Africa News Regional

Over 2000 troops headed for peace-keeping Mission in Somalia.

On the 23rd march 2021 The Chief of Defence forces of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces, General David Muhoozi officially flagged off 2,416 troops for a one year peacekeeping mission in Somalia. The function that took place in Nakaseke District at the Peace Support Operation and Training Centre was attended by a number of high ranking officials like the Deputy Commander Land Forces, Major General Sam Kavuma and Brigadier General Bonny Wolimbwa, The Commandant of the PSO-TC.

The troops will be under the command of Colonel Jonathan Ochom and are Uganda’s thirty second battle group deployed in the war-torn region of Somalia since March 2007. Uganda has and continues to play a big role in the African Union Mission in Somalia-its contingent being the largest in the region at 6,223 troops based in sector 1 within Mogadishu and the lower Shabelle regions.

Gen. Muhoozi addresses the troops at Nakaseke-UPDF

“You our new ambassadors in the mission must maintain the tempo of the operations set by your predecessors to ensure continuity on the journey to peace in Somalia.” said Gen Muhoozi. He also reminded the troops to observe discipline, follow the standard operating procedures of the mission and ensure a healthy living by paying close attention to the preventative measures of all disease.

In 2007 Uganda was the first country to send troops to Somalia when the insecurity from terrorist group Alshabab was at its peak. Since then the country has provided all four AMISOM force commanders until recently when Lt. Gen Andrew Gutti handed over to Lt. Gen. Silas Ntigurirwa. At the function Maj. Gen. Sam Kavuma noted that ‘The deploying troops have demonstrated high levels of military competence and will therefore be reliable in contributing to the achievement of the Mission’s intended objectives.’

The troops are the first to be trained by Ugandan instructors

The first of its kind, the 32nd battle group was trained by purely Ugandan instructors as opposed to previously deployed troops that hand seen foreign influence in their battle trainings. Nonetheless the group had received pre-mission training for close to a year and were now in a good state for deployment, according to Brig. Gen. Bonny Wolimbwa.

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