TOKYO – The leader of Uganda conceded Saturday that Islamic extremists in Somalia may have taken some of his country's troops as prisoners, and blamed his own commanders for being "asleep" in allowing a recent attack on an African Union base.
President Yoweri Museveni said that 19 soldiers were killed and six were missing following the Sept. 1 attack. The militant group al-Shabab has said it killed 50 Ugandan soldiers at the base in Janale.
"It was the mistake of our own soldiers," Museveni told a small group of reporters in Tokyo, where he was wrapping up a visit to discuss Uganda-Japan ties. "Our commanders were asleep, not alert. And we have suspended those commanders. They will face a court marital."
Ugandan troops are part of an African Union Mission in Somalia to help the government fight al-Shabab, which is allied to the al-Qaida network.
Museveni is in Japan to discuss aid, trade, investment and other issues.