Source: RBC Radio
This week in Mogadishu, the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has been celebrating 31 years of existence by extending support to the people of Somalia. In al Dhara, Nerlo and Qartar, internally displaced people (IDP) camps, UPDF soldiers provided medical support, distributed clean portable water and cleaned up areas within and around the camps.
Tarehe sita–Kiswahili for the 6th day of February 1981, commemorates the first armed attack on the then Ugandan government forces, in which President Yoweri Musevni led the National Resistance Army (NRA) to launch a guerrilla war that finally liberated Uganda on 26th January 1986.
This year the theme of “Regional Integration in Security for Sustainable and Regional development and stability” makes the activities, undertaken in Mogadishu by UPDF soldiers serving in the AU Mission in Somalia, particularly relevant.
Ugandan contingent commander, Brig. Paul Lokech, reiterated the UPDF’s commitment to securing the entire country during an address to IDP’s in camp Nero.
He added that, “During these celebrations, AMISOM will lead by example and demonstrate to TFG forces how important it is to prioritize the protection and security of Somali citizens. This is key to winning the hearts and minds of the people eroding al-Shabaab’s network of support.”
The AMISOM Civil-Military Co-operation officer Lt Col Katwekyeire Kamurari, who is also Ugandan, said soldiers have distributed 2000 mosquito nets and 100, 000 litres of water in the IDP camps. During an exercise to clean up the camps they also provide general treatment to IDPs in mobile clinics set up and provided de-worming medicine and special nutrition foods to children less than 5 years of age.
Lt Kamurari said: “Through such activities, AMISOM renews its strategic relationship with the people of Somalia,” before thanking the Ugandan troops for the good gestures, asking the TFG military to emulate this spirit in order to enhance their relationship with the people.