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Uganda Police commended for role in Somalia

By John Agaba

Added 26th May 2016 06:48 PM

The joint forces have uprooted most of the Al-Shabaab

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Minister of Internal Affairs, Rose Akol Okullo (L) listens to the Deputy Inspector of Police, John Martin Okoth-Ochola during the pass out of senior Police and Prison Officers at the Police Senior Commander Staff College, Bwebajja. Photo by Ronnie Kijjambu

The deputy inspector general of police Okoth-Ochola has commended the Ugandan police contingents in Somalia and described them as doing a “remarkable job” to help pacify the Al-Shabaab- riddled country. 

The deputy inspector general of police, who spoke at a pass out of 89 persons in uniform — mainly at the rank of ASP and SP — at the forces senior command and Staff College at Bwebajja, said the Uganda forces performed well to maintain some order in the war-torn country, stressing the intensity of the forces’ training and discipline. 

Uganda signed the African Union pact in 2006 to contribute troops and police officers to restore order in the country rundown by the Al-Qaeda backed Al-Shabaab militants. 

Since the inception of the peace keeping mission AMISOM in the country in 2007, Uganda, alongside other troop and police contributing countries(Djibouti, Ghana, Kenya, Burundi, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone), has continued to send its forces to try and cause peace in the horn of Africa country. 

Reports indicate the joint forces have uprooted most of the Al-Shabaab and taken control of what used to be their strongholds.  

Last year, the Ugandan Chief of Defense Forces General Katumba Wamala said only remnants (of the Al-Shabaab militias) remained in the country and they (AMISOM forces) were weeding them out and “currently helping the Somalis to build their capacity and infrastructure”. The Ugandan forces are largely in charge of the capital Mogadishu. 

During the function at the college on the Bwebajja hill (off Entebbe road), which was graced by the internal affairs minister Rose Akol and had lots of pomp, DIGP Ochola stressed the importance of training for staff to “motivate and keep them sharp”. 

Rose Akol said the Uganda police forces excelled and kept law and order during the February 18 general polls and President Yoweri Mueveni’s swearing in ceremony in May. 

 

The internal affairs minister said: “Training is very important in every institution. I congratulate the graduands. But, I want to commend the forces for the effort they put in during the electoral period. (The electoral period) was very hard. But we conducted it smoothly, with minor incidents.” 

Senior commissioner of police Felix Ndyomugenyi said they needed to train more police officers and to add extensions to the facility at Bwebajja to “exceptionally” equip the forces.  

He said the forces had signed a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations University for Peace in Costa Rica and was engaging the Uganda council for higher education so their college is accredited to offer ‘recognizable’ awards, especially in the field of peace and conflict resolution. 

During the function 89 officers, including 20 superintendents of police and 69 assistant superintendents of police, were passed out after six months of vigorous fitness training and sand modeling and operational planning. 

The function was attended by senior police and army officers and relatives and friends of the men in uniform and the deputy Commissioner General of Prisons. The police brass plus jazz bands charmed the lot all the while.

Deputy police spokesperson Polly Namaye said the 89 police officers had been training for six months. They came in December. Soon, after the training, they were expected to move to Nairobi in Kenya to train at a number of institutions there to better their competences, the deputy police spokesperson said.

“We have others who are still training for the rank of Commissioner from SSP (Senior Superintendent of Police). These will train for about four months,” she said. 

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