THE US government has commended President Yoweri Museveni for his leadership and commitment to the peace-keeping mission in Somalia, State House said in a statement yesterday.
The US also sent sympathy to the Government for the fallen soldiers and those injured during last weekâ€™s attack in Mogadishu. Four UPDF soldiers were killed and 21 wounded in a double suicide bombing on their base on Thursday.
Al Shabaab, which Washington says is al Qaedaâ€™s proxy in Somalia, has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Washington message was delivered during a meeting between President Yoweri Museveni and Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the United Nations, at the St. Regis Hotel in New York.
Rice, according to the press release, pledged her governmentâ€™s support to Uganda and its partners to restore total peace in Somalia and the region.
Museveni, who is in the US to attend the UN General Assembly, called for more troopsâ€™ deployment in Somalia, particularly in the southern towns of Kismayo and Baidoa.
â€œThe population in Somalia is against the terrorists, they are just imposing themselves,â€ he was quoted as saying.
â€œPeople who donâ€™t care about dying will do anything and, therefore, they must be paid in their own currency.â€
On the LRA, Museveni said its force was reduced to less than 200 people. Most of them, he added, had fled to the Central African Republic, including rebel leader Joseph Kony.
â€œUganda is totally peaceful, including most of Southern Sudan, because of very good cooperation. We canâ€™t fight terrorism with a sprint. It must be a sustained effort, like a marathon.â€
The President commended the US government for its support to the UPDF in its fight against the LRA, which included training.
He said it was important to send a strong message to terrorists that they canâ€™t go on terrorising populations in Africa with impunity.
Rice briefed Museveni about President Obamaâ€™s upcoming meeting with African heads of state.
She said Obama will emphasise youth unemployment, environment for trade opportunities and agriculture for job creation and food security.
The meeting was attended by foreign affairs minister Sam Kutesa, Ugandaâ€™s permanent representative to the United Nations Ruhakana Rugunda, the Minister for the Presidency, Beatrice Wabudeya and foreign affairs state minister Okello Oryem.
US praises Museveni for Somalia role