The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has awarded medals and certificates to a Ugandan battle group for its contribution to peace and stability in Somalia.
The officers, belonging to Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) Battle Group 25, operated in Eljale, Bufow, Marka, Shalnabot, Qoryoley and Mashalay among other areas in South West State.
“During the last 12 months, you have managed to implement the programme of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) by going to your Forward Operating Bases (FBOs) to fight the enemy and bring peace and stability to the residents of Sector One,” said the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Madeira, who presided over the medal award ceremony.
“The African Union is in Somalia not for any other purpose other than helping to liberate this country from the scourge of a ruthless and destructive Al-Shabaab,” Ambassador Madeira added.
The SRCC commended the battle group for promoting dialogue and reconciliation among communities residing in its area of operation and also thanked them for rehabilitating flood water channels in Marka town and providing medical support to locals.
AMISOM Deputy Force Commander in charge of Operations and Plans, Maj. Gen. James Lakara, lauded officers of Battle Group 25 for supporting and mentoring Somali National Army (SNA) personnel in the Lower Shabelle region.
“The battle group was deployed to Lower Shabelle and was headquartered in Eljale, that covered areas of Shanlabot, Mashalay, Qoryoley, Marka, and were mentoring Somali National Army officers in Elsalid and Barire,” said Maj. Gen. Lakara.
The battle group commander, Col. Paul Muhanguzi, thanked the AMISOM leadership for their guidance and support which he said enabled the contingent to achieve its mandate.
“Battle Group 25 supported the Somali National Army in capturing Marka, which is the second largest city in the region. The 25th battalion has also supported and nurtured the local forces who were later recruited into the ranks of the Somali NISA (National Intelligence and Security Agency) force,” said Col. Muhanguzi.
The officers took over from Battle Group 28 and were responsible for maintaining peace and security in parts of south west Somalia.