Explosion in Somalia Claims UPDF Sgt's Life

By our staff reporter

A devastating incident in Somalia has resulted in the death of Sgt John Byaruhanga, a member of the Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF). Sgt Byaruhanga, who served as a heavy recovery truck driver and mechanic, tragically lost his life on Friday, September 15, during a convoy journey from Beledamin to Golweyne due to a roadside bomb explosion.

The heart-wrenching news was communicated by his brother, Fred Fredo Byenkya, who notified friends and colleagues through a WhatsApp message. Byenkya shared, "Dear friends and colleagues, I regret to inform you of the passing of my brother, Afande John Byaruhanga, in a suspected bomb attack in Somalia where he was stationed."

Sgt John Byaruhanga, originally from Kagadi in Buyaga West, leaves behind two wives and multiple children, some of whom are currently attending secondary school.

The family received information about the incident from Moses Kasaka, a relative and lecturer at Makerere University, who was informed by Byaruhanga's superiors in Somalia. According to the information provided to the family, the tragic incident occurred while Byaruhanga was attempting to free a stuck UPDF truck from a pothole. As he inspected the situation and noticed the trapped tires, an explosive device concealed beneath them detonated, resulting in his immediate demise.

The family is awaiting the return of Byaruhanga's remains by the UPDF before announcing funeral arrangements. Byenkya has requested prayers and support during this challenging time.

UPDF Deputy Spokesman Col. Deo Akiiki confirmed the incident, revealing that it happened around 2:30 pm on Friday when a roadside improvised explosive device (RSIED) struck the convoy as it traveled from Beledamin to Golweyne, about four kilometers from Beledamin Forward Operating Base (FOB). The explosion not only caused damage to one of the trailer vehicles but also claimed the life of Sgt John Byaruhanga, who was operating the recovery vehicle. Additionally, three other soldiers sustained injuries and were evacuated to the Level 11 Hospital in Baidoa, Somalia.

Both Sgt John Byaruhanga's remains and the injured soldiers were transported to the Level 11 hospital.

This tragic incident serves as a solemn reminder of the dangers and sacrifices made by military personnel in foreign peacekeeping missions. The untimely passing of Sgt John Byaruhanga is mourned by his family, colleagues, and the entire nation.

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