Mistaken UPDF airstrike injures DR Congo soldiers in a ‘friendly fire’

The debate over Uganda’s war toys/fighter jets
Sukhoi Su-30MK2 - Uganda fighter jet

Kinshasa, DR Congo | By Michael Wandati | Several Congolese soldiers sustained injuries in a “friendly fire” incident when a bomb, mistakenly launched from a Ugandan Sukhoi jet bomber, hit their position along the Eringeti-Komanda Road around 7:00 am on Tuesday 16, January 2024.

Despite attempts to seek comments from deputy defence spokesperson Col. Deo Akiiki, who was unavailable due to a meeting, reliable sources revealed that one Congolese soldier lost both legs, and others are grappling with shock following the ‘friendly fire’ airstrike by Ugandan soldiers.

Expressing concern, an anonymous source highlighted the diminishing confidence in the Ugandan Air Force’s battlefield management, citing this as the third instance of unintentional strikes on FARDC (Congolese armed forces) positions.

Attributing these incidents of fratricide to poor coordination by those overseeing operations, the source emphasized the need for enhanced collaboration to avert such mishaps.

Also Read: Grounded Mi-24 UPDF chopper in Somalia air base raises defense procurement concerns

President Museveni acknowledged Ugandan fighter-bombers’ active engagement in DR Congo, particularly in the Mambasa territory. The joint ‘Operation Shujaa’ launched on November 30, 2021, targeting ADF bases in eastern Congo has led to the demise of numerous ADF commanders, with the remaining terrorists in disarray.

Officials underscored the importance of close cooperation between Ugandan and Congolese forces to prevent friendly fire occurrences. This development unfolds against the backdrop of growing public concern over the escalating instances of UPDF aircraft crashes in both DR Congo and Western Uganda.