By Spy Uganda
The UPDF Sector One Commander serving under the African Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) Brig Gen Peter Gaetano Omola, yesterday commended ATMIS for building the capacity of the Somali National Army in the pursuit of peace and stability in the Horn of Africa.
Brig Omola made the remark as he officiated at the handover of Gen Dhagabadan Military Training School, located at Aljazeera One Forward Operating Base (FOB).
This is the third last FOB sector one was mandated to hand over to Somali Security Forces before the end of June 2023.
Brig Gen Omola while addressing a delegation from Mission headquarters, ATMIS Force headquarter, senior officers and men of Somali National Army (SNA) and UPDF, recognized the role Gen Dhagabadan training centre played in enhancing the capacity of SNA.
He noted that UPDF Instructors have been able to conduct training for Somali Security Forces (SSF) over a long period in various disciplines such as Explosive Ordinance Devices courses, Counter Improvised Explosive Device training, Route Search Courses and Special Operations courses, among others. “As I speak now our instructors from here are conducting another military course to SNA in Baledogley,” Brig Omola revealed.
He said that the function of handing over the FOBs was in fulfilment of implementing the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 2628(2022) and 2670(2022), the ATMIS Mandate in line with the Somalia Transition Plan and the recently concluded ATMIS-Somalia summit that was held in Uganda at the end of April 2023.
All these provided for a phased handover of security responsibility to SSF by the end of December 2024. “Despite this handover, ATMIS Sector One shall continue to provide training and mentorship through our joint operations and plans,” Brig Gen Omola emphasized.
He noted that Aljazeera One, Two and Three have been generally peaceful.
He therefore urged SNA to always be alert and vigilant.
Meanwhile, Col Ahmed Mohamed Hassan, the SNA Advisor to Chief of Defence Forces who spoke on behalf of Camp Commandant, Brig Gen Mohamed Mohamud Saneey, honoured the great work ATMIS and its predecessor AMISOM (African Union Mission in Somalia) held security responsibility in Somalia for the last 16 years.
“We are thankful for your time, dedication and the great work you have done to secure Somalia. I want to also thank the Tripartite Committee of ATMIS and SNA that jointly planned, managed and executed the drawdown and handover of the bases. As we do this process we should remember our comrades who died during the course of creating peace in Somalia,” Col Ahmed Hassan remarked.
The outgoing ATMIS Commandant, Lt Col Robert Koriang elaborated on the facilities that were handed over to SNA.
These included United Nations-owned facilities such as accommodation, offices, power sources and water plants. Whereas the country-owned facilities included a Kitchen structure, Laundry, a Butcher and other utilities used for the day-to-day running of the camp. The camp has also been a custodian of DANAB and SNA Training School Arms and Ammunitions.