MOGADISHU, SOMALIA: At least 4 Ugandan soldiers picked up injuries following a UPDF helicopter crash in Somalia on Friday, The African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) confirmed in a press statement released on Sunday evening.
“A helicopter on a mission to support AMISOM troops crashed soon after take-off in Balidogle in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia on Friday. All four soldiers aboard the helicopter were rescued and are in a stable medical condition,” AMISOM said in a statement.
The helicopter, whose registration details were not disclosed, belonged to the AU mission’s Aviation Unit from the UPDF but AMISOM was quick to state that all the four soldiers aboard the helicopter were in stable condition following the incidence despite picking up injuries.
“All four soldiers aboard the helicopter were rescued and are in a stable medical condition,”
The statement further says investigations into the crash are ongoing to determine the cause of the crash. However, preliminary reports indicate that it was due to a mechanical failure.
The four soldiers rescued where on a mission to support its troops in Lower Shabelle region crashed soon after take-off in Balidogle on February 5.
The UPDF deputy spokesperson Deo Akiiki confirmed the incident but could not divulge more details about the injured and the degree of injuries. The UPDF deployed choppers in Somalia in July last year to help in the fight against Alshabab militants.
It is now yet clear whether the latest chopper will be compensated.
Speaking during the sending off of the aviation unit, the Chief of Defence Forces, Gen David Muhoozi this was meant to increase their firepower against the Al Shabaab militants.
“The presence of airpower will offer us extensive asymmetric advantages over the unconventional and `dispersed enemy in Somalia. With air assets, we will be able to respond quickly with precision fires or inject a quick reaction force once the enemy assembles,” he said.
According to the CDF, the presence of air assets will also not only guarantee the dominance of firepower for the UPDF over the enemy but also provide a marked advantage on technical intelligence, among other benefits.