UPDF Helicopter Evacuates Injured Soldiers

3304 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
A Uganda Peoples Defence Forces UPDF helicopter has evacuated injured soldiers from Fort Portal to Kampala, raising suspicion about causes of the injuries.

A Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) helicopter has evacuated injured soldiers from Fort Portal to Kampala, raising suspicion about causes of the injuries. 

On Friday morning,  the helicopter registration number AF- 605 landed at Buhinga Playgrounds in Fort Portal, next to Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital.

Shortly after landing one white ambulance from Baylor Uganda and another one green in colour from the UPDF arrived at the playgrounds carrying injured soldiers. URN reporter counted six injured soldiers in UPDF uniforms being carried from the two ambulances into the helicopter. They were being assisted by other soldiers inside the helicopter in full uniform and with white gloves. 

As they were being put in the helicopter, there were murmurs from curious onlookers who spoke in low tones saying that the soldiers could have been injured in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the army is currently pursuing  Allied Democratic Forces- ADF rebels. 

In a telephone interview,  however, the spokesperson of the joint operation against the ADF, Major Ronald Kakurungu dismissed the rumours. He says that the soldiers were involved in an accident on Tuesday at Kakara in Ntoroko district. 

He explains that after the accident, the soilders were taken to Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital, but the army decided to airlift them to Mbuya General Military Hospital.  

A doctor at Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital  who preferred anonymity told URN that on Thursday night, an ambulance belonging to the UPDF medical services delivered four dead bodies to the hospital and were taken to the mortuary. But Major Kakurungu dismissed this. 

Last month, the UPDF launched air and artillery strikes in what Brigadier Richard Karemire described as a surgical attack on ADF camps in Eastern DRC. The army later claimed that 100 rebels had been killed in the strikes. 

The UPDF explained that shared intelligence between Uganda and the DRC confirmed that ADF rebels carried out recent attacks on UN peace keepers under MONUSCO and were planning to conduct "hostile activities against Uganda. The UPDF, therefore, called its offensive "a preemptive move."


About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.