year, the mission in Somalia metamorphosed into the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) mandated with stabilising Somalia but also aimed at transferring the full responsibilities of national security to the Federal Government of Somalia.
As part of the new mission, the UPDF is mandated to building the capacity of the institutions of the Somali government to enable it take over the entire security situation of the country.