The United States Special Representative to the United Nations and in the United Nations Security Council respectively; Ambassador Linda Thomas- Greenfield has applauded Uganda Peoples Defense Forces’ (UPDF) efforts in Somalia.
Ambassador Thomas- Greenfield extended USA’s appreciation to Uganda and her Sector 1 UPDF-ATMIS Contingent in Somalia for supporting Somali Security Forces (SSF) beyond its own mandate and for evacuating casualties and the dead from the battlefield and especially in the hard -to-reach areas
The meeting was also attended by Ambassador El-Amine Souef, Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission to Somalia, Ambassador Thomas Kipkosgei Chepkuto of the Republic of Kenya to Somalia, Brig, Gen. Peter Omola; Ag. ATMIS Force Commander and UPDF Contingent Commander in Somalia and Mr. Robert Mugimba; Charge D’ Affaires, at the Uganda High Commission in Somalia.
Other issues discussed were; Somali Security Forces/Somali National Army (SSF/SNA) Force generation, Concept of Operations (CONOPS) for the ATMIS drawdown Plan, Support to SSF/SNA, Financing of the ATMIS and its operations among others.
On her part, Uganda commended the United States for being a reliable partner in the fight against terrorism and for supporting the ATMIS Mission and in particular Uganda Peoples Defense force in Sector 1 that secures the whole of Mogadishu and Banadir region in Somalia.
Uganda further asserted her commitment to implementing the drawdown plan of ATMIS. Uganda continues to support the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) including protection of key Government installations, evacuation of casualties, and the dead from the battlefields in hard-to-reach areas as well as medical support to the wounded. UPDF troops also escort the humanitarian assistance to the Internally Displaced Camps.
The meeting underscored the importance of Coordination of Actors, gradual implementation of the CONOPS, strategic drawdown process that would take into consideration the interests and safety of FGS and TCCs as well as partners. The meeting affirmed strengthened cooperation.
Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield also met with UN humanitarian groups and NGOs and reviewed U.S. and international support in response to the continued threat of famine in Somalia. They also discussed steps to improve the safety and security of local and international NGO communities, who are risking their lives to deliver therapeutic feeding to remote communities in dangerous and difficult conditions due to al-Shabaab.