NAKASEKE – The Uganda People’s Defence Forces leadership has flagged-off another battle group to Somalia.
The ‘Uganda Battle Group Twenty Six (UGBAG XXVI) at the Peace Support Operations Training Centre in Singo, Nakaseke District.
Gen David Muhoozi, the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) said the group under the command of Col Toffa Magino will be deployed in Somalia with an intent of neutralizing Al-Shabaab threats and help restore peace and stability in the country.
He also urged them to ensure vigilance and maintain discipline during their mission to keep the Ugandan flag high.
He also rallied the soldiers to avoid negative propaganda and live up to their expectations since life in the mission area is not a picnic but a mission that demands hard work.
“Fighting Al-Shabaab is a manageable mission if soldiers work hard and stick to what they were trained. Stick to the rules of engagement,” Gen. Muhoozi said adding that fighting in Somalia is not a picnic. Dose and Al-Shabaab will finish you.”
The Chief of Staff Land Forces Brig Leopold Kyanda who represented the Commander Land Forces Maj Gen Peter Elwelu applauded the group for enduring the pre-mission training that he said will assist them while in Somalia.
Before their deployment, they underwent six months training in basic combat.
Uganda is the largest contributor to the mission, with more than 6,000 troops.
In July this year, UPDF also dispatched off Battle Group 25 with the responsibility of sustaining peace and stability in Somalia under the mandate of the African Union Mission in Somalia.
AMISOM peacekeeping mission in the Horn of African nation continues to be threatened by Al-Shabaab terrorists. In April this year, Uganda’s army reported eight UPDF soldiers had been killed and six injured in an attack in Lower Shabelle.
The Al-Shabaab group has waged over ten-year insurgency to overthrow the weak UN, AMISOM-backed government and create an Islamic state in Somalia.
There have however been significant gains made with building the capacity of Somali security forces one of the top priorities.