By Spy Uganda
The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) has paid glowing tribute to the Ugandan military and police for contributing to the restoration of peace and stability in Eastern Africa and the Great Lakes region of Africa.
As part of the then AMISOM, Uganda was the first country to deploy forces to Somalia in 2007, followed by Burundi, Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Sierra Leone. In joint operations with Somali security forces, Ugandan and Burundian forces captured Mogadishu from Al-Shabaab control, paving the way for other successful operations throughout Somalia.
The ATMIS Uganda Police contingent serving in Somalia, on Monday held a ceremony to commemorate Uganda’s 60th independence anniversary. The theme of the day was ‘October 9th: A declaration of African interdependence. Our shared destiny.’
During the ceremony, ATMIS Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Diomede Ndegeya, commended Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni for enabling the country’s troops to participate in African peacekeeping missions.
“His Excellency President Museveni made a bold decision when he deployed the UPDF to Somalia when no African country was ready,” said Lt. Gen. Ndegeya, who officiated at the ceremony.
”His Excellency President Museveni made a bold decision when he deployed the UPDF to Somalia when no African country was ready.”
“His brave and historic decision laid the groundwork for other countries to join and contribute to the restoration of peace and stability in Somalia,” added Lt. Gen. Ndegeya.
The Head of the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS), Assistant Secretary-General, Lisa Filipetto, asked Ugandans to be proud of the country’s progress over the last sixty years.
“As a country, you have done well to build credible institutions such as the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces and the Uganda Police Force, and to have people who believe in those institutions,” said Filipetto, who previously served as the Australia High Commissioner to Uganda.
The ATMIS Police Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner of Police (AIGP) Augustine Magnus Kailie, said the restoration of relative peace in Somalia, has created a conducive environment for the police to support stabilisation efforts.
“The relative peace we have in Somalia can be attributed to troops from Ugandan and other countries. As police, we cannot function without our military counterparts,” said AIGP Kailie.
The commander of the Uganda Formed Police Unit contingent in ATMIS, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Robert Lule, said the armed forces will continue to ensure peace and stability in Uganda, the region and Africa.
“As a nation and people of Africa, let us reflect on what binds us together. It is humanity, solidarity and diversity. With the prevailing peace at home, we can look to the future with optimism,” said ACP Lule.