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Mon Apr 21 09:23:05 SAST 2014

2,700 Ugandan troops dead in Somalia: official

Sapa-AP | 31 October, 2012 16:32
The Ugandan contingent of African Union Mission in Somalia
Image by: HANDOUT / Reuters

The number of African Union troops killed while battling Somali militants has always been a tightly held secret, but a top Kenyan official says more than 2,700 troops have died there.

Richard Onyonka , Kenya's deputy minister of foreign affairs, said on Wednesday at a forum on Somalia that Uganda has lost more than 2,700 troops since 2007. Onyonko said about three dozen Kenyan forces have died there over the last year.

Neither the African Union nor Uganda has ever confirmed its casualty figures, and several officials who work on Somalia said Onyonko's figure sounded high. Two officials told The Associated Press last month that about 500 Ugandan and Burundian troops have died in Somalia since 2007. A Ugandan spokesman did not answer calls for comment.

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