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ATMIS praises UPDF troops for their contributions to peace and security in Somalia

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The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) has celebrated the significant contributions of Ugandan troops to the peace and security process in Somalia.

At a colourful ceremony chaired by ATMIS Force Commander Lt. Gen. Sam Okiding, 41 soldiers from Battle Group-37 were awarded certificates and commemorative medals. The event was held at the Sector One Headquarters in Mogadishu.

Gen. Okiding commended the outgoing soldiers for their dedication in contributing to the mission’s mandate of degrading Al-Shabaab, fostering relations with the local population, and supporting the local administration through several Quick Impact projects (QIPs) and Civil-Military-Cooperation (CIMIC) initiatives.

“Battle Group-37 has proven themselves invaluable in the fight against Al-Shabaab, right from their commanders to the troops,” said Lt. Gen. Okiding in his address to the soldiers who are rotating out after completing their one-year tour of duty.

He urged the incoming contingent to remain vigilant as the AU peacekeeping mission prepares to exit Somalia at the end of this year, as mandated by UN Security Council Resolution 2687 (2023).

“You have come in when ATMIS is drawing down its troop numbers, and that calls on you to be even more vigilant and alert for any possible attempts by the Al-Shabaab,” said Lt. Gen.Okiding.

Deployed to Somalia in December 2022, Battle Group-37 advanced the ATMIS mandate, operating from various bases in Buufow, Shalambood, Ceel Jaale, Qoryooley, Janaale, Barire, as well as kilometres fifty and sixty-seven in the Lower Shabelle region of Southwest State.

Working jointly with the Somali Security Forces, ATMIS Ugandan soldiers conducted successful operations to disrupt and degrade Al-Shabaab and participated in reconciliation dialogues with local leaders and communities to foster peace in them

Area of Responsibility. The troops also cleared and secured Main Supply Routes (MSRs) linking neighbouring towns to the capital, Mogadishu, and provided security to local communities.

“We acknowledge the exceptional work they executed, including countering improvised explosive devices (IEDs), clearing main supply routes (MSRs), conducting joint patrols and ambushes with their Somali counterparts, and securing population centres,” said Sector One Commander Brig. Gen. Anthony Lukwago Mbuusi.

Uganda first deployed troops to Somalia in March 2007 and is one of the five troop-contributing countries to ATMIS, along with Burundi, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Kenya.

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