- Published: 18 August 2016
Mogadishu - The Commander of the Uganda Special Forces, Maj Gen. Muhoozi Kaneirugaba, has commended the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) for supporting Somali security forces in fighting Al-Shabaab militants in the country. Gen. Kaneirugaba particularly singled out Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) soldiers for praise, saying their courage
and dedication has enabled AMISOM execute its mandate of stabilizing Somalia.
He made the remarks during a meeting with senior AMISOM officers held at the Uganda contingent headquarters in Mogadishu, yesterday.
He urged AMISOM to help the Somali government hold a successful electoral process scheduled before the end of the year. Recently the Federal Indirect Electoral Independent Team (FIEIT) released an electoral process timetable, which will culminate in the election of a new president on October 30, this year.
The Ugandan Commander, who is visiting Somalia, is expected to hold security talks with senior AMISOM officials and representatives of the Federal Government of Somalia. Gen Kaneirugaba reminded the Ugandan soldiers of the need to understand the history and aspirations of the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) and urged them to build on the army’s success, while serving in Somalia.
He commended the progress made in Somalia, in the recent past, which, he observed, was possible due to collaboration between AMISOM forces and the Somali national security forces.
Commenting on Al-Shabaab’s retreat from major towns, Gen Kaneirugaba hailed Ugandan troops for the role they played in pushing the militants out of Mogadishu and urged them to continue collaborating with other security forces in liberating Somalia from terrorists.
The Uganda Battle Group 18 Commander, Col. Ronald Bigirwa, who represented the Uganda Contingent Commander, Brig. Sam Okiding, briefed Gen. Kaneirugaba on the current security situation in Somalia, which he noted had improved.
Col. Bigirwa commended the efforts by the Somali national security forces in defending and maintaining liberated territories under the control of the Federal Government.
Col Bigirwa noted that preparations to secure the electoral process are top priority for both AMISOM and Somali national security forces and reiterated UPDF’s readiness to ensure peace and security during the exercise.
SFC is a specialized component of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), which apart from offering protection for the President, is tasked with carrying out special missions in support of the country’s national military objectives.
Somalia is scheduled to hold parliamentary and presidential electoral process in September and October respectively. There are fears that Al-Shabaab militants may disrupt the process especially in hard to reach areas where AMISOM presence and control by the Somali government is minimal. However, AMISOM has reiterated its commitment to work together with the Somali security forces to ensure the process is a success.