President Yoweri addressing UPDF officers in Somalia.

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has recognised Uganda’s contribution to ensuring peace and security on the continent.

The salutation of Uganda came as the country marked its 57th independence on Wednesday.Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (DSRCC) for Somalia, Simon Mulongo, officiated Uganda’s Independence Day celebrations in Mogadishu, Somalia.

On the theme ‘Consolidation of national unity, security, freedom, and prosperity’, guests included expats working with Somalia and senior AMISOM officials.

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Ugandan troops were deployed in Somalia under AMISOM in 2007, and have since been serving alongside other forces from Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya. AMISOM troops are supporting the Somali Security Forces to defeat terrorists groups and restore peace in Somalia.

Mulongo said that by deploying its forces to Somalia, Uganda has proved to be a reliable partner in supporting the African Union’s aspirations of continental peace and security.

“AMISOM is our flagship mission, and Ugandan troops have made a difference towards the success of the policy of peace enforcement in Africa,” he said.

Uganda’s Ambassador to Somalia, Prof. Sam Turyamuhika, noted that Uganda had emerged from years of conflict and is now contributing to regional peace efforts. He called for deeper integration and unity of Africa if the African Union member states are to overcome the political and economic challenges.

“There is no country in the world that can stand on its own,” noted Ambassador Turyamuhika, “We are all interdependent, and particularly in Africa, we need regional integration.”

The AMISOM Deputy Force Commander, Maj. Gen. Lakara, noted that Uganda continues to contribute to regional and international efforts to end conflicts.

The AMISOM Police Operations Coordinator, ACP Gwambal, lauded AMISOM military for creating conditions that enabled the AU to deploy police to support the rebuilding of the Somali Police Force.

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