Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) soldiers serving under the United Nations Guard Unit (UNGU) in Somalia were decorated with United Nations (UN) medals and awarded certificates of recognition for successfully completing a distinguished one-year tour of duty in Somalia.
The medal parade and certificate award ceremony was officiated by the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) in Somalia Her Excellency (HE) Anita Kiki Gbeho at UNGU city, in Mogadishu, Somalia.
HE Anita Gbeho extended her gratitude to UNGU troops for their sacrifice, dedication, discipline and professionalism exhibited during their one-year tour of duty that has put the Ugandan flag higher. “I take the opportunity to thank you for your sacrifice, dedication, discipline and professionalism you have displayed. Uganda’s flag is flying high because of you and the nation must be proud, your effort was surely not in vain,” said HE Anita.
She further noted that the next Ugandan contingent of UNGU should emulate their values and continue from where UNGU VIII has stopped.
She applauded the Ugandan government and UPDF for selecting and sending such able young men and women to serve under the UN and be part of the peace process in Somalia. “This medal and certificate is given to you as an appreciation for your good work, you have completed your task and you did it well, without you we wouldn’t manage,” remarked HE Anita.
She concluded by appreciating Uganda for sending more female combatants to serve under the UN, a gesture of women’s emancipation in Uganda.
The UPDF contingent commander serving under the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) Brig Gen Peter Gaetano Omola congratulated UPDF troops serving under UNGU VIII for their contribution and stewardship towards peace and security in Somalia. “You have exhibited competence in your service and am delighted that your effort has contributed to peace not only to Somalia but Africa at large, ” he said.
UNGU VIII commander Lt Col Peter Magungu thanked HE Anita for honouring the occasion. He also thanked UN mentors and United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) for their support. “These medals and certificates given to us is a recognition that we did a good job, on behalf of UNGU VIII troops in Somalia, we are honoured and thank you for your support,” Lt Col Magungu noted.
The function was also attended by the Principal Security Advisor (PSA) UNSOS Mr. Joseph Katuramu, Staff Officers from Mission headquarters and UNGU VIII Officers and Heads of departments, and Staff Officers from UPDF contingent under ATMIS, among others.