National
Uganda deploys new force in Somalia
Publish Date: Apr 17, 2014
Uganda deploys new force in Somalia
Deputy Chief of Defence Forces Maj. Gen. Charles Angina inspecting the troops at Singo Training Military School during their pass out. Photo by Peter Busomoke
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By Pascal Kwesiga

A new force constituted by Uganda to protect UN personnel and installations in Somalia will start arriving in Mogadishu on Thursday.

The force, dubbed the UN Guard Unit, was flagged off by the deputy Chief of Defence Forces, Lt. Gen. Charles Angina, at the peace operations support centre in Singo in Nakaseke district yesterday, after undergoing a two months training.

Comprised of 410 UPDF soldiers, the force is the first of its kind to be deployed under UN in the war ravaged horn of Africa nation. UN has similar guard units in Libya and Central African Republic.

Uganda’s military chiefs said there were high expectations in the UN circles in Mogadishu and among the Somali population about the new force Uganda has constituted to facilitate peace keeping operations in the country.

The force, the military chiefs said, will free the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops from guard duties and concentrate on pursuing the al Shabaab militants.

Uganda is among African countries that have troops under auspices of the African Union in Somalia to enforce peace in the country that did not have a functional government for twenty years.

A Federal Government of Somalia backed by UN and AU was established in 2012, following the end of the interim mandate of the Transitional Federal Government. But the beleaguered government still faces threats from al Shabaab that is linked to al-Qaida terrorist organization.   

Angina engaged the force in singing to gauge their morale and preparedness for the deployment before he delivered his speech. “I have no doubt that your morale is high. You are really ready for the task,” he said.

The deployment of UPDF soldiers under auspices of the UN, Angina said, was a historic development in the history of the Uganda’s army.

He cautioned the force against breaking their rules of engagement saying “No abating of crime will be tolerated in the mission area. If you want to break them, do it now so you can remain,”

Angina also advised the troops against reckless spending of the salaries and allowances while in the mission area. Each soldier will be paid $1028 per month by UN minus allowances.

Angina handed over a Ugandan flag to the Unit’s commander, Lt. Col. Keita Wycliffe as a sign that he (Keita) had taken responsibility of the force in Somalia.

Keita was the commanding officer of the infantry battalion in the Special Forces Command before he undertook a one year European Union funded peace keeping mission training in preparation for his new assignment.

Uganda’s military advisor to the UN, Maj. Gen. Silver Kayemba said “We got a request for this force from UN in February and in less than two months we are ready to deploy. This means we are ready to maintain peace in the region,”

The UN, Kayemba said, has already dispatched the equipment for the force in the mission area. “We are sending a force we vetted and anyone who messes up will be dealt with. We (Uganda) needs to increase her visibility in the UN,” he added.

The land forces chief of staff, Brig. Leo Kyanda said, the force’s tasks would also include; carrying out cordon and search, patrolling, providing reinforcement and relief services, command management, evacuation and joint operations among others.

“We take this new assignment under the UN seriously. Uganda’s contribution to UN peace keeping efforts in Somalia cannot be underestimated because UPDF has participated in the most complex operations,” Kyanda said.

The defence spokesperson, Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda said, the deployment of the UN Guard Unit was an international achievement.

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
House set to vet new PM
Parliament convenes Tuesday afternoon to vet the newly appointed Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda....
Kasese girl slips off makeshift bridge and drowns
A pupil at Musasa Primary School in Kyondo sub-county, Kasese district slipped from a makeshift bridge on River Nyaghasana and drowned....
Multimillion police garments factory opens
President Yoweri Museveni is to commission a multimillion factory at Lugogo today, which will produce police uniforms to cut costs of importing uniforms for the forces....
MP Tinkasiimire speaks out on estranged wife
The embattled Buyaga MP, Banarbas Tinkasiimire denies allegations of being involved in the disappearance of his estranged wife Lynn Mbabazi....
EA court faults election of Tanzania EALA MPs
The East African Court of Justice faults the election of Tanzania’s representatives to the East African Legislative Assembly, citing violations....
Cardinal Wamala warns against abortion
His eminence Emmanuel Cardinal Wamala has warned Ugandans to stop carrying out abortions or forget about the kingdom of God and eternal life....
Will police's move to increase the number of investigators help deal with fraud?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter