How Uganda’s army is restoring hope, has stamped out terrorism in Somalia

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia is all praises for Uganda and Ugandans that allowed the Uganda People’s Defence Forces to take charge of Somalia’s fight against terrorism, bringing an end to an era of uncertainty, insecurity, a very doubtful future. According to President Mohamud, at the time the UPDF marched into Somalia, many outrightly said that the Ugandans would fail in Somalia. “This has been proven wrong. The Ugandan contingent landed in Somalia and has been the seeds of many other African countries who also followed the footsteps of Uganda at a very difficult and uncertain times in the past,” Mohamud said last week, commending President Museveni, the Government and the people of Uganda for the unwavering support extended to the people of Somalia in fighting terrorism in their country.

According to Mohamud, it has been a decade and a half since the first contingent of UPDF stepped in Somalia and the Ugandan soldiers have proved wrong those who thought they would fail in the UPDF mission in Somalia and this bold step bore the seeds that other African countries followed.

“This is not the first time that Uganda has contributed to the peaceful establishment of the Somali State. Somalia is grateful and will ever remain indebted for the sacrifices that the government and the people of Uganda under the leadership of His Excellency President Museveni has done to Somalia at very difficult times,” he said.

Mohamud last week officiated at the passing out of 2,900 trainees for the Somali National Army who have successfully concluded their 4-month special Basic Military Training at the Special Mission Training Centre in Butiaba, Bulisa district, in Uganda.

President Museveni and President Hassan Sheik Mohamud of Somalia arrive in Butiaba to pass out Somali trainees on Sunday. PPU Photo

The President of Somalia administered the Oath of Allegiance to the graduands, describing the pass out occasion of the Somali trainees as the singing of the history of partnership between Somalia and Uganda in defeating terrorism in Africa and in particular the Eastern horn of Africa.

He added that the heroes of Uganda will always remain in the hearts of the people of Somalia for helping them not only to defend their country but also to prepare them to take over the sovereign responsibility of its own security.

“I believe that this will definitely change the environment of Somalia and in the operational theatres of the war going on in Somalia right now. It is the people of Somalia who are fighting today. It is the people of Somalia who say no to terrorists. The terrorists are on the run they have no place to hide, and they are remaining in the pockets where there is natural defense like forests and certain mountainous areas. We keep on continuing pushing,” Mohamud stated.

The Somali leader disclosed that in the last 6 months large sways of land has been redeemed from the terrorists and the government is now providing people in liberated areas with the services like schools, medical facilities among other basic needs that they had been denied for the last one and a half decades.

The Somali government can now embark on the second phase of the struggle according to Mohamud, who also expressed gratitude to the troop contributing countries of African Mission in Somalia as well as the front-line States bordering Somalia for their support.

President Yoweri Museveni on his part urged the people of Somalia to consider building a People’s National Army with the correct ideology of defending their country for peace to prevail so that the country is able to raise enough resources to run itself effectively.

According to President Museveni, like the Uganda People’s Defense Forces, an army should be built on voluntarism to protect the state so that in future the country can raise resources to pay the soldiers.

“This is a problem with many of the West African Countries. The collapse of the security apparatus is caused by mixing defense with money. For us we say, you build a People’s Liberation Army based on voluntarism. That’s how we built our force,” H.E Museveni said. 

He added that this will enable Somalia, which is three times bigger than Uganda to recruit enough manpower to defend and liberate the country so that it’s able to collect taxes and pay salaries.

“Get peace first and money later. If the people are there, what you need to tell them is how a poor man can defend himself with or without money,” he said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *