The Chief of Defence forces (CDF) of the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) Gen Wilson Mbasu Mbadi has inspected Uganda troops in Somalia working under the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).
Gen Mbadi who visited several Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) including among others Arbiska, Baledogle and Mogadishu Base Camp also held meetings popularly known as Monday Baraza in UPDF with rank and file of the troops.
Gen Mbadi thanked the troops serving selflessly in Somalia and in other parts of Africa, “I’m here to thank you for the work well done, you have served well and represented Uganda effectively, I thank you a lot, Asante sana.” Gen Mbadi said as he addressed soldiers at Baledogle Military Air Base (BMA).
“I visited the President of the Federal Government of Somalia H.E President Hassan Sheik Muhamud yesterday and he appreciated the work you have been doing here since 2007 and you (UPDF troops) specifically for the election security provided during election and inauguration that led him to ascend to the Presidency,” Gen Mbadi said to the troops at Baledogle 110km from Mogadishu town.
The CDF urged the troops in every FOB to continue exhibiting maximum discipline. “Before you do anything first ask yourself if it is professionally, legally, spiritually and morally correct” he advised, further saying it was different for one to go wrong if they asked their inner selves before they act.
Gen Mbadi briefed troops on the security situation in Uganda and the region and told the troops that the region cannot achieve developments without peace and security. “Money fears insecurity,” he said. He therefore reminded them of their role in bringing about peace and security in country and region at large.
The CDF further explained in detail to the troops what UPDF is doing to improve their welfare including accommodation, medical care, education of their children, salary enhancement among others.
The Chief of Staff Air Force (COS –AF) Brig Gen David Gonyi thanked the Air Force component for having an immediate positive impact in the ATMIS operations in Somalia.
The Deputy Commander UPDF Land Forces Maj Gen Sam Okiding thanked the troops for serving diligently, “we are proud of you for making Uganda shine, we walk with our heads high wherever we go and you have done a tremendous job.”
The Ugandan Contingent Commander in Somalia Brig Gen Keith Katungi thanked the CDF for making time off his busy schedule to talk to the troops. He said that soldiers in operation areas gain morale when commanders from strategic leadership talk to them. “We are grateful for your coming here and we will do the same to the troops”.
Uganda was the 1st Troop Contributing Country (TCC) to deploy in Somalia in March 2007 and was later on joined by Burundi, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti among others all working under African Union with support from European Union.