By Andrew Irumba
Senior military officer Maj Gen Paul Lokech is dead! Lokech, nick names the “Lion of Mogadishu’ for his exemplary successful operations in troubled Mogadishu passed away this morning but the actual cause of his death is still unclear.
According to Gen Kahinda Otafiire, Lokech got a broken leg few weeks ago and had gone to the hospital to remove the stitches which had been supporting the broken leg, but suddenly collapsed and died at the hospital while being worked on. Otafire however didn’t mention the Hospital where the ‘lion’ breathed his last.
On the other side, police claimed he died at his home. “The IGP with deep sorrow regrets to announce the sudden demise of of the deputy Inspector General of Police, Maj General Paul Lokech. He passed on from his home this morning. A detailed statement on the cause of death and burial arrangements will be availed in due course,” police said in a tweet.
Other sources point at a blood clot as the cause of death, though it’s not yet confirmed by a postmortem report, which is underway, according to our sources.
But Who Is Maj.Gen.Paul Lokech?
Maj Gen.Paul Lokech was a senior military officer at the rank of Major General, in the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), who was appointed Deputy Inspector General of Police of the Uganda Police Force (UPF) on December, 16, 2020.
Between November 2017 and December 2019, he served on special assignment, “to monitor on behalf of the guarantors of the South Sudan peace process, the assembling, screening, demobilization and integration of the armed forces of South Sudan”.
Before that, he served as Chief of Staff of the UPDF Air Force, for a period of five months, from July, 11, 2019,until December,11, 2019.
Prior to that, from December 2018 until July 2019, Lokech was Commandant of Uganda Rapid Deployment Capability Centre (URDCC), in Jinja. He was appointed to that position in December 2018.
His military career includes service in various leadership capacities, including two tours as the Commander of the Uganda contingent to Somalia, as part of the AMISOM peace-keeping force. The first tour was between 2011 and 2012. His second Somalia rotation was from 2017 until 2018.
During his first tour, Lokech commanded Battle Groups Eight and Nine, responsible for ejecting Al-Shabaab militants from Mogadishu in 2011.
Before his second tour in Somalia, he was the Commanding Officer of the Second UPDF Division, based at Makenke Barracks, in Mbarara. He previously served as the Military Attaché at Uganda’s Embassy to Russia, based in Moscow.
He also served as part of Uganda’s peace-keeping forces in South Sudan. He was part of ‘Operation Safe Haven (OSH)’, a UPDF operation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo intended to neutralize the rebel Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). His burial arrangements will communicated later.
RIP the lion of Mogadishu.