The commander Land Force; Lt Gen Kayanja Muhanga has asserted his confidence in the new UPDF Contingent Commander in Somalia; Brig Gen Peter Gaetano Omola to deliver to the expectations of Uganda, the Federal Government of Somalia and the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).
“One of the most important functions of Command is to identify and propose those below you to the next rank and to the next office. I trust Brig Omola will deliver as Brig Katungi has delivered,” Gen Kayanja observed
Gen Kayanja made these remarks while officiating at the handover/takeover ceremony of the office of the UPDF Contingent Commander from Brig Gen Keith Katungi to Brig Gen Peter Omola, which took place today in Mogadishu, Somalia.
Gen Kayanja called for teamwork among the troops and encouraged UPDF officers and senior officers to always support and guide their subordinates in the most professional way instead of sidelining them, which causes disgruntlement and thus hampering progress in the institution.
Gen Kayanja further thanked UPDF troops and the development partners in Somalia for their unwavering commitment towards pacifying Somalia. “It is real sacrifice. People think that there is a lot of money here. For us who have been here, we see more sacrifice than the money that people talk about.” Gen Kayanja noted.
The outgoing UPDF Contingent Commander in Somalia; Brig Gen Keith Katungi; in his handover report/remarks, expressed his gratitude to the Commander in Chief (C-I-C) and MoDVA/UPDF leadership for the enormous support and guidance extended to him during his tour of duty in Somalia. “Without the support of the leadership, the contingent commander here cannot do much.” Brig Katungi observed.
Brig Katungi affirmed to CLF, that UPDF has remained resolute to its objective since 2007 to – date of pacifying Somalia for the peace and stability of the region. Further adding that UPDF’s intervention in Somalia has largely paid off.
Brig Katungi asserted that, other than evaluating ATMIS’ achievements in Somalia in terms of offensive operations conducted against the enemy, the mission should be evaluated in terms of the social economic development of the country and the political transitions the country has undergone in the last 15 years of ATMIS’s presence in Somalia. “There has been progressive development such as increase in the places of worship, schools, hospitals, business centers, diplomatic presence among others in Somalia because of the improved security situation in the country.” Brig Katungi noted
Brig Katungi applauded the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), Somali National Security Forces (SNSF) Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs), development partners and the Somali people for their commitment and cooperation during his tour of duty to ensure that normalcy returns to Somalia. “With the Unity of effort of the FGS, SNSF, TCCs and other development partners, we have managed to go through,” Brig Katungi emphasized.
Brig Katungi further thanked his fellow service men and women that he has served with in Somalia for the dedicated service they have exhibited in the mission. He congratulated Brig Gen Omola and wished him best of lack in his new tour of duty.
In his acceptance remarks, Brig Gen Peter Omolla expressed his appreciation to the C-I-C and the UPDF leadership for entrusting him with the responsibility of commanding ATMIS-sector one. Further thanking UPDF service men and women for serving fearlessly and sacrificially in pacifying Somalia.
Brig Omola pledged to continue working hand- in-hand with the MoDVA/UPDF leadership, FGS, SNSF, ATMIS and other development partners in the interest of Somalia and the region. “I and my team will continue on this firm foundation that you have laid. I therefore request the support, and cooperation of the team remaining with me. Without you, I will not be able to deliver and we will not be able to fly our flag high. Let’s cooperate and accomplish this mission,” Brig Omola remarked.
Previously, the Commandant for Uganda Rapid Deployment Capability Center (URDCC), Brig Gen Omola becomes the 19th UPDF contingent commander in Somalia.
Uganda was the first country to deploy in Somalia in 2007 and is still the largest TCC to ATMIS, spreading across 240 kilometers with about 27 Forward operating bases (Fobs) in the regions of Banadir and Lower Shabelle.
The mission; AMISON now ATMIS has evolved under several United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR), the current being UNSCR 2628 (2022) which spells out the gradual transfer of security responsibilities from ATMIS to SNSF by 2024.