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PROFILE! Who is Maj Gen Dick Olum, the new commander of Operation Shujaa?

Gen Olum was born in Zombo District, West Nile sub-region, Northern Region of Uganda in 1970.

Gen Olum was born in Zombo District, West Nile sub-region, Northern Region of Uganda in 1970.

President Museveni has appointed Maj Gen Dick Olum as the new Mountain Division commander and Overall Commander of Operation Shujaa in DR Congo.

He replaces Lt Gen Kayanja Muhanga who is the new Commander of UPDF Land Forces.

But who is Maj. Gen Dick Olum?

Gen Olum was born in Zombo District, West Nile sub-region, Northern Region of Uganda in 1970.

Prior to his appointment, Maj Gen Olum has been serving as Uganda’s military attache at the Ugandan embassy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, based in Kinshasa, since October 2017.

From April 2015, until October 2017, he was the commanding officer of the third army division of the UPDF, based in Moroto. Before that, he served as the commander of the UPDF contingent in Somalia as part of the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM).

He took his position in Mogadishu, Somalia, in September 2013. His mission to Somalia ended in November 2014 when he was replaced by Sam Kavuma.

In 2006, when the Uganda Junior Staff College, based in Jinja, was founded, Lieutenant Colonel Olum was selected to be its commandant. In 2010, at the rank of colonel, he was transferred to the Uganda Military Academy in Kabamba as chief instructor.

In 2012, the African Union (AU) established a 5,000 strong military force, based in Nzara, South Sudan, with the objective of hunting down fugitive warlord Joseph Kony.

The force was composed of troops from the African countries affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army insurgency, namely Uganda, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Central African Republic.

COlum, a rank of Colonel then, was selected as the first commander of the AU force against Kony.

In June 2013, he was assigned to lead the UPDF contingent to AMISOM and was appointed acting brigadier. He assumed his post in Somalia in September 2013.

In November 2013, Olum was promoted to full Brigadier in the UPDF.

Olum is married with two children.

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