UPDF Commander of Land Force (CLF), Lt.Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, has visited Ugandan troops serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), where he interacted with the troops to assess their welfare and commend them for their contribution to the peace support operation.
On arrival, the CLF inspected a guard of honor mounted by Ugandan AMISOM troops and later held a closed-door meeting with senior Ugandan military officers, who included the Uganda contingent commander, Brigadier General, Don William Nabaasa, and Maj. Gen. Lucky Joseph Kidega, Uganda’s Defence Advisor in Somalia.
Lt. Gen. Kainerugaba also met with the President of Somalia, H.E Mohamed Abdullah Mohamed “Farmaajo”, the Prime Minister, H.E Mohammed Hussein Roble and the AMISOM military leadership and visited various forward operating bases (FOBs), where he interacted with Ugandan troops at the frontlines.
Lt. Gen Kainerugaba visited Ugandan troops at the Arabiska, Ceel Jaale, Baraawe, and Baledogle FOBs, where he urged them to maintain a high level of discipline, professionalism and good relations with the local communities as they discharge their duties as peacekeepers and advance the mission’s mandate.
“The purpose of my visit is to commend the troops for the great work they are doing in Somalia. Secondly, it is to talk to them and get a feel of the problems and challenges they are facing,” said Lt. Gen. Kainerugaba, adding that a commander has to visit troops in the field, to understand what the troops are going through.
Speaking to the troops, the CLF said he was impressed with the work they are doing for the people of Somalia.
“You should understand that you are Uganda’s ambassadors here in Somalia,” he said, adding, “Do not do anything that will bring disrepute to the name of Uganda and the UPDF.”
“The impression I have got is very good and positive. The troops are full of morale, the discipline is unrivalled, and they are performing exceedingly well, though with a few challenges, which we will rectify,” he said.
Uganda was the first to deploy troops on the mission in 2007, paving the way for other countries to join, playing a major role in forcing Al-Shabaab out of Mogadishu and other parts of the country, thereby contributing to the peace and stabilization effort in Somalia.