By Andrew Irumba
Kampala: The government of Uganda has resolved to deploy Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) veteran to Somalia, such that they can beef up contingents already there serving under the African Mission for Somalia (AMISOM).
Uganda is the largest troop-contributing country to AMISOM with more than 6,400 out of the total 21,626 soldiers. Ugandan troops have been in Somalia for the last 12 years but now more are set to go in. The Third Infantry Division in Moroto district is currently recruiting veterans for deployment under Battle Group 30, which will soon be joining the AMISOM soldiers already in action. The group of 367 veterans will also have 17 officers on board.
The African Mission in Somalia is a peacekeeping force comprising troops from Uganda, Burundi, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia and Djibouti. Capt. Abert Arinaitwe, the 3rd Division Spokesman says that “The veterans will be drawn from the areas of Karamoja, Teso, Sipi, Mt. Elgon and Bukedea.” He added that priority will be given to veterans below 55 years with a clean record. According to Arinaitwe, only soldiers with retirement certificates will be considered. He notes that all the applicants will be subjected to different tests on health and physical fitness. The recruitment exercise that commences this month will be followed by training of the successful applicants before they are flown to Somalia to start serving under AMISOM.