Uganda’s Commander of Land Forces (CLF), Lieutenant General, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, visited Ugandan troops serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
Lt. Gen. Kainerugaba was in Somalia from 23 to 27 September, where he interacted with Ugandan troops involved in ongoing operations to degrade Al-Shabaab and restore peace and stability in the country.
“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, noting that a commander has to visit troops in the field, to understand what the troops are going through.
During his five-day working visit, Lt. Gen. Kainerugaba, paid a courtesy call on the President of Somalia, H.E Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmaajo”, and the Prime Minister, H.E Mohammed Hussein Roble; met the AMISOM military leadership and visited various forward operating bases (FOBs), where he interacted with Ugandan troops in the frontlines.
On arrival, the CLF inspected a guard of honour 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 Nabasa, and Maj. Gen. Lucky Joseph Kidega, Uganda’s Defence Advisor in Somalia.
Lt. Gen. Kainerugaba visited Ugandan troops at the Arbiska, Ceeljaale, 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.
“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.”
Speaking to the troops, the CLF said he was impressed with the work they are doing for the people of Somalia.
He noted that despite numerous challenges, Ugandan troops serving in the mission had stayed the course, discharging their duties with zeal.
“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.
On his part, Brig. Gen. Nabasa thanked the CLF for visiting the troops, saying the gesture will boost morale.
“I want to take this opportunity to welcome you, sir, to the mission area. It’s an honour to have you visit and take time to talk to us. It’s very encouraging and morale-boosting, and will make our work easy. We will be re-energised to undertake any mission,” said Brig. Gen. Nabasa.
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 stabilisation effort in Somalia.