“UPDF AMISOM success is due to ideology and discipline” – President

Saturday 7th April 2012

President Yoweri Museveni has said that the impressive success that has been registered by the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) contingent that is serving in the African Mission to Somalia (AMISOM), is due to Uganda’s ideology, discipline, training and political solidarity.

The President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, was yesterday passing out soldiers who have concluded a 7 months’ Peace Support Operations Course at Singo Training Centre in Nakaseke district. The soldiers are due to leave for peace-keeping duties in Somalia.

The President observed that the officers and men of the UPDF that are serving in the African Union (AU) sponsored AMISOM in the Horn of African country of Somalia, have recorded tremendous success due “to our ideology of Pan-Africanism”. He said that Somalia is part of the African continent adding that when Ugandans were fighting the dictatorship in their own country, “we got support from Tanzania and Mozambique. It is on this note that we could not ignore our brothers, the Somalis”.

General Museveni said the UPDF peace-keeping troops were sent to Somalia under the policy of knowing that Africa is one and that we are all Africans. He added that the NRM Government rejects totally any trait of sectarianism such tribe and religion.

The President stressed that discipline within the UPDF emanates from ideology. He informed the soldiers that during the protracted armed people’s struggle, Singo was one of the operational areas of the then National Resistance Army (NRA), known as Kabalega, adding that at the time, operational etiquettes never tolerated any member of the force spoiling the dignity of women, never condoned killings or using bad language towards civilians.

General Museveni reminded the soldiers that the UPDF contingent in AMISOM has had good training and maintained combat readiness. He, therefore, advised the soldiers to be systematic and fully alert in their operations, taking particular care of their own lives especially in the event of encountering suicide bombers.

The President commended the political solidarity in Africa that is geared towards addressing the Somali issue. He also lauded the international support extended to AMISOM from the United States of America, Great Britain and other countries signified by their provision of logistics.

General Museveni strongly cautioned the soldiers to be vigilant and desist from extra-marital affairs while on their assignment in Somalia. He commended the UPDF leadership for their role in the training of the soldiers.

The Commander of Land Forces, Lt. General Katumba Wamala, reported that Mogadishu, the Somali capital, is currently undergoing reconstruction following the flushing out of Al Shabaab terrorists from that city by the AMISOM troops. He also revealed that the UPDF contingent in AMISOM has concentrated on training the battle groups adding that the force has maintained very high discipline in its AMISOM tour of duties.

The Commandant of Singo Training Centre, Col. James Ruheesi, said the site which is known as Peace Support and Training Centre, is of international repute in issues related to peace support. He reported that the role of the Centre is to enhance the capacity of the UPDF in peace support-related training.

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