The Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces serving under the United Nations Guard Unit in Somalia witnessed a handover/takeover of command from Lt Col Peter Magungu the outgoing commander of UNGU VIII to Lt Col Peter Okwi Omeja the incoming commander of UNGU IX.
The ceremony was presided over by the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) Her Excellency Anita Kiki Gbeho and witnessed by the Deputy Commander Land Forces (DCLF) of the Uganda people’s Defence Forces (UPDF) Maj Gen Francis Takirwa.
H.E Anita commended the UNGU VIII for the level of professionalism, sacrifice, steadfastness, courage, and dedication, that they exhibited in ensuring that the safety and security of the UN staff were guaranteed amidst the security challenges and extremists threats.
The DSRSG was happy to note that out of the troops deployed, 93 of them are women which is a very big milestone in recognizing gender attributes.
Maj Gen Takirwa commended the commanders and troops for the resilience, commitment, and discipline they exhibited which made command and control easy. He challenged the incoming UNGU IX troops to maintain discipline, patience, and commitment as the only way to attain great heights and good health.
The DCLF cautioned the incoming UNGU IX Commander to work closely with his subordinates and mentor them so that they become better leaders at the end of their tour of duty.
Maj Gen Takirwa however advised the troops to plan wisely on how to invest their allowances profitably and save part of it with UPDF Wazalendo Sacco where they are assured of profits from their dividends every year with fewer risks.
The UPDF Contingent Commander Serving under African Transition Mission In Somalia (ATMIS) Brig Gen Peter Gaetano Omola encouraged UNGU IX Commander to pay attention to the orientation he has been given and perfect the key areas crucial to the continuity of the mission and mandate of UNGU. “Emulate the values of UNGU VIII and get good results at the end of your tour of duty,” said Brig Gen Omola.
The ceremony was attended by the UN Principal Security Advisor (PSA) UNSOS Mr. Joseph Katuramu, Commanders and Staff Officers of UPDF Contingent serving at ATMIS, UNGU VIII and UNGU IX among others.